Master artist Fred Matamoros now working for GateHouse center in Austin, Texas

Longtime artist and visual journalist Fred Matamoros is once again working in newspapers.

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My former colleague here at the Orange County Register took one of our now-famous buyouts in June and moved back to Texas. Fred tells us:

I am the first artist here at the GateHouse Media Center for News & Design in Austin. CND is now offering informational graphics and illustrations along with page design.

I’m excited to part of this team, great people and a real busy and progressive newsroom environment.

Fred started his new job earlier this month.

Joe Greco, the director of the GateHouse hub and Fred’s new boss tells us:

Fred’s done some great work for us already in the short time he’s been here. He’s a complete joy to work with and immensely talented. We’re glad he’s on board.

I wanted to be sure you had at least one piece of work he’s done for us. The attached ran in [Sunday's] Rockford Register Star.

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The story was produced as part of our quarterly Pinnacle project series. The stories and Fred’s graphic will be used by a number of GateHouse publications around the country.

A 1985 graduate of Woodbury University in Burbank, Calif., Fred spent four years as a designer and art director for a major L.A. ad agency before becoming a staff artist for the Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif.

He spent three years as assistant graphics editor of the Shreveport (La.) Times and five-and-a-half years as graphics editor of the Olympian in Olympia, Wash., before moving up the road to the Tacoma, Wash., News Tribune in 1999 as an artist and illustrator.

In 2010, Fred moved to Shreveport to become creative director for SB magazine. He worked for a number of design agencies in 2011 and 2012 and then spent a year as a senior graphic artist here at the OC Register.

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Fred with The OC Register’s Kurt Snibbe at a
community graphics workshop in August 2013.

A few samples of Fred’s work:

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Last August, Fred illustrated the front page of the launch day edition of the Long Beach Register.

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He also did three gorgeous Focus pages for me.

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In addition to graphics and illustration work, Fred paints. He told us a while back:

Painting keeps me busy as well. I’m in private collections across the U.S., represented in three galleries and try to keep my website updated often.

A few examples:

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Find his paintings here and his infographics and illustration web site here.

Birthdays for Monday, Oct. 20

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

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Mark Allen is a freelance writer, editor, instructor and consultant based in Columbus, Ohio. A graduate of Central Michigan University, Mark spent seven years as a copy editor and reporter for the Mining Journal of Marquette, Mich., before joining the Grand Rapids Press in 1995. Ten years later, he moved to the Columbus Dispatch. He went freelance in 2009 and currently teaches copy editing for the University of California at San Diego. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here. Mark turns 49 today.

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Dan Barkin is senior editor for online for the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. A product of the University of Virginia, Norfolk’s Old Dominion University (business administration, 1987) and the University of Maryland (master’s degree, 1995), Dan worked as a deputy managing editor for the Virginian-Pilot and assistant business editor of the Baltimore Sun before joining the N&O in 1996 as business editor. He was named deputy managing editor in 2000 and then to his current position in 2008. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Dan turns 61 today.

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Barbara Barkley is assistant to the editor at the Herald of Rock Hill, S.C. A 1976 graduate of Winthrop College, Barbara spent several years as a reporter.

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Patti McCracken is an independent journalist and international media consultant and an adjunct professor at Webster University in Vienna, Austria. A product of Guilford College and George Washington University, Patti has worked for U.S. News & World Report and the Chicago Tribune. She’s taught classes in more than 25 countries across Europe, northern Africa and southeast Asia on reporting, management and visual journalism. She also writes articles for various newspapers, magazines and wire services and is a two-time Knight International Press Fellow. She’s working on her first book — the Angel Makers, a historical true-crime story — which she’s already sold to Simon & Schuster. Find her freelance and consulting service home page here and her Twitter feed here.

Patti, Mark, Barbara and Dan share a birthday with actors John Burke Krasinski, Viggo Peter Mortensen Jr., Robert “Bob” Odenkirk, Jerome Bernard “Jerry” Orbach, William Christopher and Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó (better known as Béla Lugosi); musicians Thomas Earle “Tom” Petty, Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (better known as Jelly Roll Morton) and Cordozar Calvin Broadus (better known as Snoop Dogg); director Daniel “Danny” Boyle; supermodel Candice Swanepoel; psychologist Joyce Diane Bauer Brothers; sports greats Mickey Charles Mantle, Keith Barlow Hernandez, Juan Antonio Marichal Sánchez (all three baseball), Willis Andrew McGahee III and David Michael Krieg (both football); architect Christopher Wren; physicist James Chadwick; Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta; political commentator Michelle Marie Maglalang (better known as Michelle Malkin) and columnists Arthur Buchwald and Lewis McDonald Grizzard Jr.

In addition, today is Birth of the Bab, Lung Health Day, Miss American Rose Day and National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday!

Birthdays for Sunday, Oct. 19

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

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Michael Beniash is sports editor of the Caledonian-Record of St. Johnsbury, Vt. A 2004 graduate of the University of New Mexico, Michael also served as a correspondent for Sports Illustrated On Campus before becoming an agate editor for the Albuquerque Journal. After a year-and-a-half, he was promoted to copy editor and reporter. He moved to the Courier of Littleton, N.H. as sports editor in 2008 and then to his current position in 2009. He also shoots pictures and designs pages. Find his Twitter feed here and his photostream here.

