“Publication reviews” are one of my favorite exercises to get staffers motivated for their work on the next print issue and are conducted at the beginning of our design week. Each issue cycle, we select a different student newspaper from a program that helps set the standard for scholastic journalism, and look through one of their most recent issues. We then discuss what was done well design-wise and what ideas we can use as inspiration for layouts in our upcoming issue. This activity allows us to go page-by-page to get unique design ideas, specific to newspaper print design, that we could easily apply back to our paper. The activity also helps us to make sure we are following design trends within the world of student journalism and helps us keep our page layouts varied and accessible. Analyzing publications also forces staffers to discuss and think critically about design. These conversations help foster creative ideas and make design seem less scary.

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