27 May 2015

Newspaper layouts, punctuation and more

I've been looking for comments and information on the trend adopted by some newspapers and magazines regarding kickers, straplines, or whatever they're called, like this:

Note that this journalistic device does not match the definitions given below or elsewhere.

More particularly I was hoping to stumble upon an explanation of why this device is punctuated the way it is, i.e. with no full stop (or period).
I haven't had much success, but here are some of the items located so far:

The FT on its own new layout (15 September 2014 issue): New look for Financial Times newspaper.

From The Wall Street Journal: Punctuation Nerds Stopped by Obama Slogan, 'Forward.', subtitled From Both Sides of the Aisle, a Question: Is Ending It With a Period Weird?

'Strapline', 'crosshead', 'standfirst' and 'pull quote' defined and discussed under the heading
6 newspaper writing techniques for the web. Example:
Standfirsts are short (1 or 2 sentence) summaries of the complete text.
Among the definitions offered by Elements of a newspaper:
Kicker: Kicker is the headline that is written on top of the main headline. It is set in a point size that is less than the point size used to set the main headline. In several newspapers the Kicker is called Shoulder.
Strapline: Strapline is a headline written beneath the main headline. It is written in a point size that is smaller than the point size used to write the main headline, and is generally used to highlight a new point. It can also be used to amplify the main headline. In some newspapers, Strap-line is also referred to as Reverse Shoulder.
Infographic: An infographic is an art form where words are used with charts, illustrations, graphs or photographs to tell a news story.
On taglines, including tagline punctuation: Tagline blues.

30 Awesome Newspaper Layout Examples & Tips
30 Stylish Examples of Layouts in Magazine Design
include examples from various countries in various languages.


  1. This is generally referred to as a standfirst, at least in the UK and Australia.


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After completing a BSc in physics and maths in Australia and extended travels in Africa I found a job in Paris that left me with considerab...