A coloring page. For grown-ups.

The latest stroke of genius from the folks at the Virginian-Pilot: A coloring page.

For grown-ups.

Click for a larger look:


The instructions say:

The Daily Break encourages you to spend a lazy weekend coloring this page drawn by our own Sam Hundley. You may use crayons or colored pencils. Send your finished work to us. The most creative interpretation will be published in The Daily Break. Also, the top two vote-getters will receive a Crayola coloring kit like nothing you ever had as a preschooler.

Send the page, which also can be downloaded on HamptonRoads.com, to The Virginian-Pilot, attention Daily Break coloring contest, 150 W. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk VA 23510. Include your name, city, age, occupation and contact information. Deadline is Aug. 3. Oh, the most important rule: Relax while you color your heart out.

Sam tells us:

The concept was by features editor, Jamesetta Walker. I did the line drawing in a shift — couldn’t come up with anything better than butterfly people and flowers!

Drew it in pieces on pulpy paper towels to get that bleed effect – to conceal my lack of control and skill! Blew the drawings up 150 percent and kinda built the page.

First all black-and-white page in forever. We’ll see how many entries we get.

My favorite touch is actually below the coloring feature: Sam also drew Jamesetta’s mug shot for her column stripped across the bottom of the page:


Average daily circulation for the Virginian-Pilot is 142,476.

Born and raised in Phoenix, Sam started his newspaper career as a staff artist for the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson and moved to the Virginian-Pilot in 1981.


In 1990, Sam moved to the San Jose Mercury News where he was named design director of features, but then returned to the Pilot in 1994.

He’s also the nicest guy you’ll ever meet.

Find Sam’s web site here. Find his Twitter feed here.

Previous posts about Sam and his work at the Pilot:

  • July 6, 2015: You may not have seen Saturday’s most interesting Independence Day front page
  • Sept. 11, 2014: The three best 9/11 anniversary front pages ever
  • May 26, 2014: The day’s best Memorial Day front page
  • July 4, 2013: The one Fourth of July page you really need to see
  • June 11, 2013: An important historical anniversary observed, Sam Hundley style
  • Jan. 29, 2013: The magical properties of a clever illustration
  • Jan. 8, 2013: When illustrating a controversial topic, it helps to have a real, live visual journalism superhero on staff
  • Sept. 26, 2012: A look at the illustrations for the Virginian-Pilot’s NASA history series
  • Sept. 24, 2011: Newsstand alert: Check out the new National Geographic
  • Sept. 21, 2011: Behind those watercolor illustrations in the Virginian-Pilot this week
  • Dec. 18, 2010: A wacky pre-Christmas illustration in the Virginian-Pilot


Union-Tribune has fun with its nameplate during Comic-Con

Looks like the San Diego Union-Tribune is having some fun again with its nameplate in conjunction with this week’s Comic-Con.

Thursday’s nameplate featured an epic battle between Superman and Batman…


…while today’s nameplate was the victim of a fly-by attack by a fire-breathing dragon.


Last year, the now-extinct U-T nameplate took a lot of abuse from editorial cartoonist Steve Breen:


Comic-Con continues through the weekend. We’ll keep an eye out to see what the Union-Tribune does Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to my pal there, Scott Albert, for the heads-up.

Other Union-Tribune Comic-Con posts from my blog archives:

  • 2011: The paper went all out with fun comics-themed illustrations and special sections.
  • 2012: Steve Breen created a sketchbook every day of Comic-Con.
  • 2013: The paper explained the business of small press comics by having small press comics creator (and former Union-Tribune staffer) Paul Horn tell all via — what else? — an extended comic strip.
  • 2014: Read about those U-T nameplates.

Follow the Union-Tribune’s coverage of Comic-Con 2015 here.

Fun with the nameplate

The Clarion Ledger of Jackson, Miss., wins the interwebs today with this fun skybox that interacts nicely with the paper’s nameplate.


Is that cool, or what?

I don’t know who designed this, but these two similar examples from last summer…



…were designed by Merry Eccles of Gannett’s design studio in Nashville.

Find more of Merry’s work here.

Average daily circulation of the Clarion-Ledger is 57,710.

UPDATE: 10:43 a.m. CDT

Bill Campling of the design studio tells me:

Richard Mullins designed this one.

