Gannett’s Abby Westcott moving to Hilton Head, S.C.

Designer Abby Westcott — most recently with the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville — is moving to the 19,900-circulation Island Packet of Hilton Head, S.C.


Abby tells us:

I’ll be the senior designer at the Island Packet so I’ll be designing 1A. The editor, Brian Tolley, wants some bold design and thought my portfolio would fit what he’s looking for. I’ll have a lot of creative freedom there and will be able to experiment and try new things.

She’ll start work on July 27, she says.

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 Gannett design studio in 2011. She spent two years designing features for the studio…



…before being named the lead designer for the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle.




She moved to USA Today in March of last year and led what I called a badly-needed “design evolution” there, designing A1 and local covers…



…but five months after I wrote that blog post, USA Today laid her off. I’m still trying to understand that one.

She caught on in at Gannett’s Louisville hub last November and parted company with the hub earlier this year.

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

Gannett/Louisville’s Josh Meo moving to Villages Daily Sun

This week, executive editor Bonita Burton made yet another outstanding visuals hire for her growing team at the Daily Sun of the Villages, Fla.

Her message:

I’m delighted to announce that Joshua Meo, an accomplished designer at the Gannet Design Studio in Louisville, is joining us as our new Associate Managing Editor.


This is another in a string of new positions we’ve created to lead our growing staff in this growing market.

In this new role, Josh will work closely with AME Bill Bootz and Managing Editor Colin Smith to direct the visual storytelling of our full portfolio of products — and those we’ve yet to invent. He’ll oversee a team of six designers and report to Managing Editor Sharon Sullivan.

Josh describes himself as someone who “lives for deadlines, planning for a big event or rebuilding for breaking news.” He has deep experience in special sections and in-depth reports, most recently as a lead designer for the Indianapolis Star, Cincinnati Enquirer and Louisville Courier-Journal.

Before joining the studio, Josh designed A1, news and business pages for the Cincinnati Enquirer for six years and was a graphic designer and copy editor at the Kansas City Star for nearly two years.

Josh is a big thinker who understands the importance of intelligent risk-taking. He’s a thoughtful, collaborative leader who will be a big boost to us on the story conception end.

Most of all, he shares our passion for community journalism, our commitment to innovation and our relentless pursuit of excellence.

(Oh, and he’s a seasoned softball pitcher who just might be talked into join the company team…)

Josh and his wife, Jennifer, are parents to an 8-year-old, a six-year-old and a 2-year-old.

Please join me in welcoming them to the Daily Sun family when they join us – hopefully by early August.

I can’t wait to see where his creativity and ambition will take us next.

There’s not much more I can add to that. A few samples of his work:






Find Josh’s portfolio here.

Recent high-profile hires by the Villages Daily Sun

Indy Star publishes a full-page, page-one editorial

Today, the Indianapolis Star devoted its entire front page to a call for rethinking the new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Click that image for a closer look. Read the entire editorial here.

This page was designed by Spencer Holladay of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville, Ky.

His boss — studio creative director Ryan Hildebrandt — tells us:

The Star contacted us in the early afternoon to explain what they were planning. We instantly knew how important this page would be to a lot of people. Spencer started building options immediately while working with the newsroom on the words.

The buzz about over this doesn’t surprise us one bit. I’m proud of the Star editorial staff and management for their no-fear approach to making sure their message wasn’t just seen, but also heard.

I have a number of other front-page editorials in my collection. On Dec. 5, 2008, the Detroit (Mich.) Free Press urged Congress to bail out the auto industry (below, left).


On May 2, 2010, the Arizona Republic of Phoenix demanded immigration reform (above, right).

On Nov. 8, 2011, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, Pa., sounded off on the Penn State sex abuse scandal (below, left).


On April 22, 2012, the Sioux City (Iowa) Journal pleaded for a halt to high-school bullying.

Two years ago tomorrow, the Daily Tar Heel — the independent student paper at the University of North Carolina — called for reform of how sexual assault cases were handled on campus.


And on Oct. 6, 2011, the Northern Star — the student paper at Northern Illinois University — ran a full-page, page-one apology for an editorial cartoon it had run in its previous edition.


I also have several examples that probably should have been labeled as page-one editorials…


…but don’t get me started on the NYC tabloids.

That image of today’s Indianapolis Star is from the Newseum. Of course.

Front page of the day

There’s a brilliant conceptual centerpiece on the front of today’s Lafayette, Ind., Journal & Courier:



  • A question headline — normally, I hate question headlines. But this one is very effective.
  • A wonderful typographical treatment on said headline.
  • What appears to be a little piece of stock art.
  • Lots of white space.
  • Nice decks on the two stories below.

This would have been designed in Gannett’s Louisville design studio. If anyone there can fill us in about details —  who designed it, how it came to be — please share.

This is the same paper — and the same design studio — that produced this page, back in January.


That, too, was stock art. I sent out several messages at the time trying to get details but came up empty-handed.

Both pages are great examples of how to build powerful, powerful work using stock images. Kudos to the kitchen staff.

Average daily circulation of the Journal & Courier is 25,531.

That page image is from the Newseum. Of course.

Long live the Monarch

Lead story in today’s Cincinnati Enquirer is an effort to save the vanishing Monarch butterfly.

