A look at today’s UK front pages about today’s vote for Scottish independence

Today is a huge day in the UK — Scotland is voting on whether it should remain part of the United Kingdom or break away to form a separate country.

It would be a completely separate country — much like most of Ireland is. But it would keep Queen Elizabeth as its monarch and it also wishes to keep the pound sterling as its currency.

Let’s look at how papers in the UK are covering today’s vote…

The Scotsman of Edinburgh used a great headline today but kind of wimped out with its lead photo.


A man placing polling signs? Really?

Average daily circulation for the Scotsman is 28,500.

The Herald of Glasgow — circulation 37,728 — also used a nice headline and went with an inspiring — but purely illustrative — picture of a man looking off into the mist of a distant Loch.


I was surprised at English papers. Neither the Sun nor the Daily Mail made a big deal today about the vote, so I didn’t bother to collect them. The Daily Express of London — circulation 488,246 — used a huge headline today, but under a gigantic skybox featuring a circulation-boosting promotion.


Personally, I’d think the news of the day would drive circulation. But perhaps not.

The Times of London, on the other hand, used a gorgeous picture of the UK Union Jack for a wonderful poster front today.


Now, see? That’s more like what I expected to see. What’s more: This is just the front part of a wraparound cover.


Ont the back are the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne.

On its actual front page, the Times ran a somewhat routine headline and lead photo.


Downpage is an editorial advocating a “no” vote.

Average daily circulation for the Times is 394,448.

The Times was just one paper that built its display around a flag motif today. The free Metro papers of England went with a picture of the Union Jack and the Scottish flag on a flagpole but also managed to find a clever headline to pair with it.


The Independent of London used a much more dramatic picture of flags and came up with perhaps the most clever headline of all.


Average daily circulation for the Independent is 63,907.

The Independent‘s i — circulation 292,801 — didn’t do nearly as nicely as its sister paper.


The Daily Mirror of London photoshopped the cross of St. Andrews out of the Union Jack for this morning’s lead art.


Average daily circulation for the Mirror is 962,670.

The Daily Telegraph built its front around what appeared to be a picture taken at the same time as the Daily Mirror‘s.


Average daily circulation for the London Telegraph is 523,048.

My favorite flag-themed front page of the day, however, was this one by the Glasgow version of the Daily Mail.


Now, that’s outstanding. And powerful.

The Daily Mail circulates 113,771 papers in Scotland.

Metro publishes two editions in Scotland: Glasgow and Edinburgh. Those papers today used page one to urge citizens to the polls.


This is important, because in 1979, Scotland voted on whether or not to create its own Parliament. The “yes” side got 52 percent of the vote, but the decision didn’t stick because not enough people voted. In the fallout afterwards, the UK elected a new prime minister: Margaret Thatcher.

I doubt a low turnout will be an issue today. But still, it’s an interesting approach.

The Daily Record of Glasgow — circulation 253,500 — also urged citizens to vote today on the cover that wrapped around its daily edition.


Take note of the list of inside pages across the bottom. That doesn’t seem well thought-out, does it?

Meanwhile, the actual front page of the paper today showed the very latest poll numbers — this referendum is simply too close to call.


The Glasgow version of the Sun used its front page today for a very interesting conceptual piece illustrating the importance of today’s vote.


Naturally, there were folks out there who had a little fun with this today.


The Sun circulates 340,000 papers in Scotland.

But my favorite treatment of the day was the huge satellite photo the Guardian used today.


Average daily circulation for the London-based Guardian is 185,313

These front pages were culled from a number of sources, including Press Display, the Paperboy and Wales Online.

For a truly great look at today’s UK front pages, though, make sure you check out Peter Sands‘ blog.

UPDATE: 9:20 a.m. PDT

In addition, my Focus page today was on Scottish independence. This was aimed at folks here who might not have been keeping up with all the issues involved.

Click for a much larger — and, hopefully, readable — look:


The picture is by the New York Times Andrew Testa of a rail line that runs from England to Scotland. I played off that picture — both in theme and with color — for the rest of my page.

Polls close tonight at 10 p.m. local time. That’s 5 p.m. EDT and 2 pm here on the west coast. I’m not sure when we’ll know results.

The story behind a truly terrifying waterspout front page photo

Frank Abbott is a physician who practices radiology in Pensacola, Fla. He’s also a photographer with an extensive background of shooting the area.

