The day’s nine best gay marriage front pages

Here’s a look at what I feel are the nine best front pages today dealing with Friday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Newark, N.J.
Circulation: 278,940

If you haven’t seen this page already, then you’re probably not spending enough time on social media.

This is the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., which elected to lead today’s front page with a charmingly simple illustration of a rainbow heart and the closing lines of Friday’s majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.


That was designed by the Star-Ledger‘s sports designer, Kiersten Schmidt — who is soon leaving the business, she says, to go to grad school at the University of North Carolina.

Kiersten wrote last night on her Facebook timeline:

In my last few months as a newspaper designer, I’ve been fortunate to design pages for some pretty cool events — the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, the 29th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits (who also happens to be one of my favorite players) — but this one was far and away the best.

As I move onto North Carolina and a (ever-so-slight) career change, this is the page that will stay with me.

To be honest, a lot of days it feels like what I do doesn’t really matter. Not today. Today I decided to stray away from what you’re “supposed” to do when big news breaks because I felt that today’s news deserved something a bit more.

I hope when the people of New Jersey pick up their papers on Saturday, they feel the happiness in their heart that I felt when I designed this page. I hope they think of this page and Kennedy’s words when they remember the day we all became a little more equal.

Love wins. And good design matters.

Nicely done.

Find Kiersten’s web site and portfolio here.

Cleveland, Ohio
Circulation: 246,571

The Cleveland Plain Dealer also led today with just the text of Justice Kennedy’s


The text against the stark black background is very sharp indeed.

This was designed by Josh Crutchmer, I’m told. Which explains why it looks so awesome.

Norfolk, Va.
Circulation: 142,476

From a stark black background to a stark white background: The Virginian-Pilot today also used that same excerpt.


Notice how designer Wes Watson used the same trick Josh did in Cleveland: He emphasized that last emphatic sentence.

Wesley tells us:

As I understand it, Paul [Nelson, design team leader] and new editor Steve Gunn had the idea at the same time to use the excerpt as the front.

So Paul had me work it up quickly to see how it would play out. I knew I didn’t want to knockout text; I wanted it as light and fresh as possible. We tried a couple of versions where we had another story and refers, and then just refers. My feeling was if we’re going to dedicate this much space — because we’re saying this is important — having anything else out there takes away from that message. And everyone seemed to agree.

So we removed everything else we could all the way down to the barcode. Simple and clean.

Mountain Home, Ark.
Circulation: 9,156

I realize this is probably stock art…


But, hey: I’d argue it’s the perfect piece of stock art, used in the perfect way on the perfect day.

UPDATE: I’m told this was designed by Valeria Rodriguez of the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines.

San Francisco, Calif.
Circulation: 229,176

In San Francisco — ground-zero for the fight for same-sex marriage — the Chronicle published this fabulous front page today.


That is Jewelle Gomez and Diane Sabin, who were plaintiffs in a 2004 lawsuit involving gay marriage, at a City Hall news conference. Staffer Tim Hussin caught them in silhouette, against what appears to be a gay pride flag.

Omaha, Neb.
Circulation: 135,223

A number of papers went out to find local folks rushing to be the first married under the new world order.

In Omaha, Jenna Stanley and Kelly Brokaw had planned to get married in Iowa this weekend. But the ruling Friday morning caused them to move up their schedule and to stay at home.


The picture is by staffer Ryan Soderlin.

Note how clean that page is. When you have a gorgeous picture like that and it tells your story well, you know the drill: Play it big and get the hell out of its way.

UPDATE: I’m told this page was designed by Tim Parks.

Clarksville, Tenn.
Circulation: 14,596

That’s exactly what the folks did at the Leaf-Chronicle of Clarksville, Tenn.

Meet Travis Arms and Michael Vanzant, now husband and husband. Staffer Autumn Allison photographed them getting married by the Montgomery County Commissioner himself.


Nice headline, too.

Victoria, Texas
Circulation: 26,531

My former colleagues at the Victoria Advocate — deep in conservative South Texas — also ran their lead art big today and got the hell out of its way.


That’s Nicole Dimetman and Cleo DeLeon at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin Friday evening, photographed by staffer Jaime R. Carrero. The local significance: DeLeon is a descendent of Victoria’s founding family.

The wonderful Jessica Rodrigo had superb access to Ms. DeLeon for several months and wrote a great piece for today’s paper. Read it here.

