There are certain elements that draw a potential reader’s eye to the front page of a newspaper. The first and most foundational is the pictures.
Action, emotion and beautiful compositions and colors draw the eye into the page and, if the page is designed well, down into the story.
But what about the little black line that so often runs around the edge of a picture? Two newspapers of note, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, do not put strokes around any of their pictures. Here’s a recent example.
Another smaller newspaper called the Montgomery Advertiser does not use the stroke around their pictures either.
This is a particularly good example because the dominant picture has a white edge that would typically be blocked in by a stroke. However, since there is no stroke, the picture blends well with the page and is almost “outside of the box.”
The USA Today, however, does use strokes around pictures. Notice that the lines are small but also reign in the picture.
The Monitor, one of the top ten page designs on Newseum for Jan. 21, also uses a stroke around their pictures. Overall, it is a nice design, but take a look at the pictures. They block in the specific pieces and keep everything very closed in.
Either way, the use of a stroke can be a good or bad design. It’s important to be aware of the good and bad, though, and experiment on your own newspaper’s pictures when you get a chance.
Note: All newspaper front pages are from http://www.newseum.com/todaysfrontpages