Joanne Sosangelis named director of Gannett’s Asbury Park Design Studio

Joanne Sosangelis — the creative director for Gannett’s Asbury Park design studio — has been tapped to fill the position left vacant by the departure of studio director Tim Frank.


Hollis Towns, vice president for news at the Asbury Park Press, made the announcement back in March 16. He wrote, in part:

Joanne started with the Studio in June of 2011 as Creative Director, and launched the first paper to be designed outside of a local Gannett newsroom, Cherry Hill’s Courier-Post. No stranger to redesigns, Joanne has spent most of her 18-year career involved in revamping, refreshing and rethinking the approach to presentation. From Westchester’s Journal News to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to the 15 papers she has overseen as Creative Director, all have been influenced by her touch.

“Tim left some pretty big — and purple — shoes to fill, but I’m confident of a smooth transition because of the strong team we built together,” Joanne said. “Steve Jobs once said; ‘design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.’ The Studio remains committed to ensuring that our papers not only look aesthetically pleasing, but are truly functional for our readers first and foremost.”

The creative director’s position will be posted.

A 1988 graduate of Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art & Design. Joanne spent several years as art director for features at the Journal News in Westchester, N.Y. She moved to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2005 and ran the graphics department there before becoming art director for the Sunday paper. She moved to the Gannett studio in 2011.

I might add that Joanne’s dad is longtime Philadelphia Inquirer design manager Dave Milne. She tells us:


Find Joanne’s design portfolio here and the web site for her photography business, Skye & Raine Photography, here.

Find her Twitter feed here.

Gannett’s Asbury Park studio losing BOTH top managers

Back on Monday, I wrote about the impending departure of Tim Frank as director of the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J.

It seems that the Asbury Park studio is losing two of its top people, however. Bethany White — deputy director in Asbury Park — posted Friday on her Facebook timeline:

Since word is getting out, I wanted to post an update.

My position at the Asbury Park Studio has been eliminated, beginning in early April.


While I share this news with a heavy heart, I am also immensely grateful for all of the challenges and opportunities that have crossed my path over the past 16 years with Gannett. To the editors and designers I have had the pleasure of working with — in Louisiana, in Rochester, and in Asbury — thank you for all that you’ve taught me.

To those at the Studio, it has been an honor to have been even a small part of seeing your careers soar. Keep up the awesome work. (And remember to follow the grid!)

A 1996 graduate of the University of Memphis, Bethany worked as a features designer for the Daily Advertiser of Lafayette, La., before becoming the paper’s design editor. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 2001 and then moved to the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, N.Y., where she served as custom content director and oversaw section redesigns. She also edited the N.Y. Nurses Network and the D&C’s Sunday travel page.

She moved to the design studio in March 2011 as creative director and was promoted to her current position in 2012.

Gannett’s Tim Frank named director of print innovation for Advance Digital

Tim Frank — for the past four years, director of the Gannett design studio in Asbury Park — announced Sunday on Facebook that he is leaving the studio to join Advance Digital, across the river from New York City.


Tim tells us:

I have to credit George Frederick for putting this together.

Opportunities like this don’t open up very often, not just the position but to work with George, John Hassell and the rest of that team, including Shawn Weston and Mike Scott. I’m really excited to join them and and am looking forward to working with the sites across the company. Would it still sound professional if I put that in 90-point type?

The title is Director of Print Innovation for Advance Digital. I love to build things, to bring people together and make things happen. And this is a role that seems to closely align with what I do best.  George’s team has done much of the heavy lifting and have left what I consider the fun part – the next step of the evolution.

Advance’s publication model is also very interesting – a merging of content and presentation – and there is some great work happening. One only has to consider Cleveland’s best of show at SND 36 for Andrea Levy‘s work as an example.

As for Gannett, things have been going pretty well at the studio. We just hired 20 more people. Designers are really growing and we’re getting traction with planning and art direction. Most of all, the staff is gelling as a team. It’s not often we get to build something from scratch and that process has really brought us close together. Man, I’ll miss them!

George Frederick, Advance’s senior director of user experience and design add:

Tim Frank’s reputation precedes him. He brings with him a wealth and variety of experience, and we’re thrilled to benefit from all of it.

Wednesday will be his last day in the studio. He’ll start his new job March 16 — a week from today.

A 1981 graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Tim spent six years as managing editor for visuals at the Lewiston, Maine, Sun Journal and two years as senior editor for design and graphics of the Arizona Republic. In 2005, he became creative director and deputy managing editor for visuals of the South Florida Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

The Sun Sentinel abruptly laid him off in 2010 but then, two weeks later, Gannett announced it was hiring him to run its Jersey hub.

In addition, Tim is the creator of the popular portfolio site NewsPageDesigner. Since its launch 13 years ago, NPD now has more than 7,000 users who have posted more than 100,000 pages in their portfolio galleries.

A while back, Tim wrote something that struck me as rather profound. So I made an easy-print poster of it.


This slogan was the topic of the presentation Tim made at SND/Louisville in 2013. Find the companion web site here.

Find Tim’s personal web site here, his Tumblr blog here and his Twitter feed here.

How to lead page one with a huge infographic

Monday, the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, N.Y., presented a big story on the changing diversity of the city. Projections suggest the city is in for a bit more of a radical change than others.

The paper kept the focus on the numbers by clearing most of Monday’s front page and running a huge slope graph to show the numbers.

Click this for a much larger view.


Joanne Sosangelis, creative director of the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, tells us:

The Rochester A1 design was a collaborative effort between myself and Tim [Frank, studio director].

I went back and forth about how to show the numbers about the projected change in demographics for greater Rochester over the next 50 years with editors Sarah Crupi and Sean Lahman​ at the Democrat and Chronicle. A line chart seemed to be the only way to visually show the increases in African-Americans and Hispanics and decrease in Whites in that area. Tim brought the color idea into it, and helped me refine the details along the way.

But honestly, it could never have happened without the trust we have built with the folks in Rochester. They sent us the information and gave us our space to think.

In the end I think we were all happy that it was not the typical Wednesday A1.

See the paper’s online presentation of this story here.


A 1988 graduate of Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art & Design. Joanne spent several years as art director for features at the Journal News in Westchester, N.Y. She moved to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2005 and ran the graphics department there before becoming art director for the Sunday paper. She moved to the Gannett studio in 2011.

Find Joanne’s design portfolio here and the web site for her photography business, Skye & Raine Photography, here. Find her Twitter feed here.

That front page image was from the Newseum. Of course.

Gannett’s Asbury Park design studio announces two personnel moves

Tim Frank — director of the Gannet Design Studio in Asbury Park — announced Friday:

Team leader Suzy Palma is transferring to Phoenix to be the team leader for The Arizona Republic.


We’re very proud of what Suzy has accomplished here as the Asbury Park art director and then as news team leader for half of our sites. It was that work that drew the attention of the Republic.

I have two Suzy Palma pages in my collection, and they’re both wonderful. There’s this one about the six-month anniversary of Superstorm Sandy


…and this interesting sideways page from when the boardwalk burned last fall.


Tim continues…

The good news is that Joanne Coughlin Walsh will start as a new team leader on Monday.


Joanne joined the studio in 2012 and has already worked on many of your papers. Joanne’s work stands out for her illustration and visual storytelling skills. Those who work with Joanne will appreciate her calm, but confident leadership. We’re really looking forward to seeing her influence and hope you will welcome her.

