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Before Page Design by John McWade

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Introduction

I didn’t start out as a designer. I started out as the publisher of a tiny street newspaper—eight pages every couple months or so. I was 20 years old. But I was aware from the start that the way the paper looked—the mix and character of its typefaces and sizes, the general rhythm of its layouts—had an effect on how readers perceived it. When the design of it was right, it was absolutely believable, solid as rock. When it was wrong, it had no presence at all, no authority; it looked like the collage of articles that it was, something any amateur could do.

It’s hard to describe, but I could tell that the right design transcended the ink and paper. Designed correctly, the paper did not appear to be designed at all; what the reader perceived ...

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