Cai Wen, the most popular Western newspaper layout

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Caiwen: an analysis of the layout reform of Western newspapers and its causes (Part 2)

market demand: the internal driving force of layout reform

at the beginning of the 19th century, the cause of Europe and the United States was in the period of Party newspapers, and all newspapers had the support of political parties, so there was no need to consider economic issues. They inherited the concept of "communicator standard" and considered how to spread the content of the party's information and ideas. They did not realize that good content also needs good form communication in order to obtain good results. They didn't realize that they should make headlines for important things, and that they should arrange the important things in the visual center of the layout. All of them were listed in a disordered, disordered and unfocused manner on the layout. After the popularization of newspapers, they enter the scope of application in the period of market-oriented action. "Due to the great pressure of newspaper competition, we need to rely on layout design to attract readers. The pre catalogue of the general and main departments not only pays attention to the content, but also pays attention to how to present it." 4 the so-called media market "is actually the sum of all relationships between the media, the audience of the media and the advertisers of the media" 5. It can be seen that in order to realize a virtuous circle, the newspaper industry must take into account the interests of the three supply chains of media itself, audience and advertisers, which still need to be improved. Therefore, the layout reform also needs to consider the needs of its own business, audience and advertisers

the impact of the media's own management on the layout reform. Media management needs to reduce costs and expand circulation. The cost reduction is reflected in the layout, which is mainly caused by the change of layout size and quality brought by the paper supply, which leads to the corresponding change of layout design. In the 1960s and 1970s, "inflation in the printing industry and soaring paper prices forced newspaper decision-makers to find ways to save money, and reducing the area of newspapers became the most obvious way" 6. For example, the Los Angeles Times reduced the page size by 3/4 inches. The business policy of saving money and paper has led to the redesign of many newspapers. After the layout was reduced, the 8-column format was no longer easy to read, so the 6-column format began to be adopted, the font size was reduced, and many photos and comic strips were cancelled. After the crisis, the font size returned to its original size, photos, comics and charts were used more frequently and widely, and blank space has also become a new favorite of the layout, but the size of the paper, the basic form of the six columns of the front page and the folio layout have not changed much

distribution is also changing the "appearance" of newspapers. The most obvious manifestation is the change of visual impact center caused by the change of newspaper distribution mode. During the subscription period, the newspaper focuses on the first area of the page (the upper left corner of the newspaper), and after the penny newspaper implements the "London newspaper selling method" to sell on the street, because each newspaper is always pressed on the other, only the upper right corner of the newspaper is exposed. Therefore, when designing the newspaper, Vic is increasingly developing towards the second area (the upper right corner). Now, the most important content and the most elaborate design of the current newspaper are placed in the upper right corner, The so-called "hot corner" to attract readers from competitors

the impact of audience needs on layout change. After entering the 20th century, people's pace of life is getting faster and faster. "One of the characteristics that seems to remain unchanged in modern life is the obvious lack of time". When people try to deal with the obvious time shortage, one of the most common ways is to do several things at the same time, "the ability of human beings to synchronously input multiple media seems to have expanded from generation to generation. On the contrary, the space for patience and attention is shrinking." In order to retain the audience in this situation, people can only prove that their time and attention are worth it by providing readers with sufficient and attractive information. At the same time, "in the visual age," people are obviously spoiled and become lazy. When they need information, they no longer say 'tell me', but say 'show me'. " Therefore, they proposed to "provide 'non text' reports to 'non readers' in a' non writing 'method" 8. Therefore, making newspapers "readable" and "visual" was mentioned in their daily agenda. The subdivision of newspaper edition groups and pages, the diversification of reading guidance methods, the modularization of manuscript arrangement, and the diagrammization of information transmission (information graphics) are all adaptive measures to the audience's reading psychology and habits

