Competition Tips: Part 1

Whether you're just about done with your Student Design Competition entries, or you've barely even started, we've got some secret tips and advice. Be sure to check the blog and Facebook page for more info as the early March deadline approaches! Now, onto the first set of tips...

For each competition entry, we ask for 2 spreads (4 pages). Not quite sure what a spread is? Check out our definition and description here.

Tip #1: Your entry's 2 spreads should not both be "opening" spreads. 
What do we mean by that exactly? Well, in a feature story like this, your first spread will be an opening spread that introduces us to the story, while the second spread is clearly the middle or end of the story.

For example, the first spread always contains the headline/subhead/byline package, and often that's the only text on it. Sometimes it might contain the first few paragraphs of the body copy as well. This spread is usually more image or design-heavy rather than text-heavy. 

The second spread, however, does not have the headline treatment and usually contains more body copy than imagery. It should relate to the opening spread in appearance to continue the design scheme, but in a way that can handle more text.

Here are a few examples of the first 2 spreads of stories from recent magazines. You'll notice in these first 2 examples from New York and Wired magazines, the opening spreads contain only the headline/subhead/byline package focusing more on the design and images, while the 2nd spreads contain the bulk of the story with supplemental imagery.

These next 2 stories (from More and Martha Stewart Living) show some variations on how the 2nd spread differs from the first. In this More feature, the photos and accompanying recipe captions pretty much ARE the story, so there's not a whole lot of visual difference between the two. However, the first spread does contain the headline and subhead, while the second spread does not. The second spread also contains a column of body copy.


In this Martha Stewart Living story, the opening spread actually contains more copy than the second spread, as you'll notice there's a long introductory paragraph on the left side. However, while the 2nd spread may not hold as much copy visually, it does contain the bulk of the content ... the explanatory photos and long captions serve as the story in this type of feature. Regardless, again the main difference is the opening spread contains the headline and introduces the story, while the 2nd spread contains the majority of the content.
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