Independent Mail of Anderson, S.C., launches a redesign

The Independent Mail of Anderson, S.C. — in the northwest corner of the state — launched a redesign Tuesday.

The 22,625-circulation daily  bucks a bit of a trend by converting from a Berliner format to a broadsheet. The Independent Mail has been a Berliner since late 2006 — it was reportedly the second U.S. paper to move to that format.

On the left, here, is the front page from Tuesday, March 24. On the right is yesterday’s relaunch front.


Tim Thorsen — a senior editor for Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers in Stuart, Fla. — tells us a little about the redesign:

Susan Kelly-Gilbert (publisher) and Steve Mullins (editor) really drove the train. My job mostly centered on answering questions and kicking out prototypes and making tweaks they suggested.

Not much to do style-wise, as we didn’t really change much of anything along those lines. The real work was done behind the scenes with ads and newsprint and all the stuff that allows us to actually produce a newspaper.

Here’s a closer look at the new front page:


Tim continues:

Jorge Vidrio (Scripps design editor in Corpus) created the new nameplate/flag/identity.


The increase in page sizes allowed the Independent Mail to shuffle around much of its newshole. Here’s a before-and-after look at page A2, which now holds mostly entertainment and light briefs.


The new format allows the Independent Mail to add larger labels at the top of each section. Local and State news begins on page three.


Nation and World begins on page 7A.


Here’s what a typical A-section jump page looks like.


The serif  headline font you’re seeing there is

  • Madison Narrow /medium
  • Madison Narrow /bold

The san-serif headline font is:

  • AntennaExtraCond / bold

Tim tells us:

The big thing was figuring out how many pages the A and B sections would be — what would give us a balance between the space we had as a tall tab and the space we need.

We’ve also built some efficiencies into the process. The top of 2A and all of the first Nation/World are done by the Central Desk in Corpus Christi.

Here’s a before-and-after look at the editorial page, which the Independent Mail calls “Views.”


With high school football huge in this part of South Carolina and Clemson University only a few minutes up the road, sports is a very important part of the Independent Mail. Here’s a before-and-after look at the sports front:


Page two of sports is the “Fanfare” page, including a daily calendar, this day in sports history and sports briefs.


Here’s a typical inside sports page.


As you can see here, the agate page didn’t really change at all. A few inches of wire was tacked onto the top.


Tim writes:

The Biz page is new and is about 90% paginated by the Associated Press.


The advice columns move onto the puzzles page…


…and the comics consolidate into a single broadsheet page.


Daily weather — produced by Accuweather — doesn’t change at all, as far as I can tell.


Full disclosure No. 1: I was born in Anderson and read the Independent Mail whenever we were in town visiting family. I still have family in Anderson.

Full disclosure No. 2: I interviewed two times for two different jobs at the Independent Mail not long after I graduated college in 1984. I landed neither.

Full disclosure No. 3: I love the typography and the organization of the new-and-improved Independent Mail. But I’m going to miss that Berliner format. I really liked the size.

Why ABC needs a copy editor

I don’t post many of these any more. But this one was just too funny to pass up.

Raise your hand when you see the typo.


Thanks to Vanessa Pearson of the Tulsa World for the tip.

I have so many of these wayward TV graphics in my collection. Like this one from January 2011:

Or this one from August 2010:

Who knows what Eddie Murphy was up to in September 2011?

I’m not even sure how you can type this poorly:

Or this badly. This was from ABC News in November 2011:

Or how about this really horrifying one from March 2011?

Ahem. The bear cub’s name was Knut.

And, believe it or not, that’s just scratching the surface. I have dozens of these things. Here’s my archive — knock yourself out.

Birthdays for Wednesday, April 1

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four wonderful visual journalists…


Kimiko Fieg has been presentation editor for the Victoria (Texas) Advocate for the past eight years. A graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta, Kiko spent 22 years as a graphic artist for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Find her Twitter feed here.


John Hays was a graphic artist with the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C., and then with the Army Times in Springfield, Va. And then, I completely lost touch with him. Not quite sure where he is now or what he’s doing. But he’s a very talented guy. Last I heard, he was moving to Tybee Island, Ga. And yes, that’s a very old picture of him. John is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design.


Janie Jones is director of communications at the American Association of University Women of Michigan in Detroit. A graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Janie served as that school’s corporate recruiter and outreach coordinator before moving to the Detroit Regional News Hub in 2009 as public affairs and media relations manager. She’s been with the AAUW for two years.


Randy Stano is a professor in the University of Miami’s School of Communication and a member of the school’s Arrow Honor Society. A 1971 graduate of the University of Texas, Randy was named Texas High School Journalism Teacher of the Year and National Journalism Teacher of the Year before earning a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University in 1979. Randy worked as assistant art director for the Kansas City Star and Kansas City Times, director of editorial art and design at the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., and director of editorial art and design for the Miami Herald. Randy served as president of the Society for News Design in 1992 and was the SND’s quickcourse chairman for several years. Those Hawaiian-style shirts I enjoy wearing? I was inspired to try them after observing Randy wearing them at a quickcourse, more than a decade-and-a-half ago. Randy turns 67 today.