The Monarch butterfly, you see, is very picky about where it lays its eggs. It’ll lay eggs only on a milkweed plant. Unfortunately, milkweeds are disappearing. The Cincinnati Nature Center is handing out 50,000 packets of free milkweed seeds to anyone who’ll plant them and give the Monarch butterflies a place to make their babies.

If you ignore the ugly yellow box in the upper right corner of the page, today’s Enquirer front page is gorgeous. There’s just one little problem: That ain’t a Monarch butterfly.


That’s a Tiger butterfly. Monarch butterflies have a lot more orange in them and also have a distinctive polka-dot pattern along the outer edges of its wings.


Here’s a similar shot of a tiger butterfly for comparison.


The paper has it correct in the online version of its story.


According to the cutline, the picture on page one today is a file photo. The lesson here: Never trust a caption in your archives. Always make an effort to check ’em out.

UPDATE: Sunday, 10:42 PDT

Blog reader E.L. Bayer writes to add:

The Cincinnati Enquirer graphic with the wrong butterfly also depicts the wrong plant.  It’s gomphrena, not milkweed.

The digital version likewise was in error, but corrected. The reader comments on the story you linked will tell the tale.

That page one image is from the Newseum. Of course.

When numbers are the story, make numbers the centerpiece

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


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


…where the contributions are coming from…


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


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


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


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

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


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

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

That front page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Gannett sports designer Ian Lawson moving to Omaha, Neb.

Ian Lawson — a superlative sports designer for Gannett’s Louisville Design Studio — is moving to the World Herald of Omaha, Neb., he tells us.

Ian will be the World Herald‘s lead sports designer. He starts work there on Sept. 9.

Ian spent three yeas as an editor and designer for the tiny Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky…


…before moving to the Gannett center in December 2011. 


What kind of a collaborator has Ian been while at the Louisville studio? Jeff Herman, copy desk chief of the Indianapolis Star, tweets this morning:


Find his portfolio here.

A look at this weekend’s Kentucky Derby front pages

Both Lexington and Louisville went with illustrations on the covers of their Saturday newspapers to advance yesterday’s 139th running of the Kentucky Derby.

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The Lexington Herald-Leader put this wonderfully graphic illustration by Chris Ware on the front, showing roses falling upon the downs.


Meanwhile, the Courier-Journal of Louisville went with a photoillustration of a trainer who had five horses running Saturday.


The picture was by staffer Alton Strupp. Andrew Scheiderich did the cardfront illustrations.

The winner — by two-and-a-half lengths — was Orb, who had won four straight races going into the Derby. A $2 bet on the horse to win paid $12.80.

The pictures for today’s fronts were taken at very nearly the same moment — just past the finish line — and from nearly the same angle. All that was different was the crop and the phrasing of the “Orb shines” headline.

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The Herald-Leader chose a nice, tight crop of Orb and his jockey, Joel Rosario shot by staffer Timothy D. Easley.


Find Lexington’s online coverage here.

The Courier-Journal chose a much looser crop of a picture made by freelancer Kramer Caswell.


Read Louisville’s online coverage here.

Average daily circulation of the Herald-Leader is 92,626. The Courier-Journal circulates 154,033 papers daily.

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

Today’s NCAA basketball championship pages

Here’s a brief look at today’s NCAA men’s basketball championship pages…


Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

Huge photo with everything else pushed off the front page: Check.

Picture shows players celebrating a national championship beneath falling confetti: Check.

Punny, celebratory headline: Check.

Looks like the Louisville paper today did everything it needed to do and did it well.


The lead picture is by staffer Michael Clevenger.

Among the items referred to across the bottom: A four-page special section previewing tonight’s women’s title game. Louisville is playing in that game, as well.


That photoillustration looks like a lot of fun. If there’s anyone in Louisville today who might slip me a PDF of this to post here, I’d be much obliged.


Lexington, Ky.

Circulation: 92,626

Here’s how the folks up the road in Lexington played the story today.


The picture is by staffer Mark Cornelison. The page was designed by Bruce Engel.

You can barely see the celebration in the huge celebration shot on today’s sports front.


The picture is by staffer John Bazemore of the Associated Press. Dennis Varney designed the page.


Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 113,508

In Detroit today, the requisite for every huge display page was a pun on the word “blue.”

The headline for page one of the Detroit News: Red White & So Blue.


The picture is by News staffer John Greilick. Presentation editor Rick Epps designed the page himself.

The headline for sports: Dazed and Blue.


That terrific action shot is by Travis Heying of the Wichita Eagle. Kim Storeygard designed the page.


Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 232,696

The headline for the front of today’s Free Press‘ wrap: Feelin’ Blue.


The picture is by the Freep‘s Julian H. Gonzalez. Steve Anderson designed the page.

And on the front of today’s sports is… what? That’s not a “blue” pun! That’s a “Cards” pun! How did that happen?


The picture is by Julian H. Gonzalez. Ryan Ford designed the page.


Lansing, Mich.

Circulation: 41,330

And lastly, here’s how the folks in Lansing played the story today.


Not quite as imaginative headline as the others we’ve seen today. But it certainly works well enough.

The photo is from the Associated Press.

