I had to laugh to myself at this morning's news meeting during the critique of the day's paper. While reviewing pages from the print edition, a few editors noted the Business centerpiece, which was made from a table of regional stock listings instead of the photo or graphic usually seen there. This is the kind of thing newspaper people generally consider bad design.
One caller this morning had quite a different take on it, though. "I wish every day the Business page looked like it does today," she said. "That's what we care about -- how those stocks are doing, some big overblown picture that people who are concerned about money don't care about."
Other readers have told me similar things -- they they'd prefer more text and fewer visual elements to the page. On the other hand, I can't count the number of compliments I've heard for photos and illustrations, too.
In the Business section, though? I think my caller has a point. I've always thought the current trend for dominant art on newspapers' section fronts is faddish and does sometimes eat into room that would be better used on text. But that's just me, and I know better minds disagree.