Proof that I’m a newspaper nerd.

Aside from Memorial Day (which I spent recovering from Tea Party weekend), this is my first real day off since joining the Kent News staff.

My morning consisted of: mingling with local farmers and dog-walkers at the Chestertown farmer’s market; finally procuring an official Kent County library card and loading myself up with books; watching the ducks splash around on the water while parents encouraged their kids to feed them breadcrumbs despite the clearly-visible signs warning people not to feed the birds; and browsing through bargain racks at a few consignment stores.

My afternoon was spent holed up in the publications house, getting everything ready for August.

Publications Boot Camp (Washington College’s version of newspaper editor training) starts August 20, but I’ve been so inspired by my internship that I’ve already thrown myself headfirst into the planning process. When I’m not spending my spare evenings watching dorky movies or cooking with my best friend, I’m doing something Elm related. So far, that’s included writing a staff manual (don’t ask me why we’ve never had one before), reading college newspaper blogs and websites (collegemediamatters and Charles Apple are my new obsessions), compiling training material, decorating the Elm office with memes and front page examples, and making fresh templates for inDesign.

Image

Giving the Elm’s front page a little TLC.

I love doing layout. I love configuring text and graphics on a crisp white computer screen and seeing everything the staff and I have slaved over for days on end pop onto a page. Design is like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle: Some weeks you have 100 pieces, other weeks 1,000, but after a cups of coffee and a motivational Pandora radio station, you always make the pieces fit.

Today, I discovered the wide and wonderful world of free font downloads.

I’m not a font connoisseur like some designers (the movie Helvetica was mind-blowing and, honestly, somewhat terrifying), but I can recognize a font that I like for the Elm when I see one. So after about an hour of scanning free download sites, I picked my favorites and put them to the test.

Our front page is already beaming.

We don’t need a redesign, per se. Our layout is pretty crisp if I do say so myself. But it can always use a little freshening up, and it’s amazing how a new headline font will brighten a page.

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