For your consideration…

One hundred years ago today, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. This was the official start to what would become known as the Great War and, later still, World War I.

The Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla., commemorated this with a gorgeous poster display on page one today:


Editor Bonita Burton gave credit today to designer Adam Rogers.

So why did Austria-Hungary declare war on Serbia?

The previous month, the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne had been assassinated by Serbian nationalists in Sarajevo. That assassination had turned into a bit of an Inspector Clouseau operation itself: A bomb failed to do the job. The Archduke and his wife went on to make their daily appointments. A gun attack later that day also failed.

At some point, however, the Archduke’s driver made a wrong turn and doubled back, giving one lone assassin — a 19-year-old kid — yet another opportunity. Which he took.

In return for the assassination, Austria-Hungaria made a series of ultimatums. Serbia failed to honor those ultimatiums — in fact, no one was really surprised when they didn’t.

As a result, thanks to a dizzying array of treaties throughout Europe, a series of dominoes began to fall…

  • JULY 28 Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia. Russia immediately begins mobilizing
    for war.
  • AUG. 1 Germany declares war on Russia …
  • AUG. 3 …and Russia’s ally, France.
  • AUG. 4 Germany starts toward Paris via the quickest route: Attacking Belgium.
  • AUG. 4 England honors a 75-year-old treaty with Belgium by declaring war on Germany. England’s entry into the war, in theory, pulls in its colonies and dominions: Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa.
  • AUG. 19 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declares the U.S. to be neutral.
  • AUG. 23 Japan honors a treaty with England and declares war on Germany.
  • AUG. 25 Austria-Hungary retaliates by declaring war on Japan.

Eventually, 40 countries were dragged into the conflict — including the United States, somewhat reluctantly — in 1917.

That list was part of a Focus page I built last month to run on the anniversary of the assassination:


Perhaps the very best take I’ve ever seen on this topic, however, was by the Onion. Check out the decks on their faux page:


That pretty much sums it all up.

Average daily circulation of the Villages Daily Sun is 44,624.

That Daily Sun page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Volunteer effort uses a 3D printer to build a child a ‘robohand’

Adam C. McHugh, national and special projects manager for the GateHouse Media hub in Austin, Texas, writes to point out a story that ran in Sunday’s Rockford (Ill.) Register Star.

He tells us the story…

…is about how a group of high school students used a 3-D printer to design a prosthetic hand for a 9-year-old girl, saving her family tens of thousands of dollars and helping her feel like a normal kid.


Reporter Corina Curry and photographer Brent Lewis spent  a lot of time with the family and students, and worked with the Center for News & Design to put together the two-part series.

Here was Sunday’s front page…


…which jumped to the doubletruck…


…and then wrapped up on page 10.


Here’s a closer look at the graphic by Christopher D. Foster.


The two-day series concluded with today’s installment.


The story jumped to the bottom right of page four of today’s paper.


Adam writes:

I handled the design with the help of G.W. Babb, who has been a great addition to our team in Austin.

The photographer, Brent Lewis, also designed the interactive version.


Average daily circulation for the Rockford Register Star is 65,224.

Birthdays for Monday, July 28

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


Liza Albrecht is media manager for the Democratic Alliance party of the Western Cape of South Africa. A 1993 graduate of Stellenbosch University near Cape Town, Liza spent time as an assistant editor at die Burger of Cape Town and then national editor of the newspaper’s supplement. She served several years as the editor of Rapport, the Afrikaans-language national Sunday paper of South Africa published by Media24 in Johannesburg. The 2010 winner of the national Women in Media award, Liza was appointed to a new post in 2011 in which she oversaw digital operations for all of Media24′s Afrikaans-language newspapers. Liza left Media24 in 2012. Find her Twitter feed here. Liza turns 40 today.


