Birthdays for Monday, Sept. 29

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

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Tan Ly is president of Visually Dynamic, a firm that designs digital and print products and based in Washington, D.C. A 1996 graduate of the University of Oklahoma, Tan spent four years as a designer for the Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and then three more with the San Jose Mercury News before joining the Washington Post in 2003. He served as financial design director, A1 and enterprise designer and lead Sunday designer before being named deputy news editor and business design director. He left to open his design firm in 2012. Tan also spent four years as president of the D.C. chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. Find his company’s Twitter feed here.

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David Newhouse is editor at large for Advance Publications. A graduate of Cornell University, David spent ten years in retail, with his children’s store named “Best in Boston” by Boston magazine. David went to work for the Times of Trenton, N.J. as a reporter, working his way up to assistant managing editor. He moved to Harrisburg, Pa., in 2001 and was editor of the Patriot-News for 11 years. In 2004, the Patriot-News was named one of Editor & Publisher‘s “Ten That Do It Right.” In March 2012, David was awarded the Benjamin C. Bradlee award by the National Press Foundation as editor of the year in the wake of the Patriot-News’ Penn State coverage. The next month, of course, the paper won a Pulitzer for that coverage. David stepped down in May of that year.

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Bill Pitzer is senior visual information designer for Kwikpoint, a publisher of visual information guides based in Alexandria, Va. A 1981 graduate of Glenville State College in West Virginia, Bill worked at the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader and the Virginian-Pilot before moving to the Charlotte Observer in 1998 as news graphics editor. He left the Observer in 2011. He has created top-quality freelance infographics for a number of clients including National Geographic magazine. He earned a master’s degree from Appalachian State University in 2006 and now teaches — via the web — at West Virginia University. Find his online portfolio here, his blog here and his Twitter feed here.

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Laurie Mansfield Reiter is an editor for Fox Sports in Los Angeles, Calif. A 1998 graduate of Ohio University, Laurie earned a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri. Laurie spent five years as a features reporter for the Des Moines Register before moving to the Kansas City Star in 2007 as assistant features editor. She was promoted to assistant managing editor a year later. She launched Ink, a free tabloid, in January 2008. When her husband, sports columnist Bill Reiter, moved west last summer, she moved as well. Find Laurie’s Twitter feed here.

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Werner Walters is a senior applications and system specialist for Media24 in Cape Town, South Africa. A graduate of two different technological schools, Werner worked in customer support for technical support firms before joining Media24 in 2005. Werner turns 33 today.

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Lynne Wynn is a stay-at-home mother of three in Centerville, Ohio. But 30 years ago, she wrote and edited for the Johnsonian, the student newspaper of Winthrop College. Where she worked with me during our senior year.

Tan, Werner, Laurie, Lynne, David and Bill share a birthday with actors Zachary Levi Pugh, Madeline Gail Wolfson (better known as Madeline Kahn), Paul MacKenzie Crook, Alexis Cruz, Jill Whelan, Lawrence Lavon “Larry” Linville and Andrew Clay Silverstein (better known as Andrew Dice Clay); musicians Orvon Eugene “Gene” Autry, Leland Michael Postil (better known as Mike Post), Jerry Lee Lewis, Suzzy Roche (of the Roches) and Dallas Green (of Alexisonfire); TV host Bryant Gumbel; director Stanley Earl Kramer; sports greats Kevin Wayne Durant, John MacBeth Paxson (both basketball), Warren Livingston Cromartie (baseball), Andriy Mykolayovych Shevchenko (soccer), Calvin Johnson (football) and Oail Andrew “Bum” Phillips (football coach); physicist Enrico Fermi; English naval commander Horatio Nelson; Medal of Honor recipient Gary George Wetzel; authors Norman Colin Dexter and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra; Australian prime minister Julia Eileen Gillard and labor leader-turned-Polish president Lech Wałęsa.

In addition, today is International Coffee Day, VFW Day, World Maritime Day and National Attend Your Grandchild’s Birth Day. Seriously.

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

When numbers are the story, make numbers the centerpiece

Looks like a big percentage of the money pouring in to campaign for Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell and his opponent is coming from outside the state. The nation’s investment bankers re supporting the Republican incumbent. Trial layers and labor unions are supporting Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes, reports the Courier-Journal of Louisville.

The race looks like it’ll be the most expensive senate campaign in U.S. history.

Typically, a story like this would be illustrated with pictures from the campaign trail. Bar and pie charts would be displayed inside.

That wasn’t the case for today’s paper. Click for a larger look:

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Kyle Slagle of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville tells us:

We’ve exhausted our stores of McConnell and Grimes file art, and the story was all about the numbers anyway. So the package became all about the numbers.

