Birthdays for Tuesday, April 28

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

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Luis Rendon is a sports designer for the San Francisco Chronicle. A 2010 Cum Laude graduate of Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, Luis served as editor-in-chief of the school’s paper, the Lasso. He moved on to Syracuse University, where he was design editor for the Daily Orange, art director of Medley magazine, creative director of Barcode magazine and taught an undergraduate class in the Adobe Creative Suite while working towards a Master’s degree. He spent the summer of 2011 as an intern with the Milwaukee, Wis., Journal Sentinel before joining the Colorado Springs Gazette that fall. He moved to the Victoria (Texas) Advocate in 2012 and then to the Chronicle in 2013. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Luis turns 27 today.

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Darci Rae is digital operations director for the Amarillo Globe-News and amarillo.com. A graduate of West TExas A&M University, Darci has spent nearly a decade with the Globe-News. She also volunteers with the local United Way.

Darci and Luis share a birthday with actors Jessica Marie Alba, Penélope Cruz Sánchez, Jorge García, Ann Margret Olsson, Carolyn Sue Jones and Lionel Herbert Blythe (better known as Lionel Barrymore); musician Melvin Wayne Osmond; comedian James Douglas Muir “Jay” Leno; sports greats Bradley Wiggins (cycling), John Daly, Hal Evan Sutton (both golf), Barry Louis Larkin, David Richard Freese (both baseball), Daequan Cook (basketball) and Kenjon Barner (football); car designer Ferruccio Elio Arturo Lamborghini; author Nelle Harper Lee; Supreme Court justice Elena Kagan; President James Monroe; Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein And al-Majid al-Tikriti and German businessman and Holocaust hero Oskar Schindler.

In addition, today is Biological Clock Day, Workers Memorial Day and the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. Seriously.

Best wishes, you two! Have a terrific birthday!

Here’s an idea you might try: Find a local photographer who shoots the night sky

I just love astronomy. I tried to work astronomy into my Focus pages every once in a while in California.

Remembering that, perhaps, Philip Maramba – managing editor of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail – shares something really cool his paper ran on Friday.

He tells us:

Our photographer, Tom Hindman, spends a lot of time outdoors and churns out wonderful nature images on Facebook and his blog. In particular, his starscapes from various points around West Virginia draw plenty of oohs and ahhs on social media and drew the attention of our features editor, Billy Wolfe, himself a photographer as well.

With the weather finally warming up, Billy thought it would be a neat idea to interview Tom to share some tips on how to get good starry sky photos.

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One of the photos inspired Billy to see if we could incorporate it into the nameplate to promote the feature. We set our graphic artist, Kevin Cade, to thinking on it and, well, you can see the results. Everyone seemed pretty happy with it.

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The story is full of really good tips for readers who have access to nice equipment and would like to try their hand at some amateur astronomy. Read the story here and see if there’s anything you might take away to do your own version with a star shooter in your own neck of  the woods.

Average daily circulation for the Charleston Daily Mail is 17,879.

Robert Newman named creative director of This Old House magazine

Magazine visuals guru Robert Newman announced on social media this weekend:

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve been hired as the creative director of This Old House magazine.

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I start work there on May 4, and am excited to be joining the talented team led by editor Scott Omelianuk and including director of photography Denise Sfraga and art director Jamie Dannecker, as well as many other good folks. This Old House is a forward-looking, multi-platform brand, with energetic projects of all kinds. And just as exciting, it has a vibrant print magazine and a passionate audience. It’s going to be a lot of fun (and very challenging!).

A 1974 graduate of the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, Robert spent more than 26 years in visual leadership positions of a number of publications: Guitar World, the Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Details, Vibe, Inside, Real Simple and Fortune.

A few samples of his art direction over the years…

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Find more at his web site.

Robert spent four years as a consultant, working with clients such as AARP magazine, JCK magazine and TV Guide. He got into iPad design, helped set up an iPad app for Reader’s Digest and then was hired as that magazine’s creative director. He worked there for a year before going back into consulting in 2012.

In addition, Robert is a member of the board of the Society of Publication Designers.

In March 2013, Robert was visiting family in Florida when he suffered a seizure and then severe head trauma in a fall during that seizure. He was rushed to a hospital but then suffered a brain hemorrhage. He was in a coma for weeks, in a respirator.

He spent the past couple of years recovering from that incident — aided, in part, with his friends in the visual journalism world (see here and here).

Find Robert’s Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Monday, April 27

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to Charlie Weaver, the publisher and CEO of Emerald Media Group, the independent student publications at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

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A 2005 graduate of Iowa State in Ames, Charlie stayed on at that institution to help out with the independently operated student publication, the Iowa State Daily. For the next several years, he served as design director and online/social media director. Previously, he had been the art director of Dimensional Graphics and the Printing Office, doing everything from design to editing to running a press. Charlie moved to Oregon last spring.

Charlie shares a birthday with actors Jenna-Louise Coleman, Jacob Joachim “Jack” Klugman, Sandra Dale “Sandy” Dennis, François Sorya Dreyfus (better known as Anouk Aimée) and William Peter Moseley; musicians Sheena Shirley Orr (better known as Sheena Easton) and Paul Daniel “Ace” Frehley; radio host Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem; TV producer Stephen Russell Davies (better known as Russell T Davies); sports greats Rogers Hornsby, Christopher John “Chris” Carpenter (both baseball), Lee Roy Jordan and Charles David Whitehurst (football), Charles Robert “Chuck” Knox (football coach) and Earl Roderick Anthony (bowling); civil rights icon Coretta Scott King; general-turned U.S. president Hiram Ulysses “Ulysses S.” Grant; con man Frank William Abagnale Jr., inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse and Washington Post columnist Dana Timothy Milbank.

