Big photos = big-time sports design

It seems like a terribly poor decision by Sports Illustrated to eliminate its photo staff, especially since the magazine boasts about visuals in its title. In fact, S.I. photographers have captured some of the most iconic photos in sports. I thought about this even more during the weekend after reviewing sports designs related to Ernie Banks’ death a few days ago. The lesson: Great design relies on great visuals. Too many newspapers cram a bunch of small photos onto a page, often without much rhyme nor reason. Whenever possible, use big photos and large headlines. A little white space never hurts, either. Neither does reading this website by the world’s foremost designer, Mario Garcia. Anyway, here are a few simple, elegant designs to consider when planning your own sports sections.

Mr Cub great designBanks front page


About jgisondi

I covered sports and worked as a sports copy editor for more than 20 years at several newspapers in Florida, including the Fort Myers News-Press, Clearwater Sun, Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. I started writing for a weekly sports publication in Coral Springs, Fla., at age 15. I have been hooked on sports journalism ever since. I was fortunate to have worked with some amazing editors along the way, journalists who took the time to help me even when my copy was not top-notch. Now, I teach journalism at Eastern Illinois University and work as an editor for, a vertical that focuses on Big Ten athletics. A second edition of the "Field Guide To Covering Sports" will be available sometime in February 2017. The book is a practical guide to preparing, observing, interviewing and writing about 20 different sports, from auto racing to wrestling. Chapters also address ways to cover high school sports, fantasy sports, to develop sports blogs. You can also learn how to cover games, to write features and to interview better. Fans can also learn basic rules of these sports, along with ways to better observe the action. New chapters in the second edition will address social media, advanced analytics, fantasy sports coverage and revised, expanded chapters address game coverage, features and columns, among other new sections.
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