Tim included a couple of samples of Joanne’s work:


A 1991 graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Joanne spent 12 years as a designer for the Staten Island Advance before joining Gannett. She won an award of excellence last year from Communication Arts for an illustration for the Press & Sun Bulletin of Binghamton, N.Y.

Tim concludes:

Joanne will take over Suzy’s responsibilities, working with Omar Vega and the advance news design team.

Going sideways on page one

The Newseum‘s Paul Sparrow asks today via Twitter:


Here’s the page to which he refers:


The story in today’s Herald-Tribune of Sarasota is about a long-awaited, 880,000-square-foot shopping mall going up in the area. Folks there are getting excited because it’s looking nearly done. But it won’t open for another four months.

The choice to go sideways with the presentation was a bold choice — and, I think, a good one — because that’s what the story was about: The visual of that mall, just sitting there, taunting eager shoppers. But not quite ready yet for business.


Notice how the headline plays off of the story beautifully. And the headline and story are turned sideways to match the picture because: How else would you play it?


Herald-Tribune graphics editor Jennifer Borresen tells us:

We have a great photo editor, Mike Lang, who shot the new mall that is going in here. It’s going to be a high-end mall/destination place.

He stitched the photos together. I think they realized early on yesterday that it would not have as much impact horizontal on the page.

Nicely done.

The downside of that package: There’s precious little above the fold to suggest to readers what that story is about. You could argue that space might be better used for a headline or picture that might help sell the paper out of a rack or convenience store.

But I’d argue this story is a talker. Playing it in an unusual way just enhances the viral nature of the story. I wouldn’t suggest doing this every day. But once in a while, when the content just begs for a horizontal treatment? Sure.

And, to answer Paul’s question — As a matter of fact, I have seen it before. But only because I’ve been collecting unusual pages like this for so long.

Folks turn features pages and infographics sideways all the time. Here’s a features front from the Virginian-Pilot in January 2013, for example.


I try not to do it too often, but if the content works better horizontally, I’ll turn my Focus pages in the Orange County Register sideways. My page for this coming Monday will be sideways, in fact.

And several papers have gone sideways with their sports fronts. There’s even a designer at Gannett’s Des Moines studio who’s done this so often — with spectacular results every time — that I started calling him “Mister Sideways.”

That would be Jeremy Gustafson. I’ve known him since he was a college student.

Those are just a few examples. Search my blog archive for “sideways” and you’ll pull up something like 40 or 50 posts.

But on page one? Going sideways on a front page is not something I’d recommend for the faint hearted.

  1. One of the primary duties of page one is to sell the paper. And when you go sideways, you don’t necessarily get an attractive (literally attracting potential customers) image above the fold. So you might be kissing off a few single-copy sales.
  2. The content has to be served perfectly by using the horizontal dimension. If not, then going sideways isn’t serving the content or the reader. It’s just a gimmick.
  3. Is the sideways content the only element on your front page? It’s a lot easier to go sideways on any page — especially the front page — if you’re not asking the reader to switch back-and-forth between sideways and vertical on the same page.

One of the first sideways front pages I had ever noticed was this one in the Reporter of Fond du Lac, Wis., in March 2010.


The story was a huge wall mural in a local school. The photographer stitched several shots together to make a very wide picture of the whole thing.

Four months later, Fond du Lac’s larger sister paper in Green Bay used a similar treatment for a story on businesses around the NFL stadium there.


In March 2011, Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer stripped a panoramic shot of tornado damage down the side of page one.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch went sideways with front-page wraps several times during the 2011 World Series.



Here’s one I didn’t like: The Idaho Press-Tribune ran this impressive picture sideways on page one in October 2011 of Boise State’s famous blue-turfed football stadium stuffed with fans.


But the whole thing was really a big reefer to an online presentation. In particular, the skyboxes down the side of the page seemed weird. It would have been better to put those atop the nameplate, I think.

A month later, the student paper at Iowa State University published a web-only edition after a huge overtime win over No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State. The first three pages were sideways poster pages.

The paper doesn’t normally publish on Saturday, so they went with a web-only edition.

In May of last year, the Palm Beach Daily News ran a huge sideways graphic on page one.


In September, Asbury Park went sideways when that city’s famous boardwalk went up in smoke.


And two papers produced sideways poster front pages for Christmas Day this past year. One was the Colorado Springs Gazette


…and the other was my paper, the Orange County Register.


So don’t be afraid to go sideways.

If you need to. But only if you need to.

Most of the pages in this post were from the Newseum. Of course.

Gannett/Asbury Park’s Abby Westcott moving to USA Today

Abby Westcott — lead designer for the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle, working out of the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, N.J. — is moving to USA Today in McLean, Va., she announced recently on Facebook.


Her new title, she tells us:

Design editor. I’ll be designing 1A as well as covers for the local editions.

I start march 4th.

A 2008 graduate of Ball State University, Abby interned at the Daily Times of Noblesville, Ind., before launching her career at the Times of Wilson, N.C. She moved to the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal in 2009 as copy desk chief and then moved again to the Asbury Park Press in 2010.

That paper’s design desk, of course, was folded into the design studio in 2011. She spent two years designing features for the studio before taking on her current assignment last winter.

A few samples of her work:







Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Gannett sports designer Joe Moore moves to the Boston Globe

Dan Zedek, assistant managing editor of the Boston Globe, announced back in October that sports designer Luke Knox is moving to the Globe‘s graphics department.

Thursday, Dan told the staff of the Globe:

Luke is a tough act to follow, but we’re fortunate to have a rising star in sports design joining us.

Joe Moore is the lead sports designer at Gannett’s Asbury Park Press design studio where he’s put a strong stamp on a host of papers in the Northeast.


We were impressed by Joe’s ability to create smart, high-impact pages while juggling an incredible workload. Equally notable were the testimonials from the editors and designers he works with: to a person they talked about his talent, temperament, and generosity as a collaborator.

Joe will start at the Globe on Jan. 6, Dan adds.

A 2006 graduate of the University of Missouri, Joe worked as a reporter, copy editor and graphic artist for the Missourian. He spent five-and-a-half years as a graphic artist and multimedia coordinator for the Daily Journal of Vineland, N.J., before rolling into the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park in 2012 as lead sports designer.

A few samples of his work:






Find more in Joe’s NewsPageDesigner portfolio.

Find Joe’s Twitter feed here.

Salisbury, Md., Daily Times launches gorgeous new features section

Nathan Estep, features team leader of the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, shows us a new features section that debuted Sunday in the Daily Times of Salisbury, Md.

He tells us:

It’s called Tides. It’s about “our bays, our oceans, our rivers, our lives”

The idea is that they’ve lost some of their daily features sections and are focusing their efforts into this new photo-driven section instead. It’s going to have photography like this for the first couple months, at least.

Here’s the front page…


…and here’s the center spread.


The reporter for this piece on oyster farming was by Ted Shockley. The story was photographed by Laura Emmons and edited by Michael Kilian.

The pages were designed by Dawn Donofrio. Team leaders at the studio overseeing the look of this project were Nathan Estep and Omar Vega.

Read more about the news section here.

Average daily circulation for the Daily Times is 16,493.