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Bob Britten is a journalism professor at West Virginia University. A 2000 graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., Bob worked as a reporter, graphics reporter, designer, art director and graphics editor at various publications: the Greenville Record-Argus, the Meadville Tribune, the Columbia Missourian and the Seattle Times. He earned a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in 2004 and 2008, respectively. He joined the faculty at WVA in 2008. Find his Comics and Beer blog here, his class blog here and his Twitter feed here. Bob turns 36 today.

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Amy Hughes is a page designer for the Times of Northwest Indiana in Munster. A graduate of Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting, Ind., Amy spent four years as an instructor and newspaper editor at her alma mater. In 2011, she moved to the Times. Amy turns 27 today.

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Kathleen Rudell is a magazine designer for Gannett Custom Media in McLean, Va. A 2009 graduate of Ohio University, Kat worked as a designer for the Kennedy Museum of Art and served a Pulliam Fellowship at the Arizona Republic of Phoenix before joining full-time in 2010. She moved to Gannett Custom Media in 2012. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.

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Christopher Smith is photo editor of the Tulsa World in Oklahoma. A 1996 graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, Chris has worked at the Times of Northwest Indiana, the Gary, Ind., Post-Tribune and the Chicago Tribune. Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here. Chris turns 40 today.

Amy, Kathleen, Bob, Michael and Christopher share a birthday with actors John Arthur Lithgow, John Robert Rietz Jr. (better known as Robert Reed), Harris Glenn Milstead (better known as Divine), Jonathan Kolia “Jon” Favreau, Michael John Gambon, Gillian McLaren Jacobs, Desmond Harrington and Christopher Lee “Chris” Kattan; country musician Jeanne Carolyn Stephenson (better known as Jeannie C. Riley); TV handyman Tygert Bruton “Ty” Pennington; sports greats Evander Holyfield (boxing), Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown, José Antonio Bautista, Michael Brian Young (all three baseball) and Clifford Lynn Dickey (football); ESPN sportscaster Bradley Lee Daugherty; pop artist Peter Max Finkelstein; novelist David John Moore Cornwell (better known as John le Carré); animated cartoon producers Louis Scheimer and Randolph Severn “Trey” Parker III; politician Michael Stephen Steele, columnist Jack Northman Anderson and presidential daughter Amy Lynn Carter.

In addition, today is Evaluate Your Life Day, National Sunday School Teacher Appreciation Day and World Toy Camera Day. Seriously.

Have a truly great birthday today, all! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Saturday, Oct. 18

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to a pair of gifted visual journalists…

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Teresa Kriegsman is director of digital strategy and design at S&A Cherokee, a communications firm based in Raleigh, N.C. A 1988 graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, TK went to work right away as a copy editor and designer for the News & Observer of Raleigh. She was promoted to lead sports designer in 1995, to assistant director of news design in 1998 and then to design editor in 2003. After 23 years of award-winning work and leadership, the News & Observer laid her off in 2011, along with her entire staff. She taught a class at UNC as an adjunct and earned a master’s in technology and communication earlier this year. She joined S&A Cherokee in 2012 and was promoted to her current position last year. Her husband, Roger Friedensen, is a noted PR expert.

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Jonathan Winters is an independent filmmaker based in Scottsdale, Ariz. A 2005 graduate of the Collins College school of video game design and technology, Jonathan has worked as a staff and free-lance writer, marketing assistant, photographer, designer, art director, filmmaker and consultant. In 2011, he earned a degree from Arizona State University, where he also art-directed the student magazine there, the State Press.

Jonathan and TK share a birthday with actors George Campbell Scott, Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg (better known as Jean-Claude Van Damme), Peter Lawrence Boyle Jr., Erin Marie Moran, Pam Dawber, Dawn Elberta Wells, Freida Pinto, Tyler Garcia Posey and Zachary David Alexander Efron; musicians Esperanza Spalding, Shaffer Chimere Smith (better known as Ne-Yo), Tyrone  Learson “Wynton” Marsalis and Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry; TV producer Charles Michael Levine (better known as Chuck Lorre); sports greats Lindsey Caroline Kildow Vonn (skiing), Martina Navratilova (tennis), Brittney Yevette Griner (basketball), Willie Wattison Horton (baseball), Alvis Forrest Gregg, Michael Keller “Mike” Ditka, Jr. (both football), Frank Beamer (football coach) and Keith Jackson (announcer); sports radio host Christopher Michael “Chris” Russo; Turner Sports reporter Rachel Nichols; physicist Ernst Pascual Jordan; lone gunman Lee Harvey Oswald, political daughter Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin and politicians Joseph Philippe Pierre Yves Elliott Trudeau and Jesse Alexander Helms Jr.

In addition, today is Sweetest Day, Bridge Day, World Menopause Day, National Chocolate Cupcake Day and Hard Boiled Guy/Girl Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, you two! Have a terrific birthday today!

