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The front-cover table of contents.

Publications that start their articles and stories on their covers usually put their tables of contents (sometimes mistakenly called indexes) there, too. Often these tables occupy a column at the far left side of the page. The two covers reproduced here show quite different approaches to such tables.

The Safety Net, a quarterly published by the National Association of Public Hospitals (no editor listed; design by Page Designs Unlimited, Inc.), uses an "In This Issue" heading for its column, with initial caps in a sans serif to match the thickness of the horizontal bars found throughout the magazine. In keeping with a trend in typography, the entries under "In This Issue" appear, centered, in all caps. A tiny photograph, not a duplication of anything inside, decorates.

Ampersand, a newsletter in a four-page magapaper format published for Xyvision employees (Karen Steele, editor; John Deros, in charge of production), with a penchant for white space, uses lots of it to display its table of contents, called, simply, "Inside." Everything here is in a sans serif. In contrast to The Safety Net, Ampersand runs its page numbers in type bigger than the type used for entries. Each entry gets a pointing-hand dingbat.

Another contrast shows up in the publications' use of a second color. The Safety Net uses its second color, full-strength, for its logo, and uses screened black to make the letters in the logo stand out from the page. Then it takes a screened version of the second color, which happens to be olive-green, and spreads it over all the pages. The only white occurs as boxes for short sidebars or as rectangles to accommodate photographs. The color in no way interferes with the clarity or fidelity of the photographs. In fact, it makes the photographs, outlined with thin black lines, stand out. And because it is screened, the color is not dark enough to interfere with the readability of the type. The major headings in this magazine, as "Filling the Gaps" shows, use roman all caps with oversized initial caps.

Ampersand, with a more contemporary look, nevertheless uses color in a conventional way: as spot color. On the page shown, the box at the top, the "&" sign, the numbers in the table of contents, the dingbats, the subheads in the body copy, and the date and page number at the bottom of the page use the second color: for this issue, red. Tiny "&"s at the ends of stories also appear in red. The extra space between paragraphs echoes the publication's policy on white-space use.

The character of these two covers is reflected in the design of the interior pages. What you see here is pretty close to what you would see on inside pages. These are publications that put consistency near the top of the list of principles that guide their designers.
COPYRIGHT 1991 International Association of Business Communicators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Look of the Book
Author:Nelson, Roy Paul
Publication:Communication World
Article Type:Column
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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