Frank tells us:

I have been taking landscape and wildlife photographs for the past 20 years. One of my favorite shooting locations is my back yard on Santa Rosa Sound.

I was making my normal rounds and noticed a huge [storm] front developing to the east. Within the next five minutes, it spawned one of  the largest water spouts that I have ever seen in my 50+ years of living on or near the water. It was absolutely spectacular!!



I took a couple shots with a couple different lenses then watched in absolute awe as this beast slowly moved across the sound then magically degraded into rain. I quickly went inside to process and share what I had seen online.

That’s where Elissa Macarin of the Gannett Design Studio in Nasvhille picks up the story…

When I came in to work, I only knew that the waterspout story was going to be the centerpiece with “more photos to come.”

Katie King, the consumer experience director for Pensacola, said she did a reader call out for photos on Facebook and Twitter to make an online photo gallery. She picked a handful of the most impactful/dramatic photos submitted and put them into the print package for me to choose from.

A couple of hours later, Florida Team Leader Michael Babin checked in with me to see how things were going. We both saw the waterspout photos for the first time, and all he said was “have fun” — and I did.

As soon as I saw the photo I chose as the main, the idea for the page immediately came to mind. I asked the PNJ editors if we could scale back their typical skyboxes – I knew the one about the Escambia football coach had to run because it’s been a big controversy there for the past few weeks — so I could have more space for the waterspout art. They said “Go for it.”


I went with my gut instinct and that’s the page that ended up printing.

A 2005 graduate of Kent State, Elissa spent a year as a copy editor and designer at the Dothan (Ala.) Eagle and then four years with the Press-Register of Mobile before moving to the Daily Herald of Wausau, Wis., in 2010 as presentation editor. She joined the Nashville studio in 2012, where she also works on pages for the Staunton, Va., News Leader, the (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger and the Hattiesburg (Miss.) American.

Find Elissa’s portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

And again, see more of Frank’s wonderful photography here.

Average daily circulation of the News Journal is 40,435.

Building a centerpiece with nothing but numbers

A topic that comes up often in my teaching duties: How does one build a centerpiece when there are no suitable pictures to use?

The answer: You have to resort to using your brain. Or, rather, a lot more of it than you’d typically use.

That was the case Wednesday on page one of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale. Click this for a much larger look.


Design director David Schutz tells us:

I was responsible for that one. There’s not exactly a sexy back story to it, though. It was one of those “what the *&*%# am I going to do with this” moments.

I had some ideas banging around in my head for a couple days, but the lightbulb didn’t go on until I was talking it through with our director of photography Mike Slaughter. Mike mentioned that it was cool that the numbers went from tiny to huge.


A few minutes of tinkering in InDesign and I knew it would work.

A 1993 graduate of Boston’s Northeastern University, David spent a year as a designer and copy editor for the Salem Evening News of Beverly, Mass before moving to the Boston Business Journal in 1996 as design editor.


He moved to the Boston Globe in 1997 as an infographics artist. He moved to a news designer spot in 2001, was promoted to assistant design director for news in 2005 and then to deputy design director for graphics and news in 2007. He was named design director of the Sun Sentinel in April 2012.

Find David’s portfolio site here and his Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation of the Sun Sentinel is 147,860.

Birthdays for Thursday, Sept. 18

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five talented visual journalists…


Sara Amato is a designer for RedEye, the free, youth-oriented tabloid published daily by the Chicago Tribune. A 2009 graduate of Indiana University, Sara served as campus editor, design chief, managing editor and editor-in-chief for the Indiana Daily Student. She served internships at the Bedford (Ind.) Times-Mail and in the finance department at Tommy Hilfiger before starting work in 2010 as a designer for the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. In 2011, she moved to the Gannett Design Studio in Phoenix and was assigned to work on-site at one of the Gannett studio’s client papers — the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif. — until 2012, when she was moved to Phoenix itself, where she became lead sports designer for the Arizona Republic. She moved to Chicago a couple of weeks ago. Find her web site here, her NewsPageDesigner portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Sara turns 27 today.


Andrea Jones is special events coordinator for Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, N.C. A 1998 graduate of the University of Missouri, Andrea spent nearly three years as the lead sports designer of the Albuquerque Journal. She moved to a similar position at the Indianapolis Star in 2001 and then became design editor of the Free Lance-Star of Fredericksburg, Va., a year later. She became a designer for the News & Observer of Raleigh in 2003. She left the N&O in 2009. She spent a year with the 3-C Institute for Social Development and a year with the SPCA of Wake County, while doing freelance marketing and design work. She joined the friends of the museum a year ago. Find her web site here. Andrea turns 40 today.