Looks like a great choice. Several sets of data are represented here, including where the “bundles” of contributions are coming from…

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…the number of billionaires contributing to one candidate or the other…

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…the amounts each candidate has received from political action committees…

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…where the contributions are coming from…

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…and, of course, the total amount of money donated.

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In addition, there were two more inside: Contributions by zip code…

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…and a look at the percent each candidate received from “small money” contributors.

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If you think it looks like McConnell is stomping Grimes in most categories, you’re not alone. The paper reports today the Grimes campaign is “sputtering.”

Average daily circulation for the Courier-Journal is 154,033.

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Kyle Slagle is a designer for the Gannett design studio in Louisville, Ky. A 2007 graduate of West Virginia University, Kyle spent nearly three years as a designer for Matthews International, a signage design firm in Kingwood, W.Va. He moved to the Gazette of Charleston, W.Va., in 2010 as a features designer and was promoted to design editor in 2011. He moved to Louisville in 2013.

Find Kyle’s portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

That front page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Birthdays for Sunday, Sept. 28

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

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Latane Avery is a stay-at-home mom in Norfolk, Va. A 1984 graduate of the University of Virginia, Latane spent several years at the Virginian-Pilot, including serving as features editor. She turns 52 today.

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Clif Page is a freelance photographer and designer in Pittsburgh, Pa. A 1977 graduate of Ohio University, Clif supervised the photo department at the New Castle (Pa.) News before joining the Beaver County Times in Beaver, Pa., in 1988. He spent 21 years there until the Times laid him off. Since then, Clif has worked as a freelance shooter and as a designer for the Greensheet newspaper in Pittsburgh. He turns 59 today.

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Nicole Vas is a designer for the Gannett Design Studio in Phoenix, Ariz. A 2010 graduate of UCLA, Nicole served as assistant design director and then design director of the student newspapers there, the Daily Bruin. She also worked internships for Tokyopop — a publisher of manga and graphic novels — and the Daily Journal, a legal newspaper in Los Angeles. She earned a master’s degree from Syracuse last year and started work in Phoenix immediately after. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here.

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Michelle Moriarity Witt is managing editor of the History Factory, a research and publishing firm in Washington, D.C. A 2000 graduate of the University of Minnesota, Michelle spent two years as a copy editor for the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune and then another year editing for the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer before moving to the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., in 2003. She earned a master’s degree from N.C. State University in 2005, left newspapers in 2008 and worked in a series of public relations and content generation positions before joining up with the History Factory in 2012.

Nicole, Michelle, Latane and Clif share a birthday with actors Janeane Garofalo, Hilary Erhard Duff, Naomi Watts, Mira Katherine Sorvino, Jeffrey Duncan Jones, Moon Unit Zappa, Brigitte Anne-Marie Bardot and Arnold Stang; musicians Cora Walton (better known as Koko Taylor) and Benjamin Earl “Ben E.” King; comedian Howard Gerald “Jerry” Clower; TV host Edward Vincent “Ed” Sullivan; sports greats Se Ri Pak (golf), Maximillian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schmeling (boxer), Ryan Wallace Zimmerman (baseball) and Steven Michael “Steve” Largent (football player-turned-politician); CBS founder William Samuel Paley; music journalist Chuck Taylor; cartoonist Alfred Gerald Caplin (better known as Al Capp) and Chinese philosopher Confucius.

In addition, today is National Good Neighbor Day, World Rabies Day, International Right to Know Day, National Drink Beer Day and Gold Star Mothers Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, guys! Have an wonderful birthday today!

KC Star celebrates making the baseball playoffs

I once worked for a sports editor who didn’t like celebration shots — especially as lead art. “They all look the same,” he complained.

The older I get, the less I agree with him. Did you see the front of today’s Kansas City Star?

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The Royals celebrate their first playoff appearance in 29 years. That’s longer than most of the players have been alive.

The picture is by staffer Shane Keyser. Front page designer Charles Gooch tells us:

It was a fun page to turn on deadline for sure.

And the Star wasn’t afraid to have a little fun with the nameplate, too.

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Isn’t that brilliant? The Goochmeister tells us:

We’ve been having fun with our nameplate for a while now. On most holidays, we break out our interpretation of a Google doodle.

The crown — which is the top part of the Royals shield logo…

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…came after a long brainstorming session with Greg Branson (our AME of Presentation and Innovation) and ace artist Neil Nakahodo.

I’m just glad I didn’t jinx the Royals. I never did start designing the back-up plan.