Ten interesting takes on the end of the federal shutdown

A deal has been struck. The government shut down has been — well, shut down. A deal to raise the debt limit has been reached.

The Republicans went into this debacle having made unrealistic promises to the citizens who elected them and they came out of it looking petty and foolish. The Democrats came out of it looking marginally better — but only because they didn’t talk themselves out of losing their advantage of numbers.

But not from a lack of trying. Man, those Democrats sure run their mouths a lot.

Make no mistake, though: The Democrats didn’t win — Instead, the Republicans hurled themselves off a cliff. I’d argue that there were no winners at all here. Certainly not the American people.

And in just a few months, we’ll do it all again. Sigh.

In the meantime, here is a look at ten interesting takes on the most important government news since… well, since the Fiscal Cliff deal on New Year’s Eve.

Rochester, N.Y.
Circulation: 114,502

For the past two weeks, a lot of papers have turned stock art of the Capitol building into centerpiece art. The D&C does it well here, but that’s not why I like most about this page.


What I like most is the main headline. Especially the “finally” bit.


UPDATE – 8:45 a.m.

This was designed by Abby Wescott of Gannett’s Asbury Park studio, who proudly tells us:

The headline was also my idea.

McAllen, Texas
Circulation: 32,086

I’m not crazy about the layout of this page. It’s got a number of flaws:

  • Too many elements are crammed above the fold. A little white space might have helped.
  • I don’t like the way the photos seem to shift to the left when you get to the sidebar.
  • The lead-in deck seems a bit too wordy


What I like about this page — and why I bring it to your attention — unlike many of the front page treatments you’ll see around the country today, this one acknowledges the political battle over U.S. fiscal policy is not over. This was just one more round in what will be a long, long war.

That’s not fun, but that’s the truth. The less we sugar-coat that for readers, the better informed they’ll be.

Fargo, N.D.
Circulation: 45,298

The champion today at making this very point, however, has to be the Forum of Fargo, N.D.

Savvy observers complained that Wednesday’s deal didn’t solve anything; it just kicked the can down the road. The Forum actually illustrated this.


St. Louis, Mo.
Circulation: 187,992

Rather than use its front-page real estate on huge stock art of the Capitol building or of oversized mugs of Boehner and Obama, the St. Louis paper went with a retro-like series of decks to relay the day’s major talking points to readers.

This was placed under a headline that, yes, implied that this was just one round of a longer war.


Interestingly, the Cardinals’ failure to clinch a World Series berth was pushed to the bottom of today’s front page.

The young man wearing the baseball jersey could almost be reacting to the main news package above.

Greensboro, N.C.
Circulation: 57,274

The Greensboro paper picked up this thread I’m advocating here and took it a step further: It went out and asked local folks what they think about the partisan battles in D.C. this month. That became the focal point of the front-page presentation, rather than the deal itself.


Bitter squabbles are not likely to stop.” Right.

However, consider this: North Carolina is in the middle of its own Tea Party-like political battles at the state level. I’d be curious to see that same treatment, but talking to folks who say stuff like: “Hell, yeah! I elected my Congressman to go up to Warshington (sic) to repeal Obamacare, and I don’t care how he does it. I’m GLAD they shut the government down. I say KEEP it shut down.”

I’ve spent most of my life in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. I know these folks are out there. I see their comments attached to the bottom of online news stories.

But I’m not seeing them very often on page one.

This isn’t to criticize what the Greensboro paper did today — I like it quite a lot. This is just an observation.

Omaha, Neb.
Circulation: 135,223

The Omaha paper decided to focus on the vote itself.


The little box at right summing up the deal is quite nice.

Davenport, Iowa
Circulation: 46,824

This is the only non-front-page I’ll show you today. And I’m showing it to you because a) The editor/designer sent it to me overnight. And b) I think it’s very, very nice.


Nate Bloomquist of the Quad-City Times tells us:

I was inspired by NPR’s graphic from a week ago that was making the rounds on Facebook, so I made my own debt graphic.

I pulled pieces from AP stories and other sources for the explainer at the top. There were several sources to find the raw data, but the best is the Government Accountability Office. There is all kinds of useful stuff there.

It was great to get plenty of feedback from the Lee design hub in Munster, Ind., and a designer there, Claire Moreno, built my icons at the top of the page after I decided on the color scheme. Everything came together really well, and I’ve quite pleased with what I have here.

I’ve featured some of Nate’s stand-alone inside-page work before: For the presidential inauguration in January and for a golf tournament in July.

Des Moines, Iowa
Circulation: 191,915

A number of papers went with photoillustrations today. One of the better ones was this one by my old friend Mark Marturello of the Des Moines Register.


Mark’s work was used by the Gannett Design Studio on two other papers that I could find: The Press Citizen of Iowa City (circulation 12,130) and the Daily Advertiser of Lafayette, La. (circulation 29,368).


Chicago, Ill.
Distribution: 250,000

Perhaps the most fun today was had by youth-oriented tabloid versions of major metros.

This wacky cover illustrated by the Chicago Tribune‘s RedEye reminds me very much of the kind of work you find at JibJab.


Unfortunately, the illustration is not credited.

Washington, D.C.
Distribution: 183,916

Perhaps the most amusing photoillustration of the day, however, is this one afront the Washington Post‘s Express tab.


Amusing… if you’re not a Republican, that is.

All these pages but the one from the Quad-City Times are from the Newseum. Of course.

Asbury Park goes sideways today with dramatic photo of boardwalk fire

The Asbury Park Press went sideways today on page one. But the huge story — and the amazing picture — didn’t just warrant the unusual play, it rewarded the unusual play.

Tim Frank, director of the Gannett Design Studio in Neptune, N.J., tells us:

After the Seaside here became the symbol for the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, it was unimaginable when the entire Seaside Park boardwalk caught fire Thursday. How do we capture that emotion on a page?

New Jersey art director Suzy Palma, thinking that the art might be extremely horizontal, started the conversations about possibly turning the page. Sure enough, the best of Pete Ackerman‘s images were dramatically horizontal.


Suzy mocked up four versions, I think, and everyone over in the newsroom agreed that the scale of the nearly full-page image really helped capture the emotion of the day. Along with designing the extra coverage, Dana Stewart saw the page to completion.

Here’s the shameless plug part. Asbury Park editor Hollis Towns (yeah, he’s also my boss) and publisher Tom Donovan have been very trusting and willing to let us try things with the paper. And if we can get them some good numbers, it’ll be good reason to do more.

Find the paper’s online coverage here.

Average daily circulation for the Asbury Park Press is 98,032.

Check the background of any photo you run large

Because if you don’t, you could get burned. Like the folks in Wilmington, Del., were this morning.

Here’s today’s front page of the News Journal. The lead story is about more than 100 gay couples who turned out Monday to get married.


The lead staff-shot photo is of a bunch of local folks holding signs of support.


The problem is with that guy in the very back row, holding the hot pink sign. Which makes you wonder how anyone could have missed it.


Hell, the guy next to him is wearing a horse head. Not the best choice for lead art, perhaps.

Thanks to Jim Romenesko for blogging about this today.

Those images are all from the Newseum. Of course.

A look at Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling front pages

I got up very early Thursday in order to build you a nice collection of Supreme Court decision front pages. But then I ran into another series of technical glitches: I couldn’t upload images to my blog.