Annami Mailovich is a multimedia journalist for Media24 Digital of Johannesburg, South Africa. A graduate of the University of Pretoria, Annami served an internship with the entertainment and lifestyle section at Beeld, Media24′s Afrikaans-language daily in Johannesburg. She then worked as a layout sub editor for Sports24, which supplies the sports sections for three dailies and one large Sunday national paper. She moved to the digital side last year. Find her Twitter feed here. Annami turns 27 today.


Jann Nyffeler is production team leader for the Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y. A 1988 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Jann spent eight years as a copy editor at the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. She became team leader for the copy desk of the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle in 1996 and then moved to the Dallas Morning News in 1999. In 2001, Jann became chief of the features copy desk of the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester and then moved up to chief of the entire copy desk three years later. When the paper laid Jann off in 2009, she became  publications coordinator and editor for the George Eastman House, a photography and film museum in Rochester, N.Y. She also spent a year-and-a-half as morning host for Jazz 90.1, a member-supported radio station in Rochester, N.Y. After four years out of newspapers, Jann was hired in 2013 by the Post-Standard. She supervises a nightside desk of copy editors and paginaters. In addition, she’s on the radio again, hosting a Friday night show on Jazz 90.1. Find her station bio here and her Twitter feed here.


Stephanie Stamm is a news artist with National Journal magazine in Washington, D.C. A 2012 graduate of Ball State University, Stephanie worked as graphics editor for the student paper there, the Ball State Daily News, and was online design editor of the student magazine, Ball Bearings. She served internships at the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville, Fla., and the Seattle Times. She went to work for the National Journal in 2013. Find examples of her work here and her Twitter feed here. Stephanie turns 25 today.

Stephanie, Sara, Annami, Andrea and Jann share a birthday with actors James J. Gandolfini Jr., Jason Sudeikis, James Paul Marsden, Aisha N. Tyler, Jada Koren Pinkett Smith, Frederick “Fred” Willard, Francis Thomas Avallone (better known as Frankie Avalon), Greta Louisa Gustafsson (better known as Greta Garbo), Michael James Vincenzo Gubitosi (better known as Robert Blake), John Warden Lebzelter (better known as Jack Warden) and June Lucille Forer (better known as June Foray); songwriter Philip Gary Schlein (better known as P.F. Sloan); rapper-turned-TV host Alvin Nathaniel Joiner IV (better known as Xzibit); Mashable founder Pete Cashmore; physicist Jean Bernard Léon Foucault; comic book artist Joseph “Joe” Kubert; and sports greats Ryne Dee Sandberg (baseball), Darryl Floyd Stingley (football), Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima (soccer), Dennis Wayne Johnson, Toni Kukoč (both basketball), Rick Pitino (basketball coach), Thomas Hawley “Tommy” Tuberville (football coach) and Lance Edward Gunderson (better known as bicycle racer Lance Armstrong).

In addition, today is Chiropractic Founders Day, National Cheeseburger Day, National Respect Day, World Water Monitoring Day, National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day and Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday today, folks! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Wednesday, Sept. 17

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to nine excellent visual journalists…


Jacqueline Wu Boey is creative director for the special projects unit of Singapore Press Holdings. Her work on a supplement called Health & You won a 2006 Best Advertising award from the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers’ Association. In 2007, she led a team that redesigned the AsiaOne website. She also designed the print and TV ads that promoted that redesign. Then, those TV spots won big in the Asia Film, Videos and Digital Media Awards. Find those ads in Jackie’s YouTube channel.


Lori Brooks is associate executive director of the College Media Association. A 1996 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Lori spent a year as a copy editor for the Albuquerque (N.M.) Tribune and another year with Saxon Publishers, which creates educational materials. She returned to Oklahoma in 1999 as director of communications for the College of Business and was named associate director of student media in 2004. She also taught as an adjunct and worked with the College Media Association. She moved over to CMA full-time in 2012.


Stephanie Grace Lim is a portrait photographer and also a graphic designer for Apple in Cupertino, Calif. A 1996 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan, Steph spent a year as a photographer for the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News and then three as a photographer and illustrator at the Charlotte Observer before joining the San Jose Mercury News in 2000 as a designer/illustrator. She was promoted to design director of features before leaving in 2007 to become principal creative designer for eBay’s PayPal. She left PayPal six years ago and joined Apple in 2010. Find her portfolio site here and her photography site here. Find her photography work on Facebook.