That terrific page: Run it big. Get the hell out of its way. Right? That’s Kimiko Fieg, who’s semi-retiring this month after a decade or so as the Advocate‘s presentation editor.

Also, for what it’s worth, I left the Advocate with an exhaustive — but, sadly, incomplete — timeline history starting with the birth of the modern Gay Rights movement in New York City in 1969 and running through… well, my last day on Wednesday. My former colleagues updated the timeline and ran it in today’s paper.


In addition, my pal Jordan Rubio converted my work into an interactive version. Find that here.

Springfield, Mo.
Circulation: 35,531

But the award for luckiest shot of the day — which made for perfect lead art, if somewhat accidental — is this picture by Valerie Mosley of the Springfield, Mo., News-Leader of a rainbow after a Friday afternoon rain.


Does that sum up the story perfectly, or what?

UPDATE: This page, I’m told, was designed by Eric Fields and Sean McKeown-Young.

I put out a few messages this morning, seeking names of designers and so on. If you have any information to share — especially a few sentences on how the page came together — please send it to me. I’ll add it here as quickly as I can.

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

An interesting angle to hoops, smack in the middle of Big Dance season

Looks like Ian Lawson — lead sports designer of the Omaha World Herald — has been up to more cool stuff lately.

He tells us:

We were in the middle of our coverage of the Omaha rounds of the NCAA Tournament when sports editor Thad Livingston told us we had a really cool local story coming up for Sunday: It was about how the Sudanese population in Omaha have really taken to and learned a lot from the game.

The story follows the arrival of one young man at age nine, how he’s introduced to the game, how it helps get him into college and then he goes home to help other members of his community.

It also touches on what life is like for these refugees and what they go though knowing nothing of the way of life outside of war-torn Sudan and adjust to things like, cars, toilets and seeing yourself in the mirror for the first time.

I was feeling a little burned out on college ball, so I asked  if I could take it on.

Once I read through what turned out to be a great story — backed up by some cool photos and lots of interesting sidebars — I worked up a cover design and asked if we could play it up and treat it special.

So Thad, [deputy presentation editor] Tim Parks and I went back and forth on the main photo and then once we settled on the group shot we decided to make the page mostly the display.


Click that or any other page here today for a much larger look.

Ian continues:

We were also fortunate to have plenty of pages in this edition so we were able to spread it out over 4 color pages inside.

Here are pages nine…


…and ten.


I wanted to play the images big so used them to top each page and tried to come up with a design that would hold all the elements but not feel too crowded. We love our white space in Omaha.

Here are pages 11…


…and 12.


It took some finessing to make it all fit, but I think it came together nicely.

Those wonderful photos were by Kent Sievers. Read the story here by Jon Nyatawa.


Ian spent three years as an editor and designer for the Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky., before moving to the Gannett design studio in Louisville, Ky. in December 2011. He moved to Omaha in 2013.

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

A fun football preview page today from Omaha, Neb.

My old pal Ian Lawson built a fabulously fun football preview page for today’s Omaha World-Herald.

Ian tells us:

Our sports editor and assistant sports editor along with our online sports team and the presentation leadership all get together each week to hatch up crazy new ideas. This one came about after deciding we didn’t want to take the obvious route on an “under the radar” story.

We eventually zeroed in on the fact that everything has been low key and no drama for the Huskers and Coach Bo [Pelini] this season. We liked the idea of presenting the story in terms of volume.

Leaving the meeting we knew we wanted a knob and it would be turned down. Working up the first draft of the page, a knob alone wouldn’t do, so I mocked up a quick University of Nebraska “N” out of a speaker grill to go along with it.


It wasn’t a quick read on the speaker part due to it being just the small dots, so I added in the speaker cone to help sell it more.

A potential headline/deck of “Bo’s sound system” was batted around to play off of the speaker idea. But I just couldn’t pass up the chance to turn that into a fun faux logo.


After some tweaking here and there, we got the image that went to press.

It was different kind of page, and I’m glad we got to do it this.

Ian spent three yeas as an editor and designer for the Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky., before moving to the Gannett center in December 2011. He moved to Omaha in September of last year.


He’s known for coming up with especially clever takes on what would otherwise be tired old sports clichés. Just a few samples from my collection of his work:



I wrote about him most recently when he built this great video arcade page for last year’s Final Four basketball championship.