The the Detroit pages and all the sports pages are from those respective papers. The rest is from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous coverage of March (and April) Madness 2013, here in the blog…

  • March 18: A look at a few notable NCAA Tournament pages and sections
  • March 20: Five more fun March Madness pages for you
  • March 25: How the Fort Myers paper played last night’s huge win by Florida Gulf Coast University
  • March 26: More Florida Gulf Coast Univ. pages from the Fort Myers paper
  • March 29: Special editions are a slam-dunk today in ‘Dunk City,’ Florida
  • March 30: A look at Saturday’s March Madness pages
  • April 1: A look at Monday’s Final Four basketball tourney pages
  • April 7: A look at today’s Final Four pages
  • April 8: Today’s NCAA Championship preview pages

Today’s NCAA Championship preview pages

We’re well into April now, and you know what that means: March Madness is nearly over.

Tonight, Michigan and Louisville play for the NCAA men’s basketball championship in Atlanta.

Here’s a look at today’s pages advancing the game…


Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 232,696

The Free Press goes all-out once again with a spectacular photoillustration of the Wolverines — the Michigan team, not the superhero — by staffer Eric Millikin.


Eric worked with images from Getty, USA Today and the Freep‘s own files.

Joe Cybulski designed the rest of that page.

Also in today’s paper was a “Big Dance” special section, featuring a cover designed by Ryan Ford.


The press conference art is by Freep staffer Kirthmon F. Dozier.


Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 113,508

The News today stripped the story atop its nameplate.


The picture is by staffer John T. Grellick.

If anyone at the News would care to send me the special section cover, I’d be glad to add it this evening.

UPDATE – 9:15 p.m. PDT

Page one was designed by Antone Amye.

Here is Monday’s sports front.


Presentation editor Rick Epps tells us:

I designed in and wrote the headline off a great photo from Daniel Mears.


Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

The Louisville paper today wrapped a preview around the newspaper, so you didn’t see this today at the Newseum.


The page was designed by Chris Dye, Jeff Patterson and Ryan Hildebrandt of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville. The picture was file art.

One reason for the wrap: Louisville is two-times lucky this April: The Cardinals women also won last night, with a 64-57 come-from-behind win over California. So the Courier-Journal plastered that all over the regular front page.


The picture is by staffer Scott Utterback.

The Louisville women will play UConn Tuesday for the women’s national championship.


Hartford, Conn.

Circulation: 132,006

I haven’t been posting women’s tournament pages. But today’s were pretty decent. I love both the celebration photo and the headline afront today’s Hartford Courant.


The picture was by Courant staffer Cloe Poisson.


Bridgeport, Conn.

Circulation: 48,701

The Connecticut Post made good use of a Getty picture by Chris Graythen.



Meriden, Conn.

Circulation: 16,708

The little paper in Meriden used a picture by Dave Martin of the Associated Press, shooting down from the catwalk on the opening tipoff.



Waterbury, Conn.

Circulation: 42,673

The paper in Waterbury also went with AP art today.



New London, Conn.

Circulation: 32,779

And The Day of New London had staff art by Tim Martin, but…


Look how little impact that art had compared to the three or four examples we just saw.

Hey, I’m all in favor of sending staffers to shoot postseason games. But you have to do more than just shoot it well — you have use it well, too. If you don’t, then you might as well just go with wire art.

In this case, the paper might have been better off to plan for vertical art which might have had more impact. Or knock one of those four stories off the front page. Perhaps the one across the bottom that promotes the paper’s own project.


San Jose, Calif.

Circulation: About 225,175

You don’t often see post-game pictures from a women’s locker room on page one. But that’s what the Merc ran today following Cal’s loss to Louisville.


The picture is by staffer D. Ross Cameron. And as much as I like the photo, I just love the headline. Nicely done.

The Merc’s sister papers were nearly identically designed today.

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


South Bend, Ind.

Circulation: 59,351

And in South Bend, the Tribune put the Irish women’s loss in the skybox today.


That, too, didn’t turn out so well. A montage of images rarely works — especially in a confined space like that. Better to pick out one image and use it larger.

With the exception of the Free Press pages and the Louisville wrap, all these pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous coverage of March (and April) Madness 2013, here in the blog…

  • March 18: A look at a few notable NCAA Tournament pages and sections
  • March 20: Five more fun March Madness pages for you
  • March 25: How the Fort Myers paper played last night’s huge win by Florida Gulf Coast University
  • March 26: More Florida Gulf Coast Univ. pages from the Fort Myers paper
  • March 29: Special editions are a slam-dunk today in ‘Dunk City,’ Florida
  • March 30: A look at Saturday’s March Madness pages
  • April 1: A look at Monday’s Final Four basketball tourney pages
  • April 7: A look at today’s Final Four pages

A look at today’s Final Four pages

Here’s a quick look at the day’s Final Four pages…


Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 232,696

The Free Press put Michigan’s tight, five-point victory over Syracuse into the skybox this morning, with a big, red word that seemed to sum up the entire game.



The page was designed by Joe Cybulski. The picture was by Julian H. Gonzalez.

A similar photo by Julian — shot from a slightly different angle — was lead art on the Final Four section front today, designed by Ryan Ford.



One amusing note about that page… On the right is a piece by ace sports columnist Mitch Albom. The headline states Mitch will analyze Michigan’s Final Four appearance.

