Share on Google+Share on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on TwitterShare on DiggShare on Stumble Upon
Custom Search


As a layout editor, you must be able to determine an approximate length, in column inches, of a story from typed copy. (A column inch is one inch of copy, measured down the column, regardless of the column width being used.) By making a few simple calculations, you can determine beforehand how much space the typed copy will fill when it is set in type (on the basis of 2 3/8-inch or 14-pica-wide column - six picas equal one inch). For most 10-point type, three typewritten lines, 60 characters wide (on a regular 8 1/2-by 11-inch sheet of paper) equal one column inch of copy. If other than 10-point body type is used, check with your publisher. Your publisher will provide for you a simple fitting formula for all sizes and styles of typefaces available, taking into consideration such things as variations in column widths, differences in fonts, and so forth.

Before forwarding your copy to the publisher, mark it clearly with all necessary instructions (guidelines) for the typesetter. If the publisher is going to makeup the entire page from your layout plan, apiece of copy must contain the following notations: l A key to its position in the layout (shown by the slug on the story and the slug on the dummy). Q The type and size of headline according to a headline chart (see Chapter 9). l The specifics on the size and style of typeface (if it varies from the standard body type previously agreed upon between you and the publisher). l The column width (one column, two columns, and so forth, should be designated by picas to avoid confusion with column inch measurements).

Once your layout is completed, you should be able to relax. A good publisher can make up your pages exactly as you want them from your blueprint, as long as you have provided the necessary information.

This section has covered layout techniques for offset printing, but most of the basic ideas covered here also can be applied to desktop publishing.


Cropping is used when you only want to reproduce a portion of a picture. Pictures are cropped for the size, emphasis and composition desired. They are also cropped to focus on one specific area to achieve a desired effect in makeup. A picture can be cropped to show the hugeness or smallness of the topic. It can also be cropped to delete a dead area.

Cropping Concerns

As a public affairs practitioner, your first responsibility is to make sure security, accuracy, propriety and policy are not violated when photographs are cropped. These areas are explained in the following text.

SECURITY. - During exercises, operational plans, maps, charts and equipment can be compromised easily by a photographer. Access is usually limited and photographers are kept away from secure areas, but breaches of security may occur in the heat of battle.

As you have heard before, "Operational security is everyone's business." When cropping a photograph for reproduction in your newspaper, you should be aware especially of the background areas that might reveal classified information. Remember - exercises test war plans, and those plans cannot be compromised.

Figure 8-8. - Copy as marked for the publisher.

ACCURACY. - Make sure the photograph reflects second place finisher ahead of the winner, if taken from reality. A photograph taken from the wrong angle or at the wrong angle. A sneeze or facial twitch during a the wrong time can, in fact, misrepresent the facts of the somber ceremony can make the subject look like a fool story. A road race taken at the finish line can show the in addition to misrepresenting the story.

Figure 8-9. - Cropping marks on a photograph.

PROPRIETY. - Beauty pageant swimsuit competitions, a sailor in an embarrassing pose and ethnic misrepresentations are but a few of the many propriety violations you might face when cropping a photograph. Although a photo editor should catch such violations during the process of photograph selection, you also must check for violations in the cropping phase.

POLICY. - Policy considerations are described, but are not limited to, the provisions of PA Regs. The DoD and DON have release authority over certain types of information. Information on weapons systems, controversial national and international subjects and certain Navy contracts will have to be approved for release.

In overseas locations, local policies come into play. Photographs of antigovernment protests in your host country, for example, normally are not taken in the first place. If you allow the photograph to be published in your newspaper, no matter how good your cropping job, you may enrage officials of the host country and your superiors. Policy considerations also include uniform violations, unsafe acts and promotional activities favoring one organization over another.


Distractions come in the form of anything that takes the eye away from the center of interest and action taking place. It could be a spectator in the stands at a baseball game or a student looking away from the teacher in a class. It could be anything that detracts from the purpose of the photograph. You must eliminate portions of a photograph that do not contribute to good composition.

When cropping photographs, narrow the cropped area to the center of interest as much as possible. The rule of thumb is to crop ruthlessly and enlarge generously.

Try to limit the number of people in the photograph to three, or only those necessary to tell the story. When cropping people, do not crop them at the neck waist, knees or other joints.


Privacy Statement - Copyright Information. - Contact Us

Integrated Publishing, Inc. - A (SDVOSB) Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business