I managed to upload the pages last night, but it literally took me hours to do what should have taken five minutes.

So, a day late, here’s a look at some of the day’s notable Same-sex marriage front pages…

Many of Thursday’s front pages did a great job of showing the emotion involved in earning the right to marry, shown on the faces of the nation’s gay and lesbian folks in D.C. and around the country.


Lafayette, Ind.

Circulation: 25,531

The Associated Press picture on the front of Lafayette shows plenty of emotion. And that’s good.


That headline, however, was fairly typical in that it suggested a win for gay marriage in both decisions announced Wednesday.

However, as you might know, that really wasn’t the case. Sure enough, the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down. But California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in the state of California was less than a perfect victor for gay marriage supporters. That case was essentially dismissed on a technicality. So that wasn’t actually a victory for supporters of gay marriage. In fact, as a result, we’ll continue to see these legal battles go on at the state level. It’s only because California currently has supporters of gay marriage in office at the moment that Prop 8 will be pursued no further.

So in effect, Wednesday might have been a ” win-win” for supporters of gay marriage. But not in fact. The struggle is far from over for gay and lesbian folks throughout the country.


Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 142,476

We see the same afront the Virginian-Pilot. The Pilot picked a photo that I didn’t seen anyone else use — one just dripping with emotion.


And while the main head refers to “two victories,” note how the deck on the Prop 8 story makes it clear that gay marriage is not coming to the notoriously red state of Virginia.

The photo is by Mark Wilson of Getty images.


Rochester, N.Y.

Circulation: 114,502

The Rochester paper went with a quote headline: “Equal in every way.”


But again, that’s only in the eyes of the federal government. Gays are not equal in every way from state to state. And that’s from where the court says decisions on marriage licenses must come.

The photo by Charles Dharapak of the Associated Press is of the same couple you saw on the front of the Virginian-Pilot.


White Plains, N.Y.

Circulation: 72,764

Possibly the most spectacular front page of the day was this rainbow banner-waving gentleman on the front of Gannett’s New York-based papers.


I’m a little baffled about where the picture came from, however. It’s credited to J. Scott Applewhite of the Associated Press in the White Plains paper, above, but to Getty images in the Binghamton, Elmira and Ithaca papers, below.

130627ScotusBinghamtonNY 130627ScotusElmiraNY 130627ScotusIthacaNY

From left to right:

  • Binghamton, N.Y., Press & Sun-Bulletin, circulation 34,311
  • Elmira, N.Y., Star-Gazette, circulation 15,172
  • Ithaca, N.Y., Journal, circulation 9,668


Des Moines, Iowa

Circulation: 101,915

In Iowa — which has seen its fair share of legal battles for gay marriage — The state’s capital city paper managed a nice pun in the main headline.


Banner day? And the man in front of the state capitol is holding a banner? Hey, I never got away with puns like that when I worked at the Register.

The banner picture is by staffer Bryon Houlgrave.


Iowa City, Iowa

Circulation: 12,130

The paper in Iowa City also built page one around a local person waving a banner, but minus the pun head.


In particular, I like the way the Press-Citizen broke up the issue into two decks. Notice the one on the right. The Press-Citizen got it right here, which delights me.

That great picture is by staffer David Scrivner.


Chicago, Ill.

But nowhere is the divided nature of Wednesday’s ruling more apparent than on the front pages of Chicago’s two tabloid newspaeprs.

RedEye takes note of the celebrations to come during the upcoming gay pride celebrations…

130627ScotusChicagoRedEyeIll  130627ScotusChicagoSTIll

while the Sun-Times focuses on the fact that neither ruling will help gays or lesbians in Chicago.

The couple on the front of RedEye was photographed in Chicago’s “boystown” district by Tribune staffer Anthony Souffle. The Sun-Times also used a picture from the northside, but from Charles Rex Arbogast of the Associated Press.

Average free daily distribution for RedEye is about 250,000. The Sun-Times circulates about 184,801 papers daily.


Davenport, Iowa

Circulation: 46,824

In Davenport, too, the Quad-City Times went with local celebration art. This picture is by staffer John Schultz.


But look at the headline: Sets the state for fights at the state level. Yep. Less of a grabber headline. But more accurate — especially for folks in the Midwest.


Camden, N.J.

Circulation: 46,547

However, I had to admire this front by yet another Northeastern Gannett paper. Sure, some of these states — in this case, New Jersey — might not gain gay marriage with Wednesday’s decision. But it’s just a matte of time.


The picture is from the Associated Press.

Now, let’s turn our focus to California, which did indeed gain — or, perhaps, I should say regain — gay marriage with Wednesday’s decision. The governor said Wednesday he’d honor the lower court’s earlier smackdown of Proposition 8 and have officials issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples as soon as the legal paperwork goes through on a court-ordered temporary stay. It should take about a month, he said.


Los Angeles, Calif.

So with gay marriage in fact the new law of the land, California papers have a bit more leeway to refer to things like weddings and marches. The L.A. Daily News did well with this great headline and a celebration shot by staffer Hans Gutknecht.


That’s the L.A. Daily News, of course, circulation 94,016.

That same design played out across many of the group’s front pages Thursday. From left:

  • Long Beach Press-Telegram, circulation 82,556
  • Torrance Daily Breeze, circulation 15,000

130627ScotusLongBeachCalif 130627ScotusTorrenceCalif

130627ScotusPasadenaCalif 130627ScotusSanGabrielCalif 130627ScotusWhittierCalif

  • Pasadena Star-News, circulation 24,778
  • Covina San Gabriel Valley Tribune, circulation 59,989
  • Whittier Daily News, circulation 14,691

The group’s San Bernadino Sun opted for a different photo, by staffer Will Lester


…as did the Daily Facts of Redlands (circulation 6,607) and the Inland Daily Bulletin of Ontario (circulation 61,699).

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Walnut Creek, Calif.

Up in the Bay area, the couple in the left of this lead photo look happy, but not so much for the rest of the folks in the background.


The picture is by staffer Jane Tyska.

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On the left is the Oakland Tribune, circulation 52,459. On the right is the Contra Costa Times of Walnut Creek, circulation 67,464.


Santa Cruz, Calif.

Circulation: 25,000

The Santa Cruz paper led with a picture of a man waving a hybrid rainbow banner + U.S. flag.


The picture is by staffer Kevin Johnson.


San Diego, Calif.

Circulation: 230,742

The San Diego paper found a massive street parade going on in the wake of the announcement. Which, naturally, made for great A1 art.


The fabulous photo is by staffer K.C. Alfred.

The paper loses points, however, for its display type. When is the last time you’ve seen the word “bolster” used outside of a headline?


Los Angeles, Calif.

Circulation: 616,575

The Times, as you might expect, covered a lot of bases on page one. The headline was plain and simple. The lead art focused on which justice voted which way.


And a great celebration picture by staffer Al Seib played well downpage.

Particularly nice is the headline on the sidebar about the losing side:

A movement swept aside

Prop. 8 backers go from jubilant to marginalized in five years

Nicely done.


Santa Ana, Calif.

Circulation: 280,812

The best headline of the day, however, was by my colleagues one desk over at the Orange County Register.


You gotta love that. I’m told the Register‘s D.C. bureau chief, Cathy Taylor — who worked a very long day Wednesday — came up with that particular bit of genius.