Michael Dupras is a staff performance and development specialist for the Syracuse Media Group in Syracuse, N.Y. A 1994 graduate of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Michael spent three years as a copy editor and graphics editor of the Daily Item in Sunbury, Pa., before moving to the Syracuse Post-Standard in 1997. He served as a staff artist and art director before moving to the online side in 2007 as web development editor. He earned a master’s degree from Syracuse in 2009 and started his current duties in 2013. Find his personal web site here and his Twitter feed here. Michael turns 42 today.


Scott Griffin is design editor of the Republican-American in Waterbury, Conn. A 1989 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Martin, Scott spent four-and-a-half years as a sportswriter, copy editor and designer for the Northwest Florida Daily-News in Fort Walton, Fla. before moving to Connecticut in 1994. Scott earned a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac in 2001 and taught newswriting and editing as an adjunct there in 2002 and 2003. Nearly four years ago, Scott opened a fried chicken restaurant called Griff’s Chicken Shack in the nearby college town of Hamden. However, he shut the place down last summer. Find his news design portfolio here. Scott turns 48 today.


Ashley Kritzer is a reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal, specializing in real estate and retail. A 2006 graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ashley worked at the Progress of Clearfield, Pa. and the Lewistown (Pa.) Sentinel before joining the Altoona Mirror of Altoona, Pa., in 2007 as a features designer and copy editor. She moved to Florida in early 2010 to be near her sweetie, who she married in 2011. She spent four years with the Jacksonville Business Journal. She moved to Tampa Bay in June. Find her Twitter feed here and her Instagram page here. Ashley turns 30 today.


Will Pfeifer is marketing coordinator for Data Dimensions of Janesville, Wis., and a comic book writer. A 1989 graduate of Kent State University, Will spent 18 years as a designer, editor and movie columnist for the Rockford (Ill.) Register Star. He left newspapers in 2012 and spent a year with the Rosecrance Health Network in Rockford. In addition, he self-publishes comic books. Buy a collection of his best work here. He’s done a bit of freelance writing for DC Comics, including Catwoman, Aquaman and Red Hood and the Outlaws. As of this summer, he’s the regular writer on the newly-relaunched Teen Titans comic.


Find his personal blog here. Will turns 47 today.


Emily Rosenbaum is editor of national and international news desk of the Chicago Tribune media group. A 1991 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Emily spent eight years as a copy editor with the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. She moved to the Dallas Morning News in 1999 but then moved to the Tribune in 2000. She spent four years on the copy desk, moved to the international desk and then was named music editor. She took a year off in 2009 to live and write from Tanzania. She returned to work with the night desk and with RedEye. Emily moved to her current position in 2010. Find her Twitter feed here.

Ashley, Emily, Liza, Michael, Will and Scott share a birthday with actors Elizabeth Berkley, Sally Ann Struthers, Philip Proctor, Lori Anne Loughlin and Joseph Evans Brown; musicians DeAndre Cortez Way (better known as Soulja Boy), Hubert Prior “Rudy” Vallée, Ayla Marie Brown and Richard William “Rick” Wright of Pink Floyd; sports greats Vida Rochelle Blue Jr. (baseball), Ryan Timothy Tannehill III (football), Paul Douglas “Doug” Collins and Emanuel David “Manu” Ginóbili (both basketball); basketball great-turned-politician William Warren “Bill” Bradley; Venezuelan leader Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías; first lady-turned-book editor Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy Onassis; author Helen Beatrix Potter and Garfield cartoonist James Robert “Jim” Davis.

In addition, today is National Milk Chocolate Day, World Hepatitis Day and Buffalo Soldiers Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a wonderful birthday today!

Birthdays for Sunday, July 27

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


Marietta Nelson-Bittle is a former reporter for the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, Wash. A graduate of Iowa State University, she turns 44 today.


Ashley Cappellazzi is a designer for Gannett’s Design Studio in Phoenix, Ariz. A 2012 graduate of Ohio University, Ashley served as a residence hall assistant and a designer for the school’s alumni association, the department of housing and the campus involvement center. Find her Twitter feed here.


