Assisted layout in print publishing

Journalists at regional Italian publishing group SESAAB can create layout variations without graphic skills or training.

The SESAAB group publishes a portfolio of dailies and biweeklies in the northern part of Italy’s dynamic Lombardy region. In 2012 the group decided to move its operations to a centralized Méthode publishing platform.

Among the synergies and economies delivered by the new solution is a feature designed to allow journalists to take an active role in page design. This function, known as ‘assisted layout’ works by dividing the page into a number of areas. In each area a range of alternative story shapes is available. The journalist can toggle through the shapes available until they find one with a suitable text and picture combination. They then write the story to fit the shape.

The story shapes at each page position are designed to work harmoniously with those in adjacent areas. This allows journalists without particular design skills or training to create attractive, balanced page layouts closely matched with the text and image content to be paginated.