Here’s your annual peek at the Toledo Free Press’ Opening Day edition

I know spring is finally here when my pal James A. Molnar of the Toledo Free Press sends me his Opening Day pages. The 115,000-distribution free weekly tabloid goes all-out every year to celebrate the start of the season for the famous Toledo Mud Hens.

James tells us:

We published a 60-page edition on April 12 dedicated to opening day April 16 and I’m excited to share it with you.

Our fantastic cartoonist Don Lee produced some great cover artwork for the third consecutive year, now. The cover idea stems from various promotion nights by the Hens, which include Back to the Future Night, a doubleheader honoring the 30th anniversary of the film franchise.

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The cover also features a double-headed dinosaur since there will be a Jurassic Park theme night in anticipation of the fourth movie in the franchise, Jurassic World, coming to theaters this summer.

The Mud Hens will even wear special post-retro jerseys for Back to the Future night.

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Find the online version of that story here.

James continues:

For the inside cover, I had Don Lee send me separate elements to use.

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I thought it would be fun to include his concept drawing and revised sketch for this year. We’re really lucky to have him in our editorial arsenal.


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Find more of Don’s work on Twitter and Facebook.

James continues:

You’ll remember the Ghostbusters-themed cover last year…

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…and the Angry Birds cover from two years ago.)


James also sends along a number of inside pages, including the welcome page…

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…the schedule page…

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…a page full o’ team member mug shots…

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…and even a fun baseball-themed crossword puzzle.

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James writes:

One of my favorite stories is written by Associate Editor Tom Konecny, who profiles the history of the team.

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Although baseball has a long history in Toledo, the current franchise is marking 50 years in 2015.

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Find the online version of that story here.

(Story online: http://www.toledofreepress.com/2015/04/10/current-mud-hens-franchise-marks-50-years/)

Kudos to Managing Editor Joel Sensenig for his hard work organizing the content for the section. Sensenig wrote a story about new food offerings at the stadium this year and you don’t want to miss one of the new treats: A S’more donut.


Again, here’s the full story. Click for a readable version.

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Find the entire Opening Day e-edition here.

The Toledo Free Press recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in print. Read about that here.

A 2009 graduate of Marquette in Milwaukee, Wis., James served as a reporter, designer and then visual content editor for the student paper there, the Marquette Tribune.


He spent a couple of months as a designer and editor for the Daily of Chatauqua, N.Y. and then seven months as an apprentice optician at Eyeglass World in Toledo before catching on at the Free Press in 2010. He also covers movies for the Free Press.

Find James’ personal blog here, his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

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.

Na na na naa… Na na na naaa… Hey, hey, hey… Have some pi

As you know, today is March 14.

Here in the U.S. we shorten that into 3/14, which looks a bit like the first few digits of that mathematical value known as pi.

Thanks to a little oddity of nature, pi is a repeating decimal: You can never get to the end of it. Click on this to see pi carried out a long, long ways:


That ran at the top of the centerpiece package on the front of today’s Orange County Register. My old pal Chris Soprych — the Register‘s A1 designer — tells me:

We have pi calculated on the cover to the 373 decimal place, but that’s nothing compared to some local kids that can do it to over 4,000.


My former colleague Theresa Walker wrote the story about local high schoolers who celebrated pi day a little early. Mark Rightmire shot the picture.

Note the little graphic at the bottom right that reminds  those of us who barely passed math just what pi is:


Chris leaves us with these words of advice:

When you explain what pi is in a news meeting, you look like a genius.

And there ya go.

UPDATE: 11:37 a.m.

Just what good is pi, anyway? The folks at NASA have anticipated your question.

Somebody, give the Villages Daily Sun a trophy for this fun front page

The Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla., ran a fun piece Sunday on the multitude of sports championships coming to Florida over the next 24 months.

A special report ran inside. Rather than start the report out front and then jump it — which is what most of us would do — the Daily Sun chose to fill Sunday’s front page with what is essentially a synopsis of the story in Alternative Story Form format, illustrated with the kinds of trophies that will be awarded in those championships.

Twenty-three of them.

Click this for a larger look:


Daily Sun editor Bonita Burton tells us:

That’s senior designer Adam Rogers with polish from Colin [Smith, the Daily Sun‘s managing editor for innovation].

