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Detours design critique

March 20, 2011

It’s Detours design time!

I recently had Detours’ Winter 2010 edition critiqued by a Truman alumni who is in charge of  design at major newspaper.

The following are some of the comments he made about the design for Summer 2011 issue of Detours

You can follow along with the digital copy here!

He really liked the cover photo.

-I thought this was interesting, because the design, photography and artistic people I’ve talked to love the cover. However a lot of other people think the picture is gloomy.

He also recommended putting the cover photo’s story on front. We only had two of the best stories on front. This semester we are going to put the cover photo’s story above all of the others.

Contents page:

He said there needed to be a more dominant photo. He suggested making the guy in red bigger.


He said he really liked the Tugfest spread, but the infographic on page 8 was a bit difficult to follow. He said some of the numbers were not clearly connected to their corresponding words. We are doing a similar infographic for this issue, so we’re keeping that in mind!

Haunted Memories

In this spread, he said to keep the pull quotes consistent. The pull quotes on pages 14-15 had a background color block while the pull quote on page 13 didn’t. He said he thought it was fine to change them throughout the magazine, but in the same spread to keep them consistent.

Quirky Eats

This spread he liked the change up from the longer stories. However he said he would have liked to see some sort of address since we mentioned specific restaurants.

Vedic City Rises Above

He really liked this spread, but in the second 2 pages of the spread, both photos on either side of the page were about the same size. He said to make sure there was a dominant photo. On page 23 he liked the map but said there should have been title for it.

Snagged in Time

This layout was a little bit inconsistent with the rest of the magazine’s text pacing. Most of the other spreads had a considerable amount of white space, while this one didn’t. Usually when we plan for page layouts we decide based on photos not word count.

Nature’s wild ride

The only comment he had for this one, was the bad cutout job/photo quality of the trailer picture on page 29.


He really liked the font and design used in the title.

Botna Bend

He used this title as an example of how sometimes young designer sometimes try to use too many different types. Since the fun headlines are Detours signature he really wanted us to keep that going, but encouraged us to try to stick to one different element such as size, color, shape etc and not use to many.

Unearthing Cahokia

Throughout the magazine one problem he identified was having the text on the ‘outside’ of that page. Page 41 is an example of this where the text is more to the right of the page instead of closer to the inside of the page.

All in all he liked the magazine and the design elements. Hopefully we can take these designs comments forward to the next issue!

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