Janie, John, Kimiko and Randy share a birthday with actors Bijou Lilly Phillips, Taran Hourie Killam, Elizabeth Alice “Ali” McGraw, Annette Toole (better known as Annette O’Toole), Alexander Gordon Jump, Mary Frances “Debbie” Reynolds, Leonidas Frank “Lon” Chaney and Toshirō Mifune; reality TV personalities Jonathan Keith “Jon” Gosselin and Susan Magdalane Boyle; musicians James Chambers (better known as Jimmy Cliff) and Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff; sports greats Elizabeth “Beth” Kimberly Tweddle (gymnastics), Philip Henry Niekro (baseball), Brook Lopez (basketball), Ronald Scott Stevens (hockey), Sean Michael Maurice Taylor (football) and Glenn Edward “Bo” Schembechler (football coach); the first Chancellor of Germany, Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck; sci-fi author Anne Inez McCaffrey; historian William Raymond Manchester and political commentator Rachel Anne Maddow.

In addition to April Fools Day, today is Atheist Day, International Tatting Day, National Walking Day and the National Day of Hope. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday!

Indy Star publishes a full-page, page-one editorial

Today, the Indianapolis Star devoted its entire front page to a call for rethinking the new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Click that image for a closer look. Read the entire editorial here.

This page was designed by Spencer Holladay of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville, Ky.

His boss — studio creative director Ryan Hildebrandt — tells us:

The Star contacted us in the early afternoon to explain what they were planning. We instantly knew how important this page would be to a lot of people. Spencer started building options immediately while working with the newsroom on the words.

The buzz about over this doesn’t surprise us one bit. I’m proud of the Star editorial staff and management for their no-fear approach to making sure their message wasn’t just seen, but also heard.

I have a number of other front-page editorials in my collection. On Dec. 5, 2008, the Detroit (Mich.) Free Press urged Congress to bail out the auto industry (below, left).


On May 2, 2010, the Arizona Republic of Phoenix demanded immigration reform (above, right).

On Nov. 8, 2011, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., sounded off on the Penn State sex abuse scandal (below, left).


On April 22, 2012, the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal pleaded for a halt to high-school bullying.

Two years ago tomorrow, the Daily Tar Heel — the independent student paper at the University of North Carolina — called for reform of how sexual assault cases were handled on campus.


And on Oct. 6, 2011, the Northern Star — the student paper at Northern Illinois University — ran a full-page, page-one apology for an editorial cartoon it had run in its previous edition.


I also have several examples that probably should have been labeled as page-one editorials…


…but don’t get me started on the NYC tabloids.

That image of today’s Indianapolis Star is from the Newseum. Of course.

Birthdays for Tuesday, March 31

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


Jeff Bash is a graphic and web designer for Go Daddy and based in Des Moines, Iowa. As a student at Grand View College, Jeff worked for me as a graphics intern at the Des Moines Register in the summer of 1999. We kept him on as a part-timer that fall and hired him full-time when he graduated. He introduced me to his college buddy Katie Kunert, who we also hired. Those of you who have seen my slideshows have heard this story in greater detail. When I left the Register in 2003, I nominated Jeff to be my successor. He actually served as graphics editor there longer than I did — until the Register laid him off in 2008. He then spent several years as lead marketing specialist for Bankers Trust in Des Moines, supervising the creative staff there. Jeff turns 38 today.


Amr Elsawym is a senior infographics designer and trainer for al-Ahram, Egypt’s largest news organization and based in Cairo. A graduate of Cairo University, Amr has worked for Gallo Multimedia and was head of infographics at Today, a newspaper in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.


Shawn McIntosh is deputy managing editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in Atlanta, Ga. A 1979 graduate of St. Mary’s College in Maryland, Shawn earned a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina. She served as projects editor at USA Today and the Dallas Morning News and edited the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., before joining the AJC in 2002 as a deputy managing editor. She became director of culture and change and then deputy managing editor for news and information before being named public editor in 2009. Find her Twitter feed here.


Laura Mueller is a freelance photojournalist and commercial photographer based in Lake Norman, N.C. A 1984 graduate of Miami University of Oxford, Ohio, Laura earned graduate degrees at the Rochester (N.Y.) Institute of Technology and the University of Canberra, Australia. She spent 21 years as a photographer and photo editor for the Charlotte Observer in Charlotte, N.C.  Among her clients: Lake Norman Magazine, Macy’s, McDonald’s, the YMCA, the Washington Post and the New York Times. Find her web site here.


Tim Wertz is an illustrator and designer for the Sun-Gazette of Williamsport, Pa. Tim has worked there for for 16 years. Find his portfolio here and his blog here. He’s also into paper sculpture and build-it-yourself action figures and toys. Find some examples here.

Amr, Shawn, Laura, Tim and Jeff share a birthday with actors Ewan Gordon McGregor, Ronald “Christopher” Walken, Shirley Mae Jones, George Richard Chamberlain, Gabriel W. “Gabe” Kaplan, William David Daniels, Rhea Jo Perlman and Kate Micucci; musicians Angus McKinnon Young (of AC/DC), Herbert “Herb” Alphert and Franz Joseph Haydn; animator Craig McCracken; sports greats John Arthur “Jack” Johnson (boxing), Gordon “Gordie” Howe and Pavel Vladimirovich Bure (both hockey) and Ed Marinaro (football player-turned-actor); labor leader César Estrada Chávez; fashion designer Anne Elisabeth Jane “Liz” Claiborne; author Felice Leonardo “Leo” Buscaglia, philosopher René Descartes, scientist Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen and politicians Barnett “Barney” Frank and Albert Arnold “Al” Gore Jr.

In addition, today is Bunsen Burner Day, Cesar Chavez Day, National She’s Funny That Way Day, International Hug a Medievalist Day and Terri’s Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, folks! Have a terrific birthday today!