Hmm. Sounds interesting. But the top of the piece seems to be mostly Mitch rubbing in the fact that Michigan kicked Syracuse out of the tournament. He even uses the “‘Cuuuuuuse me” line twice.


Amusing, perhaps — if you’re not a Syracuse fan. But analytical?


Syracuse, N.Y.

Circulation: 78,616

Meanwhile, the Syracuse paper today led with a wonderful picture of C.J. Fair — who scored 22 points in a losing effort — barely holding back tears as he gazes wisftfully at the scoreboard.


The picture is by staffer Dick Blume. The picture of disappointed fans is by staffer Dennis Nett.


Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

In Louisville — home of the world’s ugliest basketball britches — the Courier-Journal went big with an emotional celebration shot and got the hell out of its way.


The picture is by staffer Matt Stone. The design is by the Gannett Design Studio’s Ian Lawson, I’m told.


Lexington, Ky.

Circulation: 92,626

And over in Lexington, the Herald-Leader used a great celebration shot atop today’s nameplate.


The photo is by staffer John Bazemore.


Wichita, Kan.

Circulation: 67,250

The Wichita paper today ran a great photo of two disappointed Wichita State players after their four-point loss to Louisville.


The photo by staffer Travis Heying is wonderful. The typography at the top of that page: Not so much. Between the “Sunday” in the nameplate, the blue sports refer, the main headline and the two little red refers, that’s an awful lot of (what looks like) Helvetica Condensed Black. A little variety here might have helped. Plus, I hope those little red refers were easier to read in print than they are on this JPG.

Also on today’s Wichita Eagle: This full-page ad, signed by Shocker coach Gregg Marshall and presumably paid for by the athletic department.


What a great, classy move. Thanks to the multitude of folks who retweeted that image this morning.

With the exception of the ad and the Free Press pages, the rest of these images are all from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous coverage of March Madness 2013, here in the blog…

  • March 18: A look at a few notable NCAA Tournament pages and sections
  • March 20: Five more fun March Madness pages for you
  • March 25: How the Fort Myers paper played last night’s huge win by Florida Gulf Coast University
  • March 26: More Florida Gulf Coast Univ. pages from the Fort Myers paper
  • March 29: Special editions are a slam-dunk today in ‘Dunk City,’ Florida
  • March 30: A look at Saturday’s March Madness pages
  • April 1: A look at Monday’s Final Four basketball tourney pages

A look at Monday’s Final Four basketball tourney pages

While Sunday’s March Madness pages weren’t anything to get excited about, today’s were a bit more spectacular.


Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 232,696

The big story of Sunday’s game was Freshman Nik Stauskas, who successfully fired off six three-point goals. The photo on the front of today’s Free Press shows Stauskas after one of those dropped in.


That picture was by staffer Julian H. Gonzalez, who also took the great celebration shot used to great effect on the sports front today.


The sports front was designed by Ryan Ford. Steve Anderson designed today’s front page.


Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 113,508

While the Freep went with “Four sure” for its lead headline, the Detroit News chose “4-ward.” Perhaps we might have Four-warned that puns on the word four would be rampant today.


That lead art is by News staffer John T. Grelick.

The News ditched the four pun and went instead with a final pun for its sports front.


Lead art is by Stephen M. Dowell of the Orlando Sentinel.


Oakland, Mich.

Circulation: 65,197

In the suburbs of Detroit, the Oakland Press used a celebration shot by Tony Gutierrez of the Associated Press.



Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

The story of the day in Louisville, of course, was that gruesome injury to guard Kevin Ware near the end of the first half. Ten years from now, you might not remember that Louisville beat Duke out for a spot in the Final Four. But you’ll remember the sight of that bone poking out of Ware’s leg.

The Courier-Journal focused on the win, however, pushing Ware’s misfortune into the second of three decks.


The picture is by staffer Sam Upshaw Jr.


Raleigh, N.C.

Circulation: 129,698

In Raleigh, the News & Observer focused on a dejected Duke bench. Duke’s loss means that this will be the third consecutive Final Four without a team from the ACC. This is the first time since the early 1960s that’s happened.


The photo is by N&O staffer Chuck Liddy.


Durham, N.C.

Circulation: 21,367

And in Durham, the Herald-Sun pushed its staff photo of the Duke game downpage in favor of the Duke women, victorious in a regional semifinal game Sunday in Norfolk.


The men’s picture was by staffer Bernard Thomas. The photo of the women’s game was from the Associated Press.


Charlotte, N.C.

Circulation: 146,511

Charlotte made a bit of a deal today about Kevin Ware’s leg injury, leading page one with a picture of Ware’s teammates reacting and a column by staffer Scott Fowler.


The picture is by Michael Conroy of the Associated Press.

The Detroit pages are from those two papers. The rest are all from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous coverage of March Madness 2013, here in the blog…

  • March 18: A look at a few notable NCAA Tournament pages and sections
  • March 20: Five more fun March Madness pages for you
  • March 25: How the Fort Myers paper played last night’s huge win by Florida Gulf Coast University
  • March 26: More Florida Gulf Coast Univ. pages from the Fort Myers paper
  • March 29: Special editions are a slam-dunk today in ‘Dunk City,’ Florida
  • March 30: A look at Saturday’s March Madness pages

A quick look at today’s March Madness pages

It’s great to see Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall plastered on the front of the…


Wichita, Kansas

Circulation: 67,250

Marshall is from Greenwood, S.C., just up the road from my hometown. He also spent several years leading my alma mater, Winthrop College, to the NCAA men’s tournament.

