What makes this page a BFD: Unique graphic and clever headline on the airline merger story
Several papers featured stories about pending airline mergers, but the Trib's unique visual solution and clever headline made it the best designed. Part of the challenge was finding a way to show multiple merger scenarios (United & Continental, United & Delta, American & Northwest, etc.) with a single image. Most papers opted for a photograph of a jetliner – but this kind of image doesn't say “merger,” and is too specific to a particular airline. The Trib's solution shows two planes “joining hands,” like a brother and sister or husband and wife. Unlike a photograph, these generic images were not specific to any particular airline, making them representative for all the merger scenarios described in the thoughtfully presented short-form text below.
The headline was particularly appropriate: the airlines are more likely to “stand” if they merge, and likely to fall if they don't. (Maybe “Divided they fall” should have been part of the headline?) “United” is a key word for the Trib because Chicago is United Airlines' base of operations. Changes at United could have a big impact on Chicago.
Room for improvement: The United package is sophisticated in its visual presentation and headline. But this package is an island of creativity on a page that consists of little more than headline-byline-textblock-jumps. The other stories on the page could seem more engaging if the same level of attention was applied.
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