the impact of advertisers' needs on layout change. Western newspapers are the product of commercial economy. From the beginning, advertising is an important part of the newspaper page, and it is also the priority object when they are typesetting and revision. "Advertisers understand the value of attractive advertising, and they have played a leading role in experiments in font, illustrations, printmaking and easy to understand words." The conventional typesetting sequence is advertising - Pictures - text reports. Usually, after the advertisements are arranged, the layout of manuscripts in the remaining space is considered. In addition, in order to guide readers to see advertisements, the arrangement method of "well" and "pyramid" is specially designed, which will be interspersed in the middle of advertisements to increase the appearance opportunities of advertisements. The change of column format brought about by paper saving in the 1960s means that advertising sections are redefined or special treatment is provided for them. Therefore, the use of six columns on the front page and the inside page, and the use of columns on other pages became a popular format at that time, in order to meet the needs of advertising agencies for the traditional standard format. In order to finally solve the problem, the press also conducted special research and launched the "standard advertising unit" on July 1st, 1984, making the setting of advertising sections more convenient

media competition: the driving force of layout change

according to the "principle of media form change" proposed by Roger Federer, "all forms of communication media coexist and evolve together within an expanding and complex adaptive system" 10. In other words, whenever a new form appears and develops, it will affect the development of every other existing form in varying degrees over the years; At this time, the older forms will adapt and continue to evolve, rather than die

Before the 1920s, newspapers had always monopolized the field of communication. The founding of time weekly in 1923 set off a weekly upsurge in the society, and the monopoly position of newspapers began to be threatened; In the early 1930s, radio became more and more mature. The development of relatively low-cost home radio and electronic radio media caused a lot of anxiety and excitement, and newspapers were forced to reposition. At this time, some experts believed that electronic media decided the death of print media; At the end of the 1960s, TV media gave newspapers an almost devastating blow. Since then, the status of the first mainstream media of newspapers was taken away by TV, and experts once again predicted the death of newspapers; Since the 1990s, with the vigorous development of Internet and the momentum of replacing traditional media, the existence of newspapers has been questioned again. Although it is said that the new media has more and more violently impacted the survival basis of newspapers, we found that newspapers are like tumblers, "learning from the barbarians to control the barbarians", again and again after being overwhelmed, they stand up again, making those death predictions bankrupt. This is the result of the survival rules of the change of media form. The formal reference and innovation of newspapers are mainly reflected in:

the reference and innovation of newspapers for magazines

magazines represented by time weekly generally publish photos, charts and headlines on the cover, and then publish special reports with more space on the inner page. The popular format of Western newspapers now: set one or a group of main photos/hand drawings on the front page to form a visual impact center (VIC); Various forms of "index" prompt and guide the important contents in the current newspaper; There are few front page manuscripts, and the length is not large. In depth reports such as special reports or combined reports are generally arranged on the inside page. This design is mostly used in tabloids, which is very close to the cover design of magazines

the reference and innovation of newspapers for broadcasting

radio programs are composed of columns, which are designed for specific audiences. In a wide range, it is broadcasting, but in terms of columns, it is actually "narrow broadcasting", which is the result of audience market segmentation. In order to cope with the communication characteristics of radio, newspapers have updated the content and style, and began to design special sections, pages and columns for specific groups, such as sports, life, diet and other special sections. Such "division" has not only successfully attracted new readers and advertisers, but also contributed to a more orderly packaging of information. The content of multi page group and division has become the basic structure of most newspapers today

the reference and innovation of newspapers for television

television integrates sound and painting, and its image is vivid, intuitive and vivid, which challenges the layout design of newspapers. People who grow up together with TV are gradually used to the surrounding of pictures and colors, and are used to obtaining information by image. Newspapers can't compare with TV in describing things with flowing pictures, but newspapers can solidify the most beautiful moments in square inches, and create an artistic conception through the choice of angles and the skill of composition, which not only satisfies the audience's pursuit of visualization, but also gives it the enjoyment of beauty. Naturally, pictures play a leading role in newspapers, become the central element of layout design, and become a magic weapon used by newspapers to attract the attention of the audience. At the same time, TV is moving towards color and three-dimensional, so that color and schematic diagrams, especially those with strong three-dimensional sense and carefully designed schematic diagrams, have gradually become indispensable elements in the layout. The founding of USA today in 1982 created a precedent for newspapers to express information with a large number of informative photos and charts, which can be said to officially announce the arrival of the "image reading era". In April this year, Wall Street, the last big black-and-white newspaper in the world, could not resist the trend and entered the era of color. (to be continued)

Copyright © 2011 JIN SHI