Colleen McDaniel is managing editor of Cruise Critic, a web site that covers the travel industry. A 1997 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Colleen earned a Master’s degree at Syracuse University in 1998 and then spent two years as assistant sports editor of the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat and Chronicle. She moved to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, Colo., in 2001 as assistant sports editor and then assistant city editor. In 2007, she became sports editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk. She moved to Cruise Critic in 2012. Find her Twitter feed here.


Alyson Morris is a designer for RedEye — the Chicago Tribune’s youth+commuter tabloid — especially, RedEye’s daily iPad edition. A 2011 graduate of Ohio University, Alyson served as design editor for both the student paper there, the Post, as well as Thread, a student magazine. She served internships with the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Huntsville (Ala.) Times before going to work for the Naples (Fla.) Daily News as a features designer. She moved to Chicago in 2012 and then began concentrating on the iPad last year. Find her portfolio site here and her Twitter feed here.


Janet Reddick is associate editor for AAA National, based in Heathrow, Fla. A 1995 graduate of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., Janet spent a year as a reporter for the Gazette of Gastonia, N.C., and then two more at the Carroll County Times of Westminster, Md., before joining the News & Record of Greensboro in 1998. She worked as a reporter, a copy editor, night city editor, assistant bureau editor, assignment editor and nation and worked editor before her departure three years ago. For her last year-and-a-half there, she also edited the paper’s travel section, wrote a travel blog and earned a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2011, she was named managing editor of Intelliguide of Winston-Salem, N.C., a publisher of trade media for the travel industry. She moved to AAA last winter. Find Janet’s Twitter feed here.


Scott Shaw is a photographer based in Rocky River, Ohio. A 1985 graduate of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill., Scott worked with the Cleveland Plain Dealer for 23 years before he was laid off last summer. Find his personal web site here, his blog here and his photography business Facebook page here.


Hugo Torres is an assistant team leader and page designer for the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Ariz. A graduate of the Universidad del Noroeste in Tampico, Mexico, Hugo spent two years as art director for Frontera of Tijuana before earning a master’s degree at his alma mater. He moved to the Star in 2002. In addition, he writes a soccer column for la Estrella de Tucson, the Star‘s Spanish-language weekly. Find Hugo’s Twitter feed here.


Dyrinda Tyson is a designer, editor and writer based in Yukon, Okla. A 1987 graduate of West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas — just south of Amarillo — Dyrinda spent eight years as news editor of the Times Record News of Wichita Falls. She moved to the Oklahoman of Oklahoma City for two years as a copy editor and then to the el Reno (Okla.) Tribune, where she was associate editor for ten years. She’s worked as a contributing editor for Oklahoma Today magazine, a graphics editor and reporter for the Mustang (Okla.) News and a correspondent for the Oklahoman. Find her Twitter feed here. Dyrinda turns 50 today.

Alyson, Lori, Hugo, Janet, Scott, Stephanie, Colleen, Jacqueline and Dyrinda share a birthday with actors Kyle Martin Chandler, Jonathan Southworth “John” Ritter, Anna Maria Louisa Italiano (better known as Anne Bancroft), Roderick Andrew Jude “Roddy” McDowell and Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark); musician Hiram King Williams (better known as Hank Williams Sr.); comedian Rita Rudner; directors Bryan Singer, Neill Blomkamp and Mark Anthony “Baz” Luhrmann; puppeteer Kevin Jeffrey Clash; sports greats Ryo Ishikawa (golf), Alexander Mikhaylovich Ovechkin (hockey), Mark Allen Brunell and George Frederick Blanda (both football), Orlando Manuel Cepeda Pennes, John Anthony Franco (both baseball), Rasheed Abdul Wallace (basketball), Philip Douglas “Phil” Jackson (basketball coach) and Jimmie Kenneth Johnson (auto racing); Supreme Court chief justice Warren Earl Burger; Supreme Court associate justice David Hackett Souter; Darwin Awards creator Wendy Northcutt; TV host Nathan Jay “Nate” Berkus; astronauts Thomas Patten Stafford and Edgar Dean Mitchell and cartoonist Jeffrey Kenneth “Jeff” MacNelly.

In addition, today is Constitution Day, Citizenship Day, International Country Music Day, National Rehabilitation Day, Time’s Up Day and School Backpack Awareness Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a wonderful birthday today!