San Francisco, Calif.

Circulation: 229,176

There was a bit of rumbling yesterday on social media: How come the San Francisco Chronicle didn’t have a word about Prop 8 or DOMA on the front of Thursday’s newspaper?


Whenever you see something like that, you can bet there is some sort of wrap involved.

Sure enough, assistant managing editor for presentation Frank Mina tells us there was a wrap: An entire 12-page special section wrapped around Thursday’s Chronicle.

And what a glorious section it is. Click on any of these pages for a much larger — hopefully, readable — view.

Page one includes the banner headline everyone expected to see from the paper at Ground Zero of the fight for gay marriage rights.


The picture by staffer Michael Macor is of two local men who were plaintiffs in a case that went to the California Supreme Court several years ago. And, like most of the pictures in the section, it was shot live Wednesday for Thursday’s paper.

Page two (below, left) holds the jump of the main story. The picture of a man celebrating on the steps of the Supreme Court building in D.C. is by Pete Marovich of MCT.

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On page three is a sidebar about a local couple who hope to get married.

Across the top of those pages are quotes from the rulings themselves.

Across the tops of pages four and five are Q&A type factoids about the rulings.

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Page four focuses on the opponents of gay marriage and what they can do about the ruling. The picture of a preacher praying in front of the supreme court building is by Joshua Roberts of Bloomberg.

Page five addresses what may or may not happen now across the nation. The picture of two local men is by staffer Ian C. Bates.

Across the bottom is a column about the impact of the decision on personal finances.

The center spread is a picture page experience showing folks waiting for and reacting to the ruling.

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The biggest picture at upper right is by staffer Lacy Atkins.

Page eight (below, left) is a celebration story and illustrated with a picture by Carlos Avila Gonzalez. Like in Chicago, there was already a gay pride event scheduled for this weekend in San Francisco. I imagine that’ll be quite the party.

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The picture at the top of page nine (upper right) is the one I really wanted to see. That’s former San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom. In 2004, he ordered city officials to fulfill requests for marriage licenses by gay and lesbian couples — pretty much in open defiance of state law at the time. That’s pretty much what started the ball rolling that resulted in Wednesday’s rulings.

Newsom, by the way, is now Lieutenant Governor.

The photo is by staffer Lea Suzuki.

Pages 10 and 11 are editorial pages. The paper supported gay marriage, not surprisingly. And note the editorial atop page 11: Despite Wednesday’s rulings, this is still a conservative court.

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In particular, I like the editorial cartoon by Tom Meyer.


At the bottom left, note a story entitled “By any means necessary?” This addresses the decision made by the state government, several years ago, to not argue in favor of Proposition 8. This was a radical idea that eventually led directly to the technicality that caused that conservative court to not intervene. That was the real turning point of the case, as it turns out.

The back page, 12, holds a giant chronology of the entire Prop 8 case from the wedding licenses at the San Francisco City Hall to the Supreme Court rulings on Wednesday.


Across the bottom of the back page is a a great column about a federal judge who heard the Prop 8 case in 2010 and ruled against it. He wasn’t surprised by Wednesday’s ruling, he says.

Not long after his decision, the judge retired. It was then that he revealed that he, himself, is gay. That led to supporters of Proposition 8 filing for appeal on the grounds that the judge shouldn’t have heard the case in the first place.

So this was yet another major figure in the history of Prop 8.

The San Francisco Chronicle pages are courtesy of Frank Mina. The rest are all from the Newseum. Of course.

A skinny governor of New Jersey, thanks to a page-one photoillustration

One of my blog readers asked Wednesday:

This seems…wrong. Do you have thoughts?

The page she was referring to was this photoillustration afront the Asbury Park Press.


That’s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is famously overweight and who had banding surgery on his stomach earlier this year in hopes of losing weight. The illo — by Jeff Colson of the Gannett Design Studio in Neptune, N.J. — shows Christie how might look if that were to happen.

The Daily Journal of Vineland ran the same illustration on Wednesday’s front.

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Average daily circulation for the Press is 98,032. The Daily Journal circulates 12,139 papers daily.

My take: I agree with the governor: This is a silly topic and it’s silly how much coverage this received this week. I mean, really. This is right up there with Michelle Obama‘s bangs.

But, I reluctantly admit, this was news. Big news — especially in Jersey. Sigh…

Once you get past that, I had no problems with the illustration itself. In fact, I thought it was rather clever.

As long as it was clearly labeled as a photoillustration. And it was.

In fact, I find the Gannett solution better than this one, by the Burlington County Times of Willingboro.


Average daily circulation of the Times is 24,873.

The 25,303-circulation Trentonian tried a before-and-after approach, using pictures of Christie taken in January and last week.


These two papers focused on centerpiece photos of Christie, focusing on his girth.

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On the left is the Record of Hackensack, circulation 146,523. On the right: The Courier Post of Camden, circulation 46,547.

The Star-Ledger of Newark showed Christie at a press conference…


…as did the Times of Trenton and the Herald News of Passaic.

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Average daily circulation for the Times is 35,217. The Herald News circulates 18,037. Circulation for the Star-Ledger is 278,940.

These front pages are all from the Newseum. Of course.

Two fabulous Sunday front pages

Two papers today took notable looks back at momentous events in their communities.

The Boston Globe today looked back on the five days following the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon. Today’s front page was anchored by a photo I hadn’t seen previously: This picture of the second bomb going off, taken by Globe staffer David L. Ryan.


Average daily circulation for the Globe is 225,482.

And in Jersey today, the Asbury Park Press observed the sixth-month anniversary of Hurricane Superstorm Sandy with a 28-page special keepsake section and this gorgeous poster front page.


The picture is by Press staffer Peter Ackerman. Suzy Palma and Gary Stelzer designed the cover, according to Gannett Design Studio director Tim Frank.

Average daily circulation for the Asbury Park Press is 98,032.

These two images are from the Newseum. Of course.

Gannett’s Nashville studio hires new creative director

Ted Power, director of Gannett’s design studios in Des Moines and Nashville, announced this week:

I’m pleased to announce that David Anesta, Features Team Leader in the Asbury Park Design Studio, will be the new Creative Director at the Nashville Design Studio. David will begin in Nashville on April 16.


David has been with the Asbury Design Studio since March 2011. He has also been a designer at the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, the Boston Herald, the New York Post and the Prague (CZ) Post, stops where he has had experience designing pages from every section of a newspaper.

He is a two-time SND award winner.

“My goal would be to emphasize smart, accessible design that engages readers with bold visual storytelling and dynamic presentation,” says David.  “I emphasize education, sharing, templates and automation to increase efficiency. I would also work with Information Centers to help streamline their work flows and planning.”

David takes the creative director position previously held by Javier Torres. Ted retains command of the Des Moines center as well as taking over the directorship of the Nashville center recently vacated by Jeff Glick. Read about those departures here.

Ted tells us:

I’m excited to have David join us. In Asbury, he established great relationships with his partner sites and I’m looking forward to him doing the same with our papers across the south.

A 2000 graduate of the University of Miami, David Anesta spent two years as a designer for the Prague Post, two years as a designer for the New York Post and then one year as graphics editor of the Boston Herald. He moved to the Sun-Sentinel in 2006. In 2010, he moved north to the Asbury Park studio.