Rudi Louw is a senior graphic artist for the Media24 chain of newspapers and based in Johannesburg, South Africa. A 1989 graduate of Selborne College in East London, South Africa, Rudi spent 19 years as a print and multimedia artist for the Daily Dispatch of East London. He started work with Graphics24 in 2010. Find his online portfolio here and his Twitter feed here. Rudi turns 43 today.


Monica Moses is editor in chief of American Craft magazine in Minneapolis. A graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Monica worked at the Anchorage (Alaska) Times, the Arkansas Gazette of Little Rock and Gannett Suburban Newspapers in Rochester, N.Y. before becoming assistant managing editor of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in 1992. She became design director of the Charlotte Observer in 1995 and joined the faculty of the Poynter Institute in 1998. In 2002, she became deputy managing editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and was eventually promoted to executive director for product development. In 2007, she opened her own leadership, change and communication coaching firm. She took over at American Craft in 2010. Find her Twitter feed here.


London Nelson is a features designer for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, where she art directs the Taste, Variety and Home and Garden sections. A 1989 graduate of the University of Nebraska, London worked as a copy editor for the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D., before becoming a news designer for the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. in 1993. She moved to the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn., in 2000 but then left newspapers to design catalogs for Target. She became assistant design director for the Star Tribune’s suburban weeklies in 2004 and moved to features in 2007. In her spare time, London designs and shoots photos for craft books and creates and sells her own hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns. Find her blog here, her Etsy store here and her Twitter feed here.


Chris Rukan is lead sports designer for the Washington Post. A 1998 graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, Chris spent nearly four years as a designer and copy editor for the Connecticut Post in Bridgeport before moving to the Orlando Sentinel in 1999. He became sports design director of the Palm Beach Post in 2004 and then moved to Washington in 2006. Chris turns 40 today.


Amy Savona is senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Blue Crab Bay Co. of Melfa, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. A 1995 graduate of Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, Va., Amy worked as a marketing director for Architecture, Inc., in Reston, Va. before becoming a copy editor and web editor for the Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky. She moved to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., in 2004, where she ran the copy desk. She left newspapers in 2006, sold real estate for a while and then served as vice president for the Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce. She joined Blue Crab Bay in 2010. Occasionally, her job puts her in contact with interesting people.


Find the Blue Crab Bay web site here and its Twitter feed here.


Stephanie Swearngin is lead designer for the Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo. A 2000 graduate of Colorado State-Pueblo, Stephanie interned at Vladimir Jones and KTSC-TV before catching on as an advertising services rep at the Gazette. She moved into the newsroom and spent three years there before moving to the Tampa (Fla.) Tribune in 2004 as lead news designer. She moved to the St. Petersburg Times in 2006 and also began working as a personal trainer. She moved back to Colorado in 2012. In addition, Stephanie writes about fitness for various print and electronic outlets. Find her portfolio here.


Marco Vergotti is graphics editor of Globo in São Paulo, Brazil. A 2002 graduate of United Metropolitan Universities of São Paulo, Marco has worked for Revista Época, Triver Estúdio Gráfico, Editora Abril and Editora Sinapse for Grupo Domo. He joined Globo in 2005 as a graphic artist and was promoted to his current position a year later. Find his portfolio here. Marco turns 44 today.

Ashley, Stephanie, Chris, Amy, Rudi, Marietta, Marco, London and Monica share a birthday with actors Julian Dana William McMahan, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Betty Thomas Nienhauser, Jerry Van Dyke, Maya Khabira Rudolph, Carol Leifer, Greg Pead (better known as Yahoo Serious) and Francis Xavier Aloysius James Jeremiah Keenan Wynn; musicians Maureen Therese McGovern and Roberta Lee Streeter (better known as Bobbie Gentry); TV producer Norman Milton Lear; sports greats Peggy Gail Fleming (figure skating), Leo Ernest Durocher and Alexander Emmanuel “Alex” Rodriguez; Hugh Donell Green and Jacoby Ford (both football); mathematician Johann Bernoulli and Dungeons and Dragons creator Ernest Gary Gygax.