In eight or so appearances, Winthrop never made it out of the first round. It’s great to see Marshall cutting down a net.


That picture is by Eagle staffer Travis Heying.

Amusingly, I must have had a dozen people message me yesterday, telling me the coach of Wichita State is the former coach at Winthrop. Yeah, I know. I’ve been keeping track of him for years, now. I’m still pissed Clemson didn’t hire him when it had the chance.

Thanks for the reminder, though.

Speaking of the Shockers and speaking of Rock Hill — where Winthrop is located — my old Rock Hill Herald colleague Rich Rassmann writes:

I was shocked to find the Wichita State “Go Shockers” site, which is linked to from the school’s main site which featured a huge photo of the upset win, was not updated as of 1:54 p.m. Sunday!

The site still promotes the Ohio state game and hopes for an upset. Pretty shocking, I’d say, for such an historic win.

Here are the screen caps Rich sent along.



Absolutely, that’s awful. My guess: Whoever is in charge of the site is more interested in celebrating the win than in updating the site.

For what it’s worth, however, within moments of Rich sending me those screencaps, the Go Shockers site was indeed updated.


Pro tip for the Go Shockers folks: Update first with the news. And then get fancy with your design.


Syracuse, N.Y.

Circulation: 78,616

I love the emotion shown in the lead art afront today’s newspaper in Syracuse, following the Orange’s big 55-39 win over Marquette.


What disappoints me: The photo is wire. Could the Post-Standard not afford to send someone to shoot the game?

In related news: Both major New York City tabloids have now jumped on the Syracuse bandwagon.

130331MarchMadnessNYDailyNews 130331MarchMadnessNYPost

Hmm. Even more reason to pull for Michigan next weekend. (Or Florida. But, most likely, Michigan.)

On the left is the New York Daily News, circulation 579,636. On the right is the 555,327-circulation New York Post.


Durham, N.C.

Circulation: 21,367

The Durham Herald-Sun previewed today’s Duke vs. Louisville game with a file shot of Coach K and his players during a game last week.


My beef with that: I don’t think pictures of the backs of basketball players will sell papers. Either pick a picture that shows faces or push the display below the fold.


Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

And I don’t know what Louisville did today — the front page of the Courier-Journal was a no-show at the Newseum, unfortunately.

However, I did spot this great sports front in somebody’s Facebook feed last night.


I don’t know where my friend found this Sunday page last night. He doesn’t have any direct connection to the paper or to the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville.

I’m glad he posted it where I could steal it, though. It’s a fine page.

Which reminds me: Please feel free to send me your Final Four pages, previews, posters and whatnot.

With the exception of the Louisville sports page and the Shocker screen caps, all these front pages are from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous 2013 March Madness coverage here in the blog:

  • March 18: A look at a few notable NCAA Tournament pages and sections
  • March 20: Five more fun March Madness pages for you
  • March 25: How the Fort Myers paper played last night’s huge win by Florida Gulf Coast University
  • March 26: More Florida Gulf Coast Univ. pages from the Fort Myers paper
  • March 29: Special editions are a slam-dunk today in ‘Dunk City,’ Florida
  • March 30: A look at Saturday’s March Madness pages

A look at a few notable NCAA Tournament pages and sections

Scott Goldman — director of content at Advance Digital and a former sports designer for the Washington Post — writes today via Facebook:

In case you were wondering how you should design an NCAA Tournament section, look no further. This is how you do it.

The section that caught his eye today: The one from the Washington Post. Which always puts out a fabulous tourney section.

Click for a much larger view.


What you can’t see unless you zoom in: Those aren’t just team logos. those are tiny little infographics. Each shows the number of times a team has been to the Big Dance, the number of times it’s made the Final Four and the number of championships each has won.



Very slick.

Brian Gross led the design of the section, design director Janet Michaud tells me. Chris Rukan and Des Bieler worked on it as well.

Pages two and three take a fun look back on star players of previous tournaments going back to 1940 and the growth of the tournament field.

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Page four focuses on the East Regional. Page five looks at the Georgetown Hoyas, which face Florida Gulf Coast in their first-round game on Friday.


Pages six and seven present the entire bracket, as well as one “filled out” by sports columnist Tracee Hamilton

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…who, by the way, reluctantly picks Kansas to win it all.

Page eight is a bit of a preview to the women’s seedings. Page nine jumps back into regional previews.

130318MarchMadnessWaPoH08 130318MarchMadnessWaPoH09

Pages 10 and 11 finish up the regional previews.

130318MarchMadnessWaPoH10 130318MarchMadnessWaPoH11

And page 12 contains the last few conference tournament stories of the year.


Average circulation of the Washington Post is 507,615.


Fort Myers, Fla.

Circulation: 54,761

Michael Babin — the Florida design team leader at Gannett’s Nashville Design Studio — writes:

I wanted to share some pages that the Nashville Design Studio produced for the News-Press as the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team earned its first-ever bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Sunday’s paper looked back at how the team got to this point…


Click, of course, for a much larger view.

