This was my favorite broadsheet page design in my time at the Bradenton Herald. We had to do a lot of tinkering to make it pass muster with the pre-press people: our presses couldn’t tolerate a very dark background well; the ink would pool in the machinery and cause rub-off on other pages, or – much worse – mechanical malfunctions in the presses. There was also a problem with reversed text on a black background for the same reasons; ink in large quantity likes to bleed on newsprint, potentially filling in the letter forms.
As a result we had to tone the black down to 72% gray, black ink only except for the word “WAR”. I also beefed up the type-size and ran it in a fat bastard measure column, to make the letter forms more resistant to ink bleed. Fortunately the thirsty newsprint darkened up a bit more than it looked on my screen, and the final product, though slightly less intense in its darkness than I’d hoped, looked very nice.
What you see here is my original intention, before we tweaked the ink levels.