He even came by to visit me a few months ago.


Find more of Ian’s work in his NewsPageDesigner portfolio. Find his Twitter feed here.

A visitor from the Great Plains

Hey, I know that guy!


Unfortunately for Ian Lawson of the Omaha World-Herald, it looks like he knows me, too.

Ian is in Southern California for a few days. Last night, he joined us for dinner.

It was very cool, finally getting to meet Ian face-to-face. I’ve been a fan of his work for a long, long time. Ian spent three years as an editor and designer for the tiny Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky…


…before moving to the Gannett design studio in Louisville in December 2011.

He moved to Omaha last summer.


Even Poynter did a story on him once.

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

A fun Final Four preview with a retro ’80s video arcade theme

Leave it to Ian Lawson of the Omaha World-Herald to find a way to bring world-class fun to a world-class basketball weekend.

Children of the 80s, feast your eyes on this. And click for a much larger view:


Is that brilliant, or what?

Ian tells us:

I started working on the illustration when the match-ups for the Sweet 16 were set. The more I kept working on it, the more detail I saw I could add and I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do it justice on deadline.

So I held it back, and showed it to the powers-that-be, and we eventually decided to use it along with some Tribune-provided capsules as an advance for the games on Saturday.

As for the illo, I found a picture of an older arcade cabinet that had just one joy stick and no screen, and then went from there.


It was fun to work on and a bit of a challenge trying to get the angles and such to match up while adding the different elements.

I then took our team buttons and made them 8-bit styled…


…along with the headers for each of the caps.


Ian spent three yeas as an editor and designer for the Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky., before moving to the Gannett center in December 2011. He moved to Omaha in September of last year.


A few samples of his work:



Find more in his portfolio.

Lead art: A rap sheet?

Sunday, the Omaha World-Herald published one of the more interesting stories — and front pages — I’ve seen recently.

Since 1979, this one local family has been convicted of 633 crimes, including 65 felonies, 35 assaults, 14 weapons violations and 112 drug and alcohol-related offenses.

The World-Herald illustrated this story Sunday by listing all of the charges.

Click this for a jaw-dropping larger view.


Presentation editor Dave Elsesser tells us:

The Sunday 1A was kind of collaborative effort by me, Tim Parks and Tammy Yttri.

There’s no real aha moment or elaborate brainstorming session behind its concept. The idea just sort of popped up after I opened a spreadsheet of 600-some crimes and thought, “Wow.”

Tim and Tammy did most of the work on the back end of the design, with Tammy playing the closer’s role. There wasn’t a ton of pros-and-cons discussion with our senior editors about the design, other than what size and shape would carry the most impact. The most difficult part of the process was making the 1A elements mesh up with other pieces of the package.

The presentation was first of a three-part look at this particular family. Find the series online here.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

That front page is from the Newseum. Of course.

A look at Omaha’s football pregame sports fronts

Ian Lawson moved from Gannett’s Louisville Design Studio to the sports desk of the Omaha World-Herald just after football season started.


So what’s he been up to? A bunch of things, but he’s been paying special attention to the World-Herald‘s Saturday pregame fronts.

Ian tells us:

All of our pregame covers get their start on Tuesdays. The designer, our sports editor Thad Livingston, director of presentation Dave Elsesser, and deputy director of presentation Tim Parks meet up and discuss the story line of the week.

No matter who designs the cover we all are encouraged to bring ideas and offer up feedback. Lots of great teamwork makes these possible.

Oct. 5

This one was based on Coach Bo Pelini‘s quote of having the right pieces on his team, but trying to find the right fit.


We went back and forth on the best way to present it, so I mocked a version up, sold everyone on the idea and then worked up the version that made it on the page.

Oct. 12

We had started to work on some more straightforward ideas, but Dave sent out an email talking about their big drum and came up with the headline.


I was like, we have to have Herbie Husker busting out of it. I had a lot of fun with this one.

Nov. 2

This one is by designer Margaret Riedel.


I was working on our college basketball section so she stepped up and did a really smart illo of all the things weighing on Coach Pelini.

Nov. 9

This was the first cover where we singled out one player instead of focusing on the team. But the performance of Ameer Abdullah as the one consistently great thing for the Huskers made it an obvious choice.


