By BOLTON LANCASTER
In a time where newspaper circulations are dwindling, journalists are being asked to perform duties that include more than just reporting and writing. They are often asked to edit, develop multimedia components, be efficient with online publishing, and design pages.
It is ironic that the very tool that is causing them to lose print subscriptions also allows them to adapt to a changing industry standard: the Internet. The website NewsPageDesigner (http://newspagedesigner.org/) serves as a place for designers to display and share their work as well as a teaching resource for beginning designers.
NewsPageDesigner.org was originally NewsPageDesigner.com and was started by Tim Frank and Eric Kaiser in 2002, being hosted by the Sun Journal in Lewiston, Maine until 2009. Frank and Kaiser recognized that the only out of state papers available in their area were The New York Times and The Boston Globe. This inspired them to create a community where designers could share their work with each other and could see different popular styles from around the world.
Today, the NewsPageDesigner website has 4,454 members that have uploaded their work onto the site. The home page has a “featured work” box that scrolls through 100 different designs as well as links to other parts of the website. Some of these sections include “my page,” “members,” “top content,” “portfolios,” “video,” and “blogs.” It should be noted that visitors to the site must be members to access “my page” and “top content.” It is free to sign up as a member of the website, but people who wish to become members must work for a publication and be approved by the website.
Perhaps the most helpful and innovative part of the website is under “portfolios,” where viewers can choose to see content categorized under online, news, sports, business, features, infographics, illustration, and magazine. Each category contains a number of different sample designs from members of the website that can be used as inspiration for other designers.