The Sun-Times is doing that thing again. That thing that I never had to come up with a name for because I'd just talk to my friends and say, "Did you see the Sun-Times this morning? They did that thing again."
The thing is where they have a BIG headline with hardly any text from the accompanying story ("see Page 3") and then a BIG picture that has nothing to do with the headline story, but they're both so big and jammed so close together that when you're glancing at the cover as you pass by a vending machine you assume that the picture goes with the story. With, dare I say it, often humorous juxtaposition.
What is that smoking clown so adamant that she did not do?
Today's is not an award-winner (my all-time favorite was a big headline about "Study links pollution to rising estrogen levels" and a big picture of Bozo the Clown) but it's just notable because after their redesign in November 2003 instances of the thing really dropped -- the big picture almost always accompanied the headline. (Check out this gallery of covers from 2004 from Sun-Times news designer Robb Montgomery. There are a couple good thingy ones, Bono in sticker shock and the excited swimmer terrorists, but most of them are, you know, well-designed.) Here's hoping this marks a return to terrible design for the Sun-Times.