Dave, Thad and I went round and round on an idea, but had no luck. We did find the portrait that is on the page and knew it was the art we wanted. I mocked an idea of using a wordcloud-type of illo that just featured words that described him. Got it approved then worked up the version that printed.

Nov. 16

We all decided we liked the idea of a “historical role reversal” where on the field it’s the Spartans and their solid defense that are going to be tough for the patchwork husker offense and freshman QB to beat.


I fleshed out an idea that Dave came up with and then we had Matt Haney polish it up and make it work.

Ian spent three yeas as an editor and designer for the Ledger Independent of Maysville, Ky., before moving to the Gannett center in December 2011.

He moved to Omaha in September. Find his portfolio here.

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.

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.

Omaha’s Jay St. Pierre moving to Chicago Tribune’s RedEye

Sports designer extraordinaire Jay St. Pierre announced via Facebook this week:

Well, it’s official: I took a design job at RedEye, a Chicago Tribune publication, and am moving to The Windy City in June!!!


It’s been an amazing two years in Omaha, and I cannot thank the people at The World-Herald enough for everything they did for my career.

A 2009 graduate of Louisiana State University, Jay worked as a sportswriter, a copy editor, a page designer and as associate managing editor for the school’s student paper, the Daily Reveille. He also served as a sports stringer for Sports Illustrated On Campus, as a design intern for the Colorado Springs Gazette and as editor of Legacy magazine.

He spent several months as a designer and copy editor for the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., before moving back to Colorado Springs in 2010. He moved to the World-Herald of Omaha in July, 2011.

A few samples of his work:






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

Making a big splash for spring football with — what else? — a big splash

It’s always a delight when I log into my email and find a message from Jay St. Pierre, sports designer for the World-Herald of Omaha, Neb.

Jay writes:

I just wanted to pass along the doubletruck we are running in Sunday’s paper.

Click for a much, much larger view.


Jay writes:

It’s midway though spring practice (still five and a half months out from the season opener) but these die-hard Nebraska fans can’t get enough NU football, so we put together our annual spring roster breakdown. The theme … “players looking to make a splash.”

…which explains that giant red splash in the center of the page, larger than a dinner plate.


A 2009 graduate of Louisiana State University, Jay worked as a sportswriter, a copy editor, a page designer and as associate managing editor for the school’s student paper, the Daily Reveille. He also served as a sports stringer for Sports Illustrated On Campus, as a design intern for the Colorado Springs Gazette and as editor of Legacy magazine. He spent several months as a designer and copy editor for the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., before moving back to Colorado Springs in 2010. He started in his current position last summer.

I’ve written him up a number of times here in the blog, most recently here and here and here. Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

The coolest thing I’ve seen lately: Three fun sports pages

While I’m on my cross-country trek this week, a number of visual journalists around the country are lending a hand by telling us what is the coolest thing they’ve seen lately.

Today, Jay St. Pierre — sports designer for the World-Herald of Omaha, Neb. — shares…

…a few cool things we’ve done recently.

1) Super Bowl Cover Illustration

We decided to steer clear of focusing in on the obvious story lines for this year’s Super Bowl cover (Ray Lewis‘ final game, Harbaugh Bowl, the sudden emergence of Colin Kaepernick, etc), combined all of those and incorporated a Mardi Gras/Party theme. Mardi Gras was the following Tuesday and we wanted to capture New Orleans’ party atmosphere and make this a fun illustration. This was just really fun to work on mostly, I think, because I’m from New Orleans.


Side note on this section: Our archives are down right now, so I can’t find the actual front page, but our incredibly talented graphic artist Matt Haney put this bad boy together. He won a few more SNDs this year and is just absolutely amazing.

2) Ray Lewis Poster

I sent this to you when it printed and you posted it on your blog that day.


Here’s what the email said:

We looked back at how Lewis has evolved from someone Husker fans hated to someone they could respect by comparing his career numbers to other past great inside linebackers. Good news is the Raven in the back ground was a lot more subtle when it hit news print.

I designed this page.

3) Signing Day 2013

Oh Signing Day … the most dreaded day of the year in our newsroom (or at least in the sports corner).

Most of our online team arrived at the office between 6:30 and 7 a.m. and didn’t leave until 10 p.m. Their work did pay off in the form of website traffic, though. We had nearly a million hits on our Big Red Today and site, which is by far our largest one-day total this year.