In addition, today is Aunties Day, National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day, Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day, Barbie-in-a-Blender Day and Parents’ Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday today!

Birthdays for Saturday, July 26

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to five excellent folks…


Christoph Fuhrmans is a web producer for the New York Times. A 1996 graduate of the University of Kansas, Christoph spent a year as a copy editor for the Island Packet of Hilton Head, S.C., before moving to a sports design spot at the Savannah Morning News. He became a sports designer at the Detroit Free Press in 2000 and then sports design leader at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2005. He moved to the web side in 2008 as a sports producer for the AJC. He moved to the Times in 2011. Find his Twitter feed here. Christoph turns 41 today.


Caity Pelliccia is a clinical associate at the Carilion Clinic in Roanoke, Virginia. A 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina, Caity interned at the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., the Hartford Courant and the Dallas Morning News before joining the Roanoke (Va.) Times in 2009, where she designed and co-edited the Edge, a section aimed at high schoolers. She left the Times nearly four years ago in order to go to nursing school. Find her Twitter feed here. Caity turns 27 today.


Dale Peskin is founder, principal and curator at iFOCOS and We Media Group of Reston, Va. A 1972 graduate of Youngstown State University, Dale spent seven years as deputy managing editor of the Detroit News and then five more as vice president of Belo Interactive and the Dallas Morning News. In 2002, Dale was named managing director of the American Press Institute. He left API in 2006 to found his consulting groups. Find his Twitter feed here. Dale turns 65 today.


Chris Pirillo is a blogger and TV host. A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Chris attended the University of Northern Iowa. In 1996, he created LockerGnome, a technology mailing list, which has grown into a bit of an empire for him. He spent two years as the host of Call for Help on TechTV. He’s written a number of books, blogs prolifically and, for more than a decade, hosted an annual LockerGnome conference. Find his blog here, his Twitter feed here and his daily videos here. Find LockerGnome itself here. Chris turns 41 today.


Ananda Spadt is an assistant art director for Meredith Publications in Des Moines, Iowa. A 2006 graduate of the University of Nebraska, Ananda worked at the Kitsap Sun in Bremerton, Wash., and then the Hartford Courant before moving back home to Nebraska in 2008. She illustrated and designed features pages for the Omaha World-Herald before moving over to the magazine side. She served as creative director of Wedding Essentials and Inspired Home Omaha magazines, both published by the World-Herald. She moved to Iowa in 2013. Find her portfolio here and here. Find her web site here and her Twitter feed here. Ananda turns 30 today.

Caity, Ananda, Christoph, Chris and Dale share a birthday with actors Sandra Annette Bullock, Kevin Spacey Fowler, Helen Lydia Mironoff (better known as Helen Mirren), Jason Nelson Robards Jr., Vivian Roberta Jones (better known as Vivian Vance), Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie “Gracie” Allen, Taylor Michel Momsen, Jeremy Samual Piven, Kathryn Bailey “Kate” Beckinsale, Elizabeth Egan Gillies and Nana Tucker (better known as Nana Visitor); musicians Michael Philip “Mick” Jagger, Darlene Wright (better known as Darlene Love), Lawrence Darrow Brown (better known as Dobie Gray) and Roger Meddows Taylor (of Queen); directors Stanley Kubrick, Peter Hyams and William Blake Crump (better known as Blake Edwards); sports greats Dorothy Stuart Hamill (figure skating), Kelly Clark (snowboarding), Robert Lewis “Bob” Lilly, Robert Stanton “Bob” Waterfield and Thomas Franklin “Tommy” McDonald (all three football); psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung; novelist Aldous Leonard Huxley; playwright George Bernard Shaw; RFK campaign aide Mary Jo Kopechne and former New York Times features writer Rick Bragg.

In addition, today is National Dance Day, National Day of the Cowboy, One Voice Day and Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day. Seriously.

Have a wonderful birthday today, all! Best wishes!