Rewriting a two-line headline to make it look ‘right’ to the reader

I work on the AOL homepage and some of the headlines run over two lines. The shape of a headline is important – the overall look of it needs to look ‘right’ or it can feel uncomfortable to read.

Here’s an example of rewriting a two-line headline:

First attempt at title

This first attempt is uneven with the top line too short and bottom too long.

Second attempt at title

The second attempt sees the second line looking much too short.

Third attempt at title

Finally, the two lines are much more even and feel 'right'.


Sometimes it means that your headline might end up being written in the passive tense, which isn’t always ideal but sometimes you need to compromise!

One thought on “Rewriting a two-line headline to make it look ‘right’ to the reader

  1. When I was a newspaper sub about 500 years ago we were told the top line always had to be full out and at least as long as any other line.
    Also back in the day we’d call that a two line headline, not two deck. Deck would be used to describe a second headline beneath the first.
    And Foster would murder you for the widow in your headline!

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