Eyeing A1

A look at newspaper front pages from around the country

Finding the right message for Super Bowl fans

with 3 comments

It probably felt like the entire country watched the Super Bowl, so, naturally, the next day most of the newspaper front pages had a story or at least a refer to the Super Bowl.

Two newspapers had a bigger interest: The Indianapolis Star and Times Picayune, which is based in New Orleans.

Both of these papers had the tough task to capture the best moment of the Super Bowl. But the first thing they have to do when creating the page is to think about who is the sendee. The sender has to think about this first and then the message they want to convey because the covers wouldn’t work in the opposite market.

Here’s the cover from The Indianapolis Star the day after the Super Bowl. This one is actually the most interesting of the two. Consider the different factors of the photo.

There are two different emotions in this photo. One of the New Orleans saints celebrating and the other of Peyton Manning walking off the field.

The foreground is in focus and that’s important because that is the important factor. The Indianapolis Star focuses on the Colts, however, the emotion can’t be exactly known without the words.

The alphabetic text is arguably just as important. Without it the sendee may not understand the message.

The Times Picayune front cover is vastly different. It’s a simple photo, but notice the difference in the placement of the words and the person in the photo. The alphabetic text is first rather than the photo. In conventional form for front page of newspapers, you’re supposed to read from the top to the bottom.

So, we see the headline first ‘Amen.’ Then, below there is a picture of Drew Brees holding a trophy. The message here is for Saints fans of the Saints. Besides New Orleans winning its first Super Bowl, the fans have dealt with so many because of Hurricane Katrina.

The message of the photo is being transmitted through the trophy and the confetti. The confetti conveys there is a celebration taking place and the trophy signifies triumph. Without either, the photo would look like a content man standing around.

The Times Picayune page designer/copy editor also had to think about the receiver of the cover and what they were going through during the Super Bowl and how much the game meant to the fans. That’s where the headline comes in.

Normally, it’s a word with a religious connotation and, even though this is about a sporting event, sports can touch fans in ways that go beyond the field.

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Written by Susan Lulgjuraj

February 15, 2010 at 10:06 pm

3 Responses

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  1. Great breakdown. It’s also interesting that both newspapers used 1-word headlines to sum the feelings of each fan base respectively. It’s not often that one word can so accurately depict the emotions of so many, and here you found 2 such instances.

    Robbie Joseph

    February 16, 2010 at 11:09 pm

  2. Nice ideas and commentary. I found the image of Manning especially interesting. It would be a great idea, if it were possible, to take that image and change the caption in multiple ways. I wonder what affect it could have on a reader if the captions were changed to say “destiny,” “success,” or “greatest.” I have become much more aware of the power of captions with images like this.

    anthony

    February 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    • I was actually thinking about that after the last class. It says heartbreak, but we only know it’s referring to Indy because Manning isn’t celebrating. It could read anything and a reader will think something different every time they look at picture.

      Susan

      February 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm


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