A few samples of his work:

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Find David’s portfolio here and the Tumblr blog he runs for his studio here. Find his Twitter feed here.

A look at today’s most outstanding Pope Benedict XVI pages

Huge news broke Monday morning: The Pope is resigning. Pope Benedict XVI will be the first pope in 598 years to resign, as opposed to dying in office.

This move — along with the baggage the Catholic church is carrying around these days — made for huge play atop page one of today’s New York Times.


That picture by L’Osservatore Romano via the Associated Press was one of the few actual news photos I could find on today’s front pages, as collected this morning by the Newseum.

The Los Angeles Times used a picture from the same source and also shot fresh at the event Monday in which Pope Benedict made his surprise announcement.


The Times not only included sidebars on church politics but also on the ongoing sex abuse scandal. A large infographic shows the numbers and distribution of Catholic faithful throughout the world.

Average daily circulation for the L.A. Times is 616,575. The New York Times circulates 1,586,757 papers daily.

Most papers today did not use art shot during Monday’s event. I especially liked the tired expression in the file photo from Agence France-Presse, used today by the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.


That’s a great example of selecting a photo that fits perfectly with the quote superimposed over part of it.

Average daily circulation for the Star-Ledger is 278,940.

In a more humorous vein, I enjoyed the blue-collar sensibility reflected by the headlines afront today’s New York Post.


Average daily circulation for the Post is 555,327.

And while some papers speculated on page one that the next pope might be “from a developing nation,” none played up this angle as loudly as did the Philadelphia Daily News.


That is Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson from Ghana in that AP file photo.

Average daily circulation for the Daily News is 110,000.

While several papers today created very nice page-one treatments of the Pope’s resignation, I feel like six were head-and-shoulders above the rest. Here’s a look at them…



Fond du Lac, Wis.

Circulation: 10,186

The photo here — an AP file shot from 2005 — is wonderfully chosen and cropped. I also love the three little decks above the main headline that cite major elements of the story.


Note how the decks color-coordinate with the cape the pope is wearing.

The downside: The main headline tells us nothing new. That news was out at mid-morning Monday. It might have been better to write a headline that tried to give a little more perspective on the story or spun it forward just a bit.

Other than that, this page sings.

That page was designed in Gannett’s  Des Moines Design Studio by Wisconsin team leader Sean McKeown-Young and Brooke Curry,

Brooke, by the way, is currently a student at Grand View University in Des Moines and has been interning in the studio for a solid year, creative director Nathan Groepper tells us. Find her portfolio here.



Chicago, Ill.

Circulation: 414,590

As terrific as that last page was, here’s another wonderful one that is seemingly shot from the opposite angle.


In fact, that’s a file photo by Franco Origlia of Getty Images. I don’t know the year.

The page was designed by Michelle Rowan and Ryan Smith, I’m told.

Honorable mention goes to Express — the commuter tab published in D.C. by the Washington Post — for getting great mileage out of that same picture today.


Average daily distribution for Express is 183,916.



Des Moines, Iowa

Circulation: 101,915

Designer Nicole Bogdas, working out of Gannett’s Des Moines center, tells us about the front page she built for today’s Register:

I think some folks here were skeptical at first when they saw just the photo, but after I put it together we agreed it was the way to go.


When I was pitching it, I likened it to the famous Babe Ruth photo, and when I went home last night and described the photo to my boyfriend he said, “So, like the famous Babe Ruth photo.”

That would be this picture of Ruth shot at his last public appearance in 1948 by Nat Fein of the New York Herald Tribune.


Fein won a Pulitzer Prize for that picture.

Find Nicole’s portfolio page here and her Twitter feed here.

That picture of the pope — file art by Gregorio Borgia of the Associated Press — was also used today to great effect by another Gannett Design Studio host paper, the Arizona Republic of Phoenix.


Phoenix studio director Tracy Collins tells us the page was designed by Amy King. He asked Amy to tell us how her page came together:

I started looking through photos on the wire. George Berke (Republic team leader) and I talked possible options. We ran the chosen photo past the photo editor, who was a bit worried the image was too white, but saw its potential. The photo says it all. Pope: out. Mystery person: in.

We sent the copy editors and started brainstorming headline ideas.

Then George, Page 1 Editor Michael Squires and I huddled around my computer to discuss secondary display text – reading through the pope’s speech to find a good excerpt. Then a bit more photo editing to find a good image to pair with the quote.

I’ve written about Amy’s work at least three times. Find her statehood centennial pages here, an immigration law front page here and go here to find an interesting page on sexual assault.

Average daily circulation for the Republic is 321,600.



Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 142,476

One thing is consistent in this crazy newspaper world we live in: You can count on the Virginian-Pilot to do something interesting.

In this case, it was the Pilot‘s Bethany Bickley who put together this terrific front page.


The first thing I though of this morning when I pulled the newspaper out of the wrapper and looked at the front was how much it reminded me of this:

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Just like that now-iconic Cleveland Plain Dealer front, the pope appears to be walking off the page. Note how Bethany turned the Pilot‘s nameplate white-on-white, with only a faint dropshadow to help it pop just a bit.

The picture itself is a 2010 file shot from the Associated Press. And at least two other papers also ran the picture huge on page one today:

130212PopeBuffaloNY 130212PopeWestChesterPa

On the left is the 147,085-circulation Buffalo (N.Y.) News. On the right is the Daily Local News of West Chester, Pa., circulation 24,946.

Find Bethany’s online portfolio here, her NewspageDesigner gallery here and her Twitter feed here.



Rochester, N.Y.

Circulation: 114,502

We’ve all seen pictures of the pope swinging burning incense. I never thought that an innovatively-cropped version of a picture of this might make for a nice front page presentation.

Joanne Sosangelis of Gannett’s Asbury Park studio did, however.


Joanne tells us:

Well, it all started back in …

No, seriously, fellow team leader, Omar Vega, actually pulled the photo. He used a similar image that was horizontal for some of the papers he works with and I ended up choosing the vertical version — knowing that we don’t typically run wall-to-wall centerpieces on my team’s papers.

Rochester originally started with a tall centerpiece (three columns over four), very much like what we ran in Cherry Hill, Vineland and Westchester/Rockland. As the day progressed though, we began toying with losing the skybox and pushing the story up higher. Then we tried having the story above the nameplate, and then even under it, but wall-to-wall — and incorporating the nameplate (in white) into the art.

After showing several different options, our partners in Rochester decided they wanted to go full-page (minus the ad and index space) — and there was no argument from me!

The photo is a 2010 file shot by the Associated Press.

As she mentions, Joanne’s centerpiece found its way today to several other papers designed in that same studio:

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From left, those are:

  • The Asbury Park Press, circulation 98,032
  • The Vineland, N.J., Daily Journal, circulation 12,139
  • The Cherry Hill, N.J., Courier-Post, circulation 46,547
  • The While Plains, N.Y., Journal News, circulation 72,764

Find Joanne’s design portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

And special kudos to the Free Press of Burlington, Vermont, for showing us how this same photo can be put to great use even in a tabloid format.


Average daily circulation of the Burlington Free Press is 30,558.



Lafayette, Ind.

Circulation: 25,531

My favorite front page of the day, however, is this one by yet another Gannett design studio.