It’s the result of the question “what can we do that we haven’t done before?” So that meant no stadium shots, no predictable photos of the new MLS team debuting today, no maps of Florida, etc.

As we were brainstorming concepts for showing the scope of the story, we remembered a World Cup page from the China Daily that Adam saw recently. It was an elaborate hand-drawn graphic detailing how China was “the real winner.” Something about that phrase jogged the inspiration for this approach to showing how Florida is such a big winner. And what says “winner” more than trophies?

After a brief intro by reporter Matt Cote, the visuals kick off with the Super Bowl Lombardi trophy and the national college football championship trophies.


Next up is a soccer trophy — signifying the new soccer stadium nearing completion — and the NCAA basketball championship trophy. Orlando will host March Madness games in 2017.


Next are the MLB all-star game trophy and a tennis trophy, representing a new tennis training facility that will open in 2017.


There are lots of golf tournaments held in Florida. A series of six golf trophies appear on the next row…


…which are then followed by hockey, horse racing and bowling trophies.


Finishing out that row are trophies from three different events held at the Daytona International Speedway.


The bottom row consists of a number of awards: Rodeo, the World Out Games, the National Senior Games, the World Rowing Championships…


…and, finally, a Monster Jam truck event that will be held at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Which is only an hour or so away from the Villages.

Bo tells us the page…

…was a great lead to eight pages inside – about what we typically dedicate to a special report every Sunday.

Curiosity about work from all corners of the world is a wonderful trait in a visual editor — you never know how it will influence your own idea generation. I’m very proud of the way Adam leads the charge!


A 2010 graduate of Youngstown State University in Ohio — where he worked on the student newspaper and radio station — Adam Rogers has worked at the Daily Sun for more than four years.

Find his portfolio here.

Just what you need: A real, live bullshit detector

Neal Pattison, executive editor of the Daily Herald in Everett, Wash., wrote Wednesday to ask:

You’ve seen this?

No. No I have not.


This is a cute little website+font that incorporates a real, live bullshit detector.


You type or cut-and-paste some copy and it’ll automatically redact any words it thinks are unworthy. For example, there’s that little line there in the header:

The agile unicorn funded an uber immersive beta below the fold.

Type that in and you’ll get:


Oh, what fun! So, naturally, I wanted to give it a test spin. But what copy to use as a guinea pig?

You’ll be glad to know that Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address passes muster.


No bullshit at all there. I then tried other obvious choices, like the preamble to the Constitution…


…and the opening of the Declaration of Independence.


As you can see: No luck. Sans Bullshit Sans finds no bullshit at all in these samples.

It also found no bullshit in my official web site bio…


…or in the opening to a certain 49-year-old TV show.


It looks like this would work pretty well with PR copy or even memos from your friendly neighborhood HR office.

Check it out here.

They’re getting a little punchy up there in snowed-in Boston

Dan Zedek, assistant managing editor of the Boston Globe, tells us:

A small number of us made it in through the latest blizzard and were brainstorming about the best way to show the overwhelming amounts of snow we’d gotten. I remembered a series of graphics we’d done a decade ago measuring the snowfall each day against Celtic great Robert Parish and said I’d like to do an updated version.

Here’s what Dan and his staff came up with:


Using the modestly-statured Dustin Pedroia seemed like a natural. Initially, you could see his batting helmet, but as the evening progressed and the snow total mounted, he was submerged and I added a bat to the graphic to mark his place.


Other local sports celebrities used for measuring sticks: Patrice Bergeron of the Bruins, the Patriots’ famed Gronk


…and, head but not quite shoulders above the white stuff: Seven-footer Kelly Olynyk of the Boston Celtics.


Dan tells us:

The graphic has taken off online where it’s been shared on 177,000 Facebook streams and on sites like Deadspin


…and ESPN.com.

Getting home from work last night, now that’s a whole different story.

Average daily circulation for the Boston Globe is 225,482.

I get by with a little help from my friends… and a photoillustration

Philip Maramba, managing editor of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail,  wrote to…

…pass along a copy of our front page from [Wednesday] I thought you might like.

We were doing a story on distracted walking, where people on smartphones in particular aren’t paying attention to what they’re doing.

The editorial staff was trying to think of ways of how to illustrate this, when a light bulb came on.