Here is Sunday’s sports front, previewing the selection show…


…and here are two inside pages looking back on the Florida Gulf Coast University season.

130317MarchMadnessFtMyersC4.jpg 130317MarchMadnessFtMyersC5.jpg

Michael resumes his story:

…while Monday’s paper provided a bit of instant analysis for the team’s matchup against heavily-favored Georgetown.


Here’s an inside A page with the jump and with more reaction shots from the selection show.


Michael tells us:

The Nashville Design Studio produced a live 8-page special section in the News-Press for the NCAAs in addition to blown-out coverage in the A-section. With most of the live art going to A1, we payed homage to those fun Sports Illustrated covers that capture all the Madness of March while still playing up the home team making their debut in the Big Dance.


I became a bit of a Bracketology nerd throughout the past week so that most of the photo-illustration could be quite far along leading up to Sunday night’s Selection Show in order to turn this around on deadline for Monday’s publication.

Here’s the doubletruck of the inside section, focusing on the opening-round game.


Hey, it’s only Georgetown. Piece of cake, right? Just ask Syracuse.

Michael writes:

Special thanks to designers Chris Bistline, Melissa Koenigsberg, Kayla Golliher and a team of editors, reporters and photographers back in Fort Myers for ramping things up for the weekend.


Cincinnati, Ohio

Circulation: 144,165

And among the papers putting the start of March Madness on page one today, this one stood out as one of the more colorful and more interesting.


That page was designed by David Leonard, I’m told. Click to zoom in and read the little blurbs by Paul Daugherty.

In addition, here’s today’s sports front designed by Dustin Frucci.


Thanks to Ryan Hildebrandt, creative director of Gannett’s Louisville Design Studio, for sending those pages as well as the next one…


Louisville, Ky.

Circulation: 154,033

The Louisville studio’s Jeff Patterson went with a horse-racing theme to illustrate this year’s 64-team tournament field.


Make sure you click on that one and enjoy all the little silks.

Now, no slight on this fine, clever page. But if you’re wondering where you’ve seen an idea like that before: Perhaps it was here.


St. Joseph, Mich.

Circulation: 14,139

Andy Steinke of the Herald-Palladium in St. Joseph, Mich., writes:

I wanted to send along a couple of pages designed by one of co-workers, Crystal Myers, at the Paxton Media Group pagination superstation in St. Joseph, Mich.

The pages are of particular interest to me because I wrote the main “story” and sidebar featured on the page. I work full-time on the copy desk, but earlier this year I talked the features editor into letting me write the occasional ASF story. (I’m a former reporter). This is my second story so far.


A lot of people get really excited about the Final Four tournament, so I wanted to find a new way to get readers excited about it. I came up with the idea of a crossword puzzle featuring the past champions. I went through a couple of rounds of clues before settling on these ones. I think they’re challenging without being too hard for readers to figure out.

Here’s the jump page, including the solution to the puzzle.


Did you do something cool for March Madness? Send PDFs and design credits to:

chuckapple [at]

Cincinnati Enquirer relaunches with new format, design

The Cincinnati Enquirer launched a new format and a new design today.

On the left, here, is Sunday’s front page. On the right is today’s.

130310CincinnatiOldFront  130311CincinnatiNewA01

This isn’t a tabloid, exactly. This is the new “compact” format. It’s nearly as wide as a broadsheet. And — as you can see from this diagram from the Columbus Dispatch — quite a bit shorter.


After a number of delays, the Dispatch launched in the new format on Jan. 29. The Enquirer is now printed by the Dispatch.

In addition, the size is similar — but not quite the same — of that of a sister Gannett paper, the Free Press of Burlington, Vt., which made the switch last June.

120607BurlingtonFrontPage  130128ColumbusDispatchNew  130311CincinnatiNewA01

Ryan Hildebrandt, creative director of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville, Ky., where the Enquirer is designed, tells us:

The Enquirer is the second U.S. paper to move to this new size (10.5″ x 14.67″). It’s a completely different format from the broadsheet, which called for entirely rethinking how we present our content. Simply downsizing the current paper, and making the new product a “miniature broadsheet”, would’ve made this paper really underwhelming.

Here’s a larger look at today’s front:


And here it is again, side-by-side with today’s Kentucky Enquirer front for distribution south of the Ohio River:

130311CincinnatiNewA01  130311CincinnatiKyFrontA01

Notice the centerpiece story moves into the above-the-nameplate skybox position.

Ryan continues:

We’ve been working on this project for over a year now. Here in the studio, Jim Kirchner, Spencer Holladay, Tracy Oksendahl, Jeff Ruble, David Leonard, Lindsey Hack, Clay Sisk and Dustin Frucci were instrumental in helping figure out this new format and making it shine.

Editor Carolyn Washburn and the Enquirer newsroom have worked relentlessly to think about their writing, headlines, visuals and pacing from a completely new perspective. [Consultant] Ron Reason and [freelancer] Larry Buchanan also deserve credit in helping the Enquirer staff make huge improvements in their approach to words, tone, alternative story forms and brainstorming. Joe Powell, the Enquirer‘s director of news and print products, was crucial to helping implement the design from the newsroom’s end.