A paper with a mouthful of a name redesigns… and shortens that name

The Intelligencer Journal and Lancaster New Era of Lancaster, Pa. — circulation 78,819 — launched a redesign Thursday.

This was one of the more extensive print renovations I’ve seen lately: A big part of the change included a new name for the newspaper.

While I’d normally advise against changing the name of a 220-year-old newspaper, I think I like this change a lot. Can you imagine answering the phone and saying:

Good morning… Intelligencer Journal and Lancaster New Era… (gasp for breath)… How may I direct your call?

The new name has only three letters in it. On the left is a front page from last week. On the right is Thursday’s debut front page.

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LNP President John Kirkpatrick — his friends call him Kirkwrites in a column on Thursday’s front page that…

…the name change “reflect(s) our full integration as a complete, multiplatform media company.

With the LNP name and “Always Lancaster” tagline, your new newspaper embraces who we are and who we serve — Lancaster County. Our company is now LNP Media Group, Inc., which includes LancasterOnline, the home of our quickly expanding digital offerings and a forum for community engagement.

As Kirk writes, the paper’s owners — the Steinman family — bought the paper soon after the Civil War. So that’s a lot of history they were potentially tossing away with the name change.

Visual editor Patrick Kirchner tells us…

The (new) logo was created by JPL Creative out of Harrisburg; they handled the branding and marketing efforts of the redesign.

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A  spadea that wrapped around Thursday’s paper explained the new logo:

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Q. What does the green part of the N represent?

A. It turns out it means different things to different people. Some folks see a blade of grass. Others see the green-covered fields around the county. Still others think of it as corn stalks or as the farmland of Lancaster County. But regardless of what individuals associate with the green swoosh, they almost all feel it represents our county.


UPDATE – 10 a.m. PDT

Because it’s come up already on my social media feeds, here’s a little more from the paper about the “LNP” non-acronym…

Q. Why did you change the name of my paper?

A. When the evening and morning papers were consolidated in 2009 the names of the three newspapers — Intelligencer Journal, Lancaster New Era and Sunday News — were retained. As a result, members of the community simplified our name by calling us Lancaster Newspapers. So we decided to take their lead.

Q. Why LNP? And why was the tagline Always Lancaster chosen?

A. We talked with the community. We spent 15 months asking questions and conducting research with people in the community. LNP resonated fully with residents in all age groups. We also knew we needed a unique and contemporary nameplate. We chose “Always Lancaster” as a tagline based on our deep and historic connection to Lancaster County and the people who live here.

So enough about the logo — let’s move on to the rest of the paper. Here is today’s Day Two front page:

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Very clean. The use of white space is particularly nice. And I’m amazed by the ear at the upper right of the page. The best word I can think of to describe it is understated.

Patrick tells us:

We’ve introduced a new 12-column grid, more white space, and typefaces with high utility/readability, all with the goal of better organization and a more approachable feel.

The  spadea also addressed the new typography:

Q. Did you change the text typeface throughout the refreshed paper?

A. Yes. Our readers have told us they want a type that is easier to read. The new typeface is actually larger with a little more space between each line of type. We have experimented with the new typeface on a variety of stories over the last couple of months and have received great feedback.

The new body copy type is Chronicle Text.

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The new headline font is Sentinel (the slab serif that works, Hoefler & Co. says).

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The secondary display or accent font is Gotham Narrow.

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The other thing to note, typographically: The new LNP uses lots and lots of italics.

In the old format, the B section was local and biz. Patrick explains:

Structurally, the new design features a three-section paper Monday-Saturday, with a B section that rotates through a different theme each day.

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Those themes are as follows…

Monday: Trending (everything from hard-hitting health and education trends to fun pop culture items)
Tuesday: Business
Wednesday: Food
Thursday: Home & Garden
Friday: Together (stories of family and community issues)
And Saturday: Faith & Values

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Sunday’s edition will be a larger, 8-section paper with more comprehensive coverage.

I really love that Trending section prototype — or, at least, the part that I can see here. Very nice.

The third daily section is sports. Here’s a before-and-after look at the sports front.

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Patrick continues:

On the A2 page every day, we’re featuring a section called Speed Read, which designed for quick, informative reading.

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It features a quick-hit summary of news stories (and some fun, quirky blurbs) in digestible bites.

Lending a consulting hand with the project was my old friend Paul Wallen. I’ve barely heard a peep from him since he moved to ESPN the Magazine, eight months ago.

Patrick tells us Paul…

…was instrumental and fantastic to work with. Our design aesthetics are very similar, and we both share the belief that design – especially in a newsroom setting — needs to maintain equal parts utility and elegance. We had a great working relationship throughout this process; we couldn’t have selected a more talented and flexible designer for the project.

Paul adds:

Not only am I from that area of Pennsylvania, I was born at the Lancaster General Hospital just a few blocks down from the newspaper building. It was a real treat to be involved in a newspaper redesign for my native city!

Here’s the spadea explaining the features of the redesign. Click this — or any of the images above — for a larger look.

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Find Kirk’s Thursday column, plus most of the text of the Q&A from the spadea — along with comments from readers — here.