I’m not a Catholic, nor am I a particularly religious man to begin with. But this presentation, I feel, is a wonderful blend of spiritual imagery, terrific cropping and design and perfect headline writing.


That page was designed by Cait Palmiter of the Louisville Design Studio. Cait tells us:

The art that was chosen for the page was originally a photo from when Benedict first became pope, but Spencer (Holladay, Indiana team leader) said I should push for something else. I found a couple where he had his back turned because I loved the symbolism of it — him walking away, resigning. I showed them to my copy editor who said they still liked the other one.

I then sent an email explaining the idea to several people including the editor as well as three or four mock-ups that David Leonard created for the Louisville Courier Journal (not to be confused with Lafayette’s Journal and Courier!) and an explanation for why we should use a different photo, showing the Pope’s back.

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They came back and agreed! Persistence can pay off!

We used the basic idea of David’s mock-up and I worked with doing something a little more features-like with the headline.

It was a really satisfying page to design and I think the photo choice worked out very well. I credit Spencer with convincing me it was worth pushing, David for finding that photo, and the editors in Lafayette for being open to listening to what I had to say and changing their mind. One of the great things about the design hubs is the group of design-minded people to work with.

Great teamwork. You gotta love it.

Find Cait’s portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

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

A look at today’s Super Bowl pages

Pictures of players holding aloft the Lombardi Trophy. Pictures of players walking off the field, nearly in tears. Headlines that allude to the 30-minute delay last night for a power failure.

Today’s Super Bowl pages contained quite a bit of sameness. The only thing that makes some of them stand out is attention to details like type placement or exquisite cropping. The business is in need of an infusion of imagination in its Super Bowl coverage.

This wasn’t the year that would happen, however.


Baltimore, Md.

Circulation: 179,574

If you’re going to run a photo of the local team’s quarterback — and the game’s most valuable player — holding aloft the Lombardi trophy, then this is how you do it.


A nice, tight crop. Careful placement of cover blurbs (and a little tint to increase contrast so they’d be readable. And slight interaction with the nameplate.

That was designed by the Sun‘s head of visuals Jay Judge. The picture is by staffer Gene Sweeney Jr.

Ditto for the front of today’s Super Bowl special section.


The picture there is by staffer Lloyd Fox.


Westminster, Md.

Circulation: 24,194

A poster front featuring the Super Bowl MVP, Joe Flacco: Great.

This particular photo in which people in the foreground partially obscure Flacco and the CBS announcer interviewing him: Not so much.


The picture is by staffer Dylan Slagle.


Cherry Hill, N.J.

Circulation: 46,547

The Courier-Post — essentially, Flacco’s hometown paper — had to go to the wires to find a better shot to feature on page one. But, as you can see, it was the right call.


That picture is by Matt Slocum of the Associated Press.


Newark, N.J.

Circulation: 278,940

And the Newark paper, too, celebrated the MVP from South Jersey on page one today.


That picture is by Mike Ehrmann of Getty Images.


Neptune, N.J.

Circulation: 98,032

The Asbury Park paper chose art of retiring linebacker Ray Lewis celebrating midfield immediately after the game.


That’s yet another Getty image.


San Francisco, Calif.

Circulation: 229,176

The San Francisco Chronicle was one of the few papers today that showed restraint on page one by not writing its headline around the power failure.


That wonderful photo of a very sad-looking Colin Kaepernick is a bit of an illusion. That’s not after the game. Chronicle staffer Carlos Avila Gonzalez shot that while the lights were recycling.

Meanwhile, just about everyone else in California, it seemed like, used “Lights Out” on the front page today…


San Jose, Calif.

Circulation: About 225,175

Lead art for the Bay Area News Group papers today was staff art by Nhat V. Meyer of Vernon Davis stalking off the field while confetti pours from the roof of the Superdome.


For the record, here are the Contra Costa and Oakland versions.

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Stockton, Calif.

Circulation: 33,675

Stockton went with a similar picture of wide receiver A.A. Jenkins, shot by David Goldman of the Associated Press.



Santa Cruz, Calif.

Circulation: 25,000

Santa Cruz used a picture of Kaepernick — made by the Merc’s Nhat V. Meyer and distributed by MCT.



San Mateo, Calif.

Circulation: 14,800

San Mateo chose to build a montage of images around a larger picture of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.


The lesson to take away from this one: Montages rarely work. Better to pick a great photo and use it larger.


New Orleans, La.

Circulation: 133,557

And in New Orleans, the Times-Picayune — which, as you know, no longer publishes on Monday — put out a special Super Bowl edition today, featuring local native Ed Reed of the Ravens hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.


The picture is by staffer Brett Duke.

Everything here but the Baltimore pages is from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous Super Bowl LXVII blog posts:

  • Friday: A selection of Super Bowl pages from the Asbury Park Design Studio
  • Sunday: Super Bowl pages from around the country

Find more Super Bowl pages in SportsDesigner‘s Facebook gallery.

Super Bowl pages from around the country

On Friday, I posted a selection of Baltimore Ravens pages from Gannett’s Asbury Park Design Studio. Look for those here.

Today, let’s look at a few more Super Bowl advance pages from around the country…


San Francisco, Calif.

Circulation: 229,176

On page one today, the Chronicle focused on fans: Parties both in the Bay area and in New Orleans celebrating the return of the 49ers to the Super Bowl and on longtime fans who’ve attended all six previous Super Bowl appearances.


Frank Mina, deputy managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, sends along a handful of pages from the Super Bowl special section that inserted into this morning’s paper.

Frank tells us:

We had the opportunity to work with two great artists. Our cover illustration was created by Goni Montes and art directed by Chronicle art director Elizabeth Burr.


The Chronicle took a historical-themed approach to that cover. In addition to coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback Colin Kaepernick, you’ll also see figures from the 49ers’ glory years in the 1980s: Coach Bill Walsh, quarterback Steve Young and the legendary Joe Montana.

A few samples of Goni Montes’ work:


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Goni is based in Atlanta. Find his web site here.

Frank continues:

We also had a two-page graphic breaking down the 49ers winning season by Jeremy Yingling.

Click this one for an extra-large look:


There’s so much going on in that game-by-game look at the year’s numbers that I hardly know where to begin. So make sure you check it out.

Frank tells us:

Jeremy has a company called Infojocks that specializes in sports posters, so it was a lot of fun to work with him on this project.

I first got to work with Jeremy when the Chronicle launched its 49ers Insider digital magazine at the beginning of the season. He’s a great talent and has an amazing knowledge of sports.

Frank also points out that I wrote about Jeremy’s work once before, although I didn’t have his name at the time. Jeremy created the “visual box score” that wrapped hits, and runs from the San Francisco Giants’ playoff game against the Tigers onto a circular timeline.


Read more about that not far from the top of this blog post.

Frank writes:

We also put together some posters for the section as well. They were designed by Chronicle artist Steven Boyle.


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Walnut Creek, Calif.

Circulation: About 225,175

Today’s Mercury News took the historical angle on page one today: Can the 49ers match the great legacy of the team?


Today’s sports front focuses on the standout players of both teams.


And here is the cover of today’s special section, looking back over the 49ers five previous Super Bowl championships in the 1980s and 1990s.


Thanks to the Bay Area News Group’s Chris Gotsill and Hedy Phillips for sending along those pages.


San Mateo, Calif.