Change from tradition is tough, but the journalists in Cincinnati have been fantastic partners in crafting this new approach. This product is a perfect reflection of the great work being done by the Enquirer staff, who have created a better newspaper for their readers.

Ryan also sent along a number of live pages from today’s paper and prototype pages his folks have worked up over the past few weeks.

Today’s cover story appears on page A4. Click this — or any page here today — for a much larger look:


Here’s the new opinion page, which appears today on A10.


And here’s today’s local front on page B1, with a stand-alone illustration referring to a cover story on page B3 and a column down the right side.


The new weather page is especially illustrative. This is an unedited prototype of the new page A2.


And, of course, the Monday paper is typically one of the week’s smallest. As the week rolls on, readers will find new formats for the Wednesday food section…


…the Thursday weekend entertainment section…


…and the Saturday home section.


Sunday’s paper will include a number of sections including Forum…

…and a new section called “good news.”

The Enquirer‘s publicity material for the redesign states:

Our new section highlights the content we’ve been giving you all along, plus features on people and events. This section supports kids, families and businesses who do good things across Greater Cincinnati.

Those last five pages were all prototypes.

Sports went live today, of course. I don’t have a live sports front to show you,

UPDATE – 7 p.m. PDT

Ron Reason invited me to pick up live sports pages from his blog.

Here is today’s front…


And these facing pages deliver that cover story today.


And now, back to my original post…

…but I do have a prototype of the new sports front page.


These prototype pages show a nice sports column on page C2, a football insider column on C3…

130311CincinnatiProtoSports02 130311CincinnatiProtoSports03

…and more NFL coverage on C4 and C5. Obviously, these pages were built just as the Bengals wrapped up their season.

130311CincinnatiProtoSports04 130311CincinnatiProtoSports05

Note the liberal use of graphic elements, pullout boxes and large photos.

The Enquirer also published a 14-page special section that didn’t tell readers how to read their new paper as much as it did reintroduce the paper to readers.

I don’t know how intentional it was, but that cover illustration reminds me of another product launch, from 29 years ago:  130311MacHelloScreen

Page two gives editor Carol Washburn a chance to greet readers and explain how subscribing to the print edition gains online access. Page three begins a rundown on all the new features.

One interesting bit there: At a time when some newspapers are killing their weekly TV pullout sections, the Enquirer is touting an improved TV book.

Page four and five take a look at local coverage and local reporters, led by my former Des Moines colleague, senior editor Randy Essex.

Pages six and seven cover biz, opinion, Sunday forum and all the new features sections.

Page eight covers sports.

Page nine, above right, starts a six-page unit that introduces the Enquirer‘s staff.

Here are pages 10 and 11…

…and pages 12 and 13. Note the red dot from the “i” in Enquirer on page nine that’s popped off and bouncing around the remainder of the section.

The final page, 14, covers the Enquirer‘s photographers, copy editors and digital content team.

As you might imagine, all this was accompanied with a ton of stories looking back at the Enquirer and its history:

Average daily circulation for the Cincinnati Enquirer is 144,165.

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:

130212PopeNorfolkVa  110303LeBronCleveland.jpg

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:

130212PopeAsburyParkNJ 130212PopeVinelandNJ 130212PopeCherryHillNJ 130212PopeWestChesterNY

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.

130212PopeLouisvilleKy  130212PopeLafayetteInd

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.

Today’s most interesting front page

I was a bit underimpressed with the pickin’s today at the Newseum. But this front page stopped me in my tracks.


The story: Kentucky ranks sixth in the nation in fatal drug overdoses.

The illustration: Arresting. To say the least.

UPDATE – 3:45 p.m.

Ryan Hildebrandt of Gannett’s Louisville design studio tells us:

That would be David Leonard. He has a knack for grabbing attention with his design!

David also tells us:

The prescription drug illustration you featured on your blog is mine. I worked on the visual concept and execution — thank you, Photoshop — and the wonderful Enquirer copy desk came up with the display type.

As always, it was a team effort.

That is the Kentucky Enquirer, the edition of the Cincinnati Enquirer that’s distributed on the other side of the Ohio River. Average daily circulation for the Enquirer is 144,165.

More fun Baseball Hall of Fame sports fronts

You’ve seen the New York Times‘ brilliant sports front, with it’s literal — and ballsy — depiction of this year’s Baseball Hall of Fame induction class.

Here are a few others from around the nation…


Lafayette, Ind.

Circulation: 25,531

Ian Lawson of Gannett’s design studio in Louisville came up with this page today for the Journal & Courier of Lafayette, Ind.

Ian built around a brilliant headline written around sports slot Ryan O’Leary‘s headline, he tells us:

It was a pretty quick one. I came in and he had the headline and art ready to go for me and said he was thinking we should try to work the players into the “o” of “you” and “not.”

Then, I just had to finish up the lead in text.

It was a fun one to do.

We make a pretty good team. He knows my style and what I like to do and we usually come up with some good ideas together.


Melbourne, Fla.

Circulation: 63,087

Bill Wachsberger of Gannett’s Nashville studio created this fun page for today’s Florida Today.


Bill posted last night via Facebook:

I came up with the headline and searched out the stock art of the needle. Thanks to sports editor Mike Parsons.