In addition, today is Babe Ruth Day and Morse Code Day. Seriously.

Have a great birthday, Charlie! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Sunday, April 26

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

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John Hornberg is a sports copy editor and designer for the Bakersfield Californian. A 2009 graduate of San Jose State University, John served as managing editor and then executive editor of the school’s student paper, the Spartan Daily. After a copy-editing internship at the Los Angeles Times, John spent a year as a copy editor of Comstock’s magazine before moving to the Advocate of Victoria, Texas, as a sports reporter in 2010. He was named sports editor in 2011 and moved back to California in 2013. Find his Twitter feed here.

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Augustinho Rocha is an e-commerce manager for Visonde Logistica in Ponta Grossa, Brazil. Previously, he was a news artist for Jornal Hora de Santa Catarina, Jornal Bom Dia and Diario Catarinense. Find his Twitter feed here. Augustinho turns 38 today.

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Shraddha Swaroop is a product designer for the LRN Corp. of Los Angeles. A 1994 graduate of Cal State Fullerton, Shraddha spent two years as a designer and editor for the North County Times in Escondido, Calif. and two years with a suburban Los Angeles newspaper group before joining the San Jose Mercury News in 2000. Shraddha leaped to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., in 2007. She free-lanced for a while and joined the Los Angeles Times in 2008, prototyping, launching and then designing the Envelope features tab as well as the Image, Home, Arts & Books sections and the daily and Sunday Calendar pages. She’s also worked for Variety, SuperMedia of Los Amamitos, Gateway of Phoenix, Ariz., the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and Premier Woodworks of Bend, Ore. Shraddha also spent three years as the director of Region 2 of the Society for News Design. Find her portfolio site here and her Twitter feed here.

In addition, your not-quite-so-humble blogger — Charles Apple – turns 53 today.

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I’m a graduate of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. — although it wasn’t Winthrop University when I was there. It was just plain ol’ Winthrop College. I graduated in 1984 after several years of working in the school’s sports information operation and stringing for the Charlotte Observer.

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Two pictures of me at the Athens Banner-Herald,
around 1987 or so. On the left is my first Mac.
On the right, I’m drawing an editorial cartoon.

I spent several years working at small papers: the Athens, Ga., Banner-Herald and Daily News and the Rock Hill Herald. I joined the staff of the Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer in 1993, won a handful of SND awards for graphics and graphics reporting…

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…and, very shortly, found myself working at the Chicago Tribune.

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My award-winning staff at
 the Virginian-Pilot in 2007.


I entered the world of management in 1999 at the Des Moines Register and then moved to the Virginian-Pilot in 2003. After the Pilot eliminated my department and my position, I spent a brief time with the Sporting News in Charlotte, N.C.

For the next four-and-a-half years, I worked as as a free-lance instructor, consultant, writer and designer, teaching news design and graphics seminars around the country. I spent a total of eight months consulting for newspapers in South Africa. I also taught in the Philippines, in Nigeria and in Kenya.

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Teaching in Nigeria in 2012.


Mostly, though, I blogged. Blogging has never paid anything. But during my long years out of work, it keep me productive and positive — at times — and it allowed me to help make your life and your job a little easier. And, perhaps, a little more fun.

Or, at least, that was my hope.

All that changed in 2013, however, when I was hired by the Orange County Register of Santa Ana, Calif., in the southern suburbs of Los Angeles, not far from Anaheim and Disneyland. I designed a five-days-a-week feature the paper called Focus: A full-page, single-topic look at an issue in the news.

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Last winter, I made the move to Victoria, Texas, to become managing editor for visuals of the Victoria Advocate.

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Find my portfolio here.

I live in Victoria with my 22-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. My wife, Sharon — a special ed teacher — is helping take care of her folks in Atlanta.

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I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you’ve not friended me, please feel free.

John, Augustinho, Shraddha and I share a birthday with actors Channing Matthew Tatum, Thomas John Patrick “Tom” Welling, Li Lian Jie (better known as Jet Li), Kevin George Knipfing (better known as Kevin James), Carol Creighton Burnett, Jason Daniel Earles, Marceline Ann Williams (better known as Spice Williams-Crosby), Joan Chong Chen and Kathleen Dee-Ann “Koo” Stark; musicians Robert Louis Ridarelli (better known as Bobby Rydell), Duane Eddy, Jonathan “Jon” Lee (of S Club 7), Stanley Wayne “Jay” DeMarcus Jr. (of Rascal Flatts) and Gary Malcolm Wright; sports greats John Robert Isner (tennis) and Amos Joseph Otis (baseball); architect Ieoh Ming “I.M.” Pei; landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead; naturalist and painter John James Audubon, Nazi war criminal Rudolf Walter Richard Hess and former prisoner of war Jessica Dawn Lynch.

In addition, today is Audubon Day, Mother, Father Deaf Day, National Kids and Arts Day, National Pretzel Day, Pinhole Photography Day, Richter Scale Day, Hug an Australian Day, National Help a Horse Day and Do Dah Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have an excellent birthday today!