Eight Point Two on Nine Point Five by Chris Tosic

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

I started Monday morning with a swift guided tour of the building and an overview of the busy hub that produces the excellent Financial Times newspaper and website. This was followed by the Monday morning editorial meeting which both critiqued the weekend paper and developed the on going political, financial and market stories for the day(s) ahead.

I was then introduced to the graphics team, a really cool bunch of people and all very welcoming. After some brief design chat I was then allocated a computer, and a few passwords later I had my first look at Xsmile and Methode, the core applications which pull all the newspaper content together to realize the paper itself. (Next week I will have specific training for these applications so its read-only access for now!)

My first job, using InDesign, was to look at the skyline area on the front cover of the FT paper itself. Nothing like starting with something simple! I was fooled, this turned into two days days of intense design analysis; working with a small group of FT typefaces (BentonSans, MillerDisplay and Clarion), plus a 40 mm high working area I grappled with all the ‘elements of typographic style’ that is the FT. Subtle hierarchy shifts, text on and off the baseline grid, playful colour interactions and discrete tracking, kerning and leading. For all you typography freaks out there 8.2/9.5pt refers to the main body text, I’m sorry but that sort of info interests me!

Anyway, Its now Thursday and I have been set a slightly more involved task of creating a kind of future index listing of possible articles that will appear later in the week advertising different writers and stories that the FT are following. It certainly got me thinking too, but that said I now have 135 mm of space across 6 columns, yeah, all is good on the graphic intern desk ... later.


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