New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 579,636

The Daily News also went with a syringe theme — note the “i” in “Roid.”



Melville, N.Y.

Circulation: 397,973

And Newsday went with file art of Roger Clemens, looking frustrated.


I presume that was designed by Chris Hanna.

UPDATE – 2:15 p.m.


Neptune, N.J.

Circulation: 98,032

Kiersten Schmidt did “something a little different” for today’s Asbury Park Press that actually shows the players who were enshrined in the Hall of Fame each year since 1996 — the last time no one was selected.


Kiersten tells us:

When I found out that the last time nobody was elected to the Hall was 1996, I came up with the idea of a timeline showing everyone who’s been elected since then. It shows not only how rare it is for nobody to get elected, but also all the people who didn’t put up the kind of numbers that the guys on this year’s ballot put up who have gotten in recently.

We discussed comparing [Barry] Bonds, Clemens, etc., to recent inductees but there are just too many numbers to consider when discussing Hall of Fame candidacy; it’s not like you can just compare batting average or ERA. I thought the names could stand on their own.

Baseball fans will know who most or all of those guys are, while non-baseball fans would see a bunch of names they don’t recognize in the Hall while Bonds and Clemens only got 36-37% of the vote. I thought it was a fun way to show the big picture and how big of a deal it was for nobody to be elected.

After that last dry year, the Baseball Writers of America came back the next time and nominated former Atlanta Braves great Phil Niekro. Perhaps history will repeat itself with the writers enshrining two-time National League MVP Dale Murphy in 2014.

Or not. But I can hope, can’t I?

If you haven’t seen it yet,  go here to find the New York Times page by Wayne Kamidoi.

A fun front-page illustration for a story about the confusing Electoral College

Last month, as you know, we held an election for President of the United States.

What you might not realize — and what most Americans don’t realize — is that the final count on Nov. 6 was basically worthless. What counted that day was the number of electoral votes each candidate racked up, by winning individual states.

Each state-by-state victory elected specially-designated delegates — called “electors” — who meet in Washington, D.C., to cast the only actual votes for the presidency. The meeting of that group is known as “the Electoral College.” And that’s happening today.

Even so, those votes won’t be counted until the new Congress officially does so on Jan. 6. Only then will President Barack Obama be declared the winner of the election and, therefore, elected to a second term.

Clear? As mud, I’m sure.

Designer and illustrator Cait Palmiter of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville, Ky., created this interesting page-one illustration today for a lead story about the Electoral College for the Journal & Courier of Lafayette, Ind.

Click for a much, much larger view.


Cait tells us:

I was thrilled to get to work on it.

The editors at Lafayette requested an illustration, largely because there wasn’t any great art for it otherwise. They suggested something light, funny and tongue in cheek, maybe a play on words with the name Electoral College.

I ran with it, and after reading the article (which refers to how people don’t know much about this important part of the election process) thought that maybe Americans should go to college to learn about the Electoral College. So I sketched a box for a freshman at (Electoral) College.

It was fun to create a generic “America” college in my mind, with the Statue of Liberty wearing a foam finger, and textbooks for classes that had course numbers corresponding to the electoral votes Romney and Obama won. And, of course, a football and some cheer pom poms and a pennant!

I might add: This concept works particularly well in Lafayette because the town is home to a major college: Purdue University.


Cait continues:

I did it all by hand (with a little Photoshop to stitch together the scan, since the drawing was too large for the scanner bed). I wish had a nice tablet for illos, but I love these chances to use my marker collection. I think there is something to be said for the hand-drawn aesthetic, too.


A 2011 cum laude graduate of Michigan State University, Cait interned with the Wharton Center of the Performing Arts, Faith Catholic and the Huntsville Times before signing on in Louisville this past August.

A few samples of her work:

1212CaitPalmeterSample03 1212CaitPalmeterSample02

1212CaitPalmeterSample01  1212CaitPalmeterSample06  1212CaitPalmeterSample04

1212CaitPalmeterSample07  1212CaitPalmeterSample05



Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the Journal & Courier is 25,531.

That front page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Find the official Electoral College home page here. Find a Washington Post story about all this here.

Rip it like a Polaroid picture

As soon as I saw it, I immediately fell in love with the Tuesday sports front from the Lafayette, Ind., Journal & Courier that Ian Lawson of the Gannett Design Studio in Louisville posted today on Facebook.

Click for a larger look:

Ian tells us:

The story is a feature/advance for tonight’s game between Purdue and Lamar.

The two coaches have been life-long friends since attending a basketball camp hosted by the Lamar coach’s father, former IU coach Bobby Knight.

I wanted something that would help show that, friends or not, they had to face off on the court.

I tried a couple different ideas. I did several takes on the split down the center of their faces but I couldn’t find art that lined up just right so I thought I would try the photo idea. I found a ripped paper texture and tweaked it to look like I wanted and then it started to come together.

That’s precisely why this works so well. I just love the positioning of the eyes.

Ian continues:

I really have to thank the editors and staff at The Journal & Courier. They really let me take their stories and try to tell them visually and it’s always fun coming up with ideas to do that.

Ian spent three yeas as an editor and designer for the Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky., before moving to the Gannett center a year ago. A few more samples of his work:



Average daily circulation for the Journal & Courier is 25,531.