The Star is already selling T-shirts with today’s front page on them.

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Find them here for $19.95.

Average daily circulation for the Star is 200,365.

That page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Birthdays for Saturday, Sept. 27

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

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Elise Burroughs is a communications and event planning consultant based in Providence, R.I. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Elise spent six years as editor of Presstime magazine. She became director of technology conferences for the Newspaper Association of America in 2001 and then was executive director of the Society for News Design from 2004 to 2009. Elise also wrote for North Kingstown’s local Patch site.

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Kori Rumore Finley is a multimedia graphics producer for the Chicago Tribune. A 2001 graduate of the University of Missouri, Kori spent nearly four years as a designer with the Daily News of Naples, Fla., before moving to Tucson’s Arizona Daily Star in 2007 as a multimedia artist. She also wrote a monsoon blog for the Daily Star. Kori moved to the Tribune last year. Her husband, Patrick Finley, covers the Bears for the Chicago Sun-Times. Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

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John Harman is a senior graphic artist for Gannett Government Media in Springfield, Va. A 1997 graduate of the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas, John has spent 15 years at what used to be known as Army Times Publishing. Read here about one very cool project he worked on. John turns 39 today.

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Chelsea Schneider Kirk is a state political reporter for the Courier & Press of Evansville, Ind. A 2008 graduate of Franklin College in Franklin, Tenn., Chelsea served internships with the Courier & Press and the Daily Journal of Kankakee, Ill., before accepting a Pulliam Fellowship at the Arizona Republic before her senior year. Upon graduation, she returned to Phoenix. She and her husband, Joey Kirk, moved to the Chicago area in 2009. After three years covering transportation issues for the Post-Tribune of Merrillville, Ind, she moved to the Times of Munster, Ind., in 2012 and then to her current position this past spring. Find her Twitter feed here. Chelsea turns 29 today.

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Chris Lee is a graphics and user interface designer for University of Wisconsin Health in Madison, Wis. A 2009 graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Chris served as a designer and political cartoonist for the student Daily Eastern News. He interned in 2008 at the Register Star of Rockford, Ill. and in 2009 at the Arizona Republic as a Pulliam Fellow. He freelanced and worked for Perma-Bound Books in Springfield, Ill., before joining UW Health in 2012. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Chris turns 29 today.

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Lillian Mayor is a front page designer for the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A 1992 graduate of the University of Florida, Lill worked as a designer for the Orange County Register, the Desert Sun of Palm Springs, Calif. and the Herald Tribune of Sarasota, Fla., before moving to the St. Petersburg Times in 2009. She spent a year with the Times and then two years with the Times‘ tabloid, tbt, before moving to the new Media General design hub in Tampa in 2011. She moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2012. Find her portfolio here.

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Rachel Orr is a designer for Express, the free, youth-oriented tab published by the Washington Post. A 2011 graduate of Ohio University, she served as a designer for the student newspaper there, the Post, for the school’s fashion magazine, Thread, and the environmental magazine, College Green. She also served as promotions chair for the Ohio University Multimedia Society. Upon graduation, she went to work for the Gannett Design Studio in Phoenix, where she primarily built features pages for the Arizona Republic. She moved to Express last winter. Find her web site here, her NewsPageDesigner portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Rachel turns 25 today.

Rachel, Chris, Chelsea, Kori, John, Elise and Lillian share a birthday with actors Gwyneth Kate Paltrow, Sofia Milos, Allen Wilford Brimley, William Cann (better known as William Conrad), Francis Gregory Alan “Greg” Morris and Shaun Paul Cassidy; musicians Avril Ramona Lavigne, Stephan Jenkins (of Third Eye Blind), Bradley Kirk Arnold (of 3 Doors Down), Randolph Charles “Randy” Bachman (of Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. (better known as Lil Wayne) and Marvin Lee Aday (better known as Meat Loaf); TV host Donald Cortez “Don” Cornelius; director Arthur Hiller Penn; sports greats Michael Jack “Mike” Schmidt (baseball), Stephen Douglas “Steve” Kerr (basketball), Mike Donovan (boxer) and Richard Jay “Dick” Schaap (sportswriter); photojournalist Dith Pran; comic book creator James “Jim” Shooter; politician Samuel James “Sam” Ervin Jr. and brewer-turned-patriot Samuel Adams.

In addition to R.E.A.D. in America Day, today is Ancestor Appreciation Day, National Museum Day, National Hunting and Fishing Day, Kids Day, International Lace Day, International Rabbit Day, Fish Amnesty Day, Family Health and Fitness Day and Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Seriously.

Have an excellent birthday today, all! Best wishes!