Their idea: To riff on the Beatles’ classic Abbey Road album cover from 1969:


Here’s what they came up with:


And here’s how they used it on the front of Wednesday’s paper:


Philip writes:

With a little more puzzling, we probably could have come up with a stronger hed, but I thought the centerpiece worked out OK.

Photography was by our Tom Hindman, with layout by the soon-to-be-departed Steven Gill.

And, in the end, the page you make is equal to the photoillustration you take.

Find the story here by Marcus Constantino.

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

The coolest Christmas Eve page of the day

Colin Smith, managing editor for innovation at the Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla., writes:

I thought I’d pass along this front page we published today in The Villages Daily Sun. It was super-enjoyable to put together, and it was the first front page I’ve done in a while — it’s definitely the most fun I’ve had.

This is our attempt to create a news-y breakdown of the recently declassified NORAD documents about Santa Claus.

Click this for a much larger look:


I augmented the NORAD information with some of the most recent theories about how Santa Claus delivers all those presents on Christmas Eve (Quantum mechanics! Ion shields! Resonance curves!)…




…and paired it with a woodcut illustration created in Illustrator based on an actual 1800s sleigh patent.


Fun facts: The patent date of June 28, 1870 is the actual date Christmas was officially recognized as a Federal holiday…



…and patent number 104, 111 and the ASCII codes for H and O respectively.

As a finishing touch, Bonita Burton, who was instrumental in planning and steering the project, really helped me massage the display copy to create the proper mood for the page.

Fun touches included the amount of caloric energy Santa requires to deliver gifts…


…and a quick look at the jolly ol’ guy himself.


Colin tells us:

Anyway, I had a ton of fun putting this page together and thought you might get a kick out of it.

Happy holidays, Merry Christmas and have a wonderful new year!


A 2000 graduate of the University of Southern California, Colin spent six years as presentation editor of the Salt Lake Tribune before moving to the Gannett Design Studio in Phoenix in 2011. He helped his pal Josh Awtry redesign two papers in two years: The Times-News of Twin Falls, Idaho, in 2011 and then the Coloradoan of Fort Collins in 2012. He created much of the structure for the Arizona Republic‘s redesign back in April.

Colin moved to Florida in June. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

This was brilliant

Last night, Saturday Night Live presented a parody of the podcast Serial.

It’s worth your five minutes and 40 seconds to watch.

For your consideration…

They want to halt low-level marijuana arrests in New York. The mayor and chief of police held a press conference Monday to show how much pot you can carry in the city, now — 25 grams — without fear of being busted.

Naturally, the pictures of this conference made for easy pickins for the New York City tabloids.


Cute. Some days, these guys just have too much fun.

Those pages are  from the Newseum. Of course.

For your consideration…

Overall, I’m a bit disappointed with today’s front pages. I’m seeing nowhere near the creativity, the cleverness or the visual impact we saw the last time Republicans ripped up the Democrats, in the 2010 midterms.

Having said that — No one had as much fun with the midterm elections today as did the New York City tabloids.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this done before — ahem! — but it’s still amusing.


But today’s New York Post — Man, what a scream this is.


Perhaps the most interesting front page of the day — certainly the most interactive — is this one by RedEye, the Chicago Tribune’s commuter+youth tabloid. It asks readers to fill in the blank with what issues they’d like to see the governor address and then post them via Twitter or Instagram.


Very clever.

All three of these pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

Meanwhile, today in the Big Apple…

So, now that the World Series — of interest in the Heartland and on the West Coast — is over, what’s the big news in the Northeast?

In New York City yesterday, a construction crew was using a giant drill when it suddenly — and accidentally — punctured the top of a subway tunnel. The bit actually came into contact with an occupied train on the MTA’s F line.


Luckily, no one was hurt. Therefore, we can enjoy the headline afront today’s Daily News.


Meanwhile, the New York Post is drumming up interest fear for next week’s Midterms.


Pretty funny. I’m sure they’ll be running an illustration over the weekend making fun of Republicans, too. Fair and balanced — right, Mr. Murdoch?

Fun headline alert

From the sports front of yesterday’s Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., this headline is about San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and his heroics in Game Seven of the World Series.


Heh. Thanks to Lisa Suhay for posting this on Facebook yesterday.