Circulation: 14,800

Not only did Julio Lara of the San Mateo paper create this cover for a four-page pull-out section in today’s paper, he also posted rough drafts and working versions in Facebook as he worked.


Julio writes in his blog:

I had the idea of representing the Lombardi trophy that wasn’t quite San Francisco’s — and with a long history of success, getting back to the Super Bowl was like “filling a void” for the organization.

The last time the 49ers were in the Super Bowl, Julio points out, the Daily Journal didn’t even exist.

In addition to that cover illustration, Julio also created this graphic for inside. Again, click for a larger view.


Find Julio’s blog here.


Santa Cruz, Calif.

Circulation: 25,000

The Santa Cruz paper used its front-page real estate to put emphasis on the area’s biggest 49ers fans.



Los Angeles, Calif.

Circulation: 94,016

Are you tired of seeing the Lombardi trophy yet? It was lead art on the front of today’s Los Angeles Daily News, along with five things to watch — or not watch — for in today’s game.


A fun excerpt:


That same presentation played across the entire Los Angeles area newspaper group.

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Baltimore, Md.

Circulation: 179,574

In Baltimore today, the emphasis was on how badly the Ravens want to win a Super Bowl ring to match the one the Ravens won in 2001.


Today’s Sun also included a 16-page special section. The cover was a montage of Ravens players and the obligatory Lombardi trophy.


Both today’s front page and the special section cover were designed by the Sun‘s head of visuals Jay Judge.

Jay tells us:

The double[truck] is pretty close to our standard pre-game double, though the illos are from our friends at MCT. We usually do drop outs there.


Click on that for a larger look, of course.


Westminster, Md.

Circulation: 24,194

The folks in Westminster, Md., put the emphasis today on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco.


A little refer at the upper left of that page plugs four pages of coverage inside, including this look back at the Ravens’ 2012 season by Times staffer Amy Stem.


I’ve love to see a larger copy of that. I’d be much obliged if anyone in Carroll County could send me a PDF.


Cherry Hill, N.J.

Circulation: 46,547

Again, we looked at a number of pages from this paper the other day. Check those out here.

Today, the Courier-Post saluted Ravens Joe Flacco and Bryan McKinnie, both of whom played high school football in South Jersey.


They’re just two of 26 players from the area who have gone on to appear in the Super Bowl. The most famous so far, perhaps: Franco Harris, who was a standout running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s.

Read more about it here.


Fond du Lac, Wis.

Circulation: 10,186

It turns out that that Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee and lived in Fond du Lac until he was age 4. Sean McKeown-Young of Gannett’s Des Moines Design Studio put together this composite illustration of Kaepernick for today’s front page.


Sean tells us:

It is one of the oddest illustrations I’ve ever done.

I have been illo crazy this week.

He sure has. This is the third time in five days I’ve mentioned him here in the blog [See Jan. 30 here and Feb. 1 here]. If he doesn’t slow down, people are going to talk.

Find the story that goes along with that illustration here.


Omaha, Neb.

Circulation: 135,223

Jay St. Pierre of the Omaha World-Herald shares the back-page poster from today’s Super Bowl special section.


Jay tells us:

We looked back at how Ray Lewis has evolved from someone Husker fans hated to someone they could respect by comparing his career numbers to other past great inside linebackers.

The good news is that the Raven in the back ground was a lot more subtle when it hit news print. Not sure why it was so prominent on this jpg.

See more of Jay’s work his NewsPageDesigner portfolio.


New Orleans, La.

Circulation: 133,557

The host city newspaper, naturally, pulled out all the stops today.


Not only are there 13 pages of coverage inside — and again, I’d love to see some of those pages — the Times-Picayune also lets readers know it’ll publish an extra edition on Monday.


Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 142,476

Here’s one of the coolest Super Bowl treatments I think I’ve ever seen by Jack Kirby of Marvel Comics Wesley Watson of the Virginian-Pilot.


That served as the cover of today’s Pilot sports section.

Wesley tells us:

It was created all on computer. No sketches.

I created mockup images of the two players from existing images…



…and photos I took of myself. For instance, that’s Ray’s head on my body (I used warp tool to exaggerate proportions on both Ray’s face and my arms). So there is an early version with a Ray head and freckled arms that got a good laugh out of Margaret [Wesley’s girlfriend, as you’d probably guess].


Once I stretched, warped, pushed and pulled I painted over them in Painter. I’m not a great painter, so I paint in the program and lower opacity on my paint layer to allow a hint of fabric and texture from the photo layer through.


Then I moved them to Illustrator and digitally inked them and laid them into the comic layout. Last was Photoshop where I dirtied it all up and tore the edges and whatnot.

It sounds all linear, but I did this about a dozen times until I got what I wanted. A lot of times when I’m illustrating, I feel like a bad mechanic. If it’s not working, I just keep hammering the hell out of it until it takes shape.

Find Wesley’s NewsPageDesigner portfolio here.


Boston, Mass.

Circulation: 225,482

And up in Boston — where the Patriots are sitting on their asses this weekend, shut out from the big game — the Globe found an inventive way of helping fans deal with the disappointment of being eliminated by the Ravens two weeks ago.

Globe designer Robert Davis explains via Facebook:

Today’s page offers a glimpse into an alternate universe.


To illustrate David Filipov‘s story on the angst felt by a city used to a decade-long sports winning streak, I found a (rare) copy of the souvenir page that celebrated what should have been a 19-0 Patriots season in 2008. (We all know how that story ended.) I experimented with different ways of destroying that page, settling on shredding it. Et voila: A city’s dreams in tatters.

Online, Patrick Garvin assembled some other mockup pages from heartbreaker games and displayed them next to the actual pages from those events.

For example, here’s the post-Super Bowl front page that should have been last year…


…and the one that did publish.


Fun stuff. Find it here.

Pages from San Francisco, San Jose, San Mateo, Baltimore and Norfolk — and the unpublished pages from Boston — are from those papers. The rest are from the Newseum. Of course.

A selection of Super Bowl pages from the Asbury Park Design Studio

This coming Sunday is Super Sunday. It’ll be the Ravens and the 49ers in New Orleans’ Superdome.

The folks at Gannett’s Asbury Park Design Studio have been hard at work putting out Ravens-themed Super Bowl pages and sections, director Tim Frank tells us.

Tim walks us through a selection of work from the past few days…

The Wilmington News Journal and the Cherry Hill Courier-Post shared elements of their special sections with cover stories centered around [Ravens quarterback] Joe Flacco. Here is the Cherry Hill cover, by sport team leader Michael Johnson.


Inside pages we simple and clean.


The Cherry Hill sports cover by Tommy Piatchek.


The Daily Times in Salisbury, Md., wrapped the section around their cover. Here is their front page, By Eddie Alvarez.


A Daily Times poster leading up to the preview.


You probably saw this one by [studio creative director] Chris Mihal.


And out of the playoffs, this piece by Eddie Alvarez.


Eddie Alvarez developed the branding, based on some earlier work by Michael Grant. The guys are very collaborative.


  • Average daily circulation for the News Journal of Wilmington, Del., is 83,210.
  • Average daily circulation for the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, N.J., is 46,547.
  • Average daily circulation for the Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., is 16,493.

Did your paper do something interesting for the Super Bowl? An unusual treatment on a sports page, perhaps, or a special section? Send it to me.