Here’s the cover of the 10-page print section we put out.


Husker fans seem to eat this stuff up so we wanted to blow it out of the water again this year. We focused on the two four-star running backs that committed and labeled it “We-Back 2.0,” comparing their talent to two I-backs Nebraska used in the early ’90s.

Robert Saenz designed the cover and we carried the “machine/Iron Man” look throughout the section.

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

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

Earlier in our series of “the coolest thing I’ve seen lately”…

The best folio line you’ll ever see

The best folio line you’ll ever see ran on page one of today’s Omaha World-Herald.

You might not have seen it, because the World-Herald was a no-show at the Newseum today. Luckily, someone uploaded a photo to the ACES Facebook page today.


Here’s a closer look:


Funny stuff.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

More Mayan apocalypse shenanigans, here in the blog…

And, from the last scare, back in May 2011…

Jay St. Pierre’s take on the Nebraska vs. Penn State game

I didn’t get this until too late to post last night. But we can enjoy it this morning.

Jay St. Pierre of the Omaha World-Herald sent along his latest sports front — a pregame for yesterday’s Nebraska vs. Penn State game — writing:

We wanted to do something pretty clean and simple for [Saturday’s] game and printed a second cover (without the blur on the words) in our Sunrise edition.

Let me know what you think … I’m still kind of on the fence about the blur.

Oh, I like the blur quite a bit. It’s not about readability — those words fading into the ether aren’t really headlines. They’re used as illustrations. And the point Jay made here is quite eloquent.

It’s also interesting to compare this page with last year’s Nebraska vs. Penn State front. Which was published at the height of the big controversy last year.


Impressive work. As usual from Jay.

This is the third time in three three months I’ve written about Jay. Find his great Angry Birds-themed football pregame page here, his giant cat scratch page here and his turn as a model here.

See more of Jay’s work his NewsPageDesigner portfolio. Find his Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

Here, kitty kitty kitty…

Let’s take a break from baseball, shall we?

I thought we’d try a little college football, instead. Let’s check in with Jay St. Pierre of the Omaha World-Herald to see what he did for today’s sports cover preview package, advancing the Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Northwestern Wildcats game.

The terrific photoillustration is by Jay himself. The headline is by Ted Nugent.

Jay sure knows his way around animals. Previously, he’s taken on huskies and birds.

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

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

Let’s draw straws… loser has to pose for the sports centerpiece

From today’s Omaha World-Herald, here’s yet another great football preview front.

Master sports designer Jay St. Pierre tells us:

Unfortunately, I was the odd man out and had to be the model for the photo.

Bonus feature: Making a cameo appearance in the glossy finish on the spiffy new black ‘Huskers hat: The ceiling tiles of, presumably, the photo department studio.

A 2009 graduate of Louisiana State University, Jay worked as a sportswriter, a copy editor, a page designer and as associate managing editor for the school’s student paper, the Daily Reveille. He also served as a sports stringer for Sports Illustrated On Campus, as a design intern for the Colorado Springs Gazette and as editor of Legacy magazine.

Jay spent several months as a designer and copy editor for the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., before moving back to Colorado Springs in 2010. He moved to Omaha last summer.

A few examples of his work for the World-Herald:



Find his portfolio here and his Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

Also a couple of weeks ago, we saw another visual journalist doubling as a model. Read about that here.

Very simple graphics and a bold use of hot, blistering colors

Catching your eye the most as you scroll through today’s collection of front pages at the Newseum: This enormous graphic treatment by the World-Herald of Omaha, Neb.

Weather has taken an enormous toll in the Midwest this summer. It’s been extra-super hot. And the amount of rainfall has been super-low.

The story is clear immediately, with a very simple set of graphics and a bold use of hot, blistering colors.

Click for a much larger view.

Dave Elsesser, the World-Herald‘s news and presentation editor, tells us:

That is largely the work of one Tim Parks. Tammy Yttri also worked on the page and parts of the package.

Parts of the centerpiece got away from us, but the concept is nice and there are some real nice touches. The calendar format for the lack of rainfall is pretty effective.

It is indeed. Tim and Tammy used only a minimum amount of text to make clear what they’re showing here. There are no dates listed. No days of the week. Only the name of the month and the amount of rainfall — if over 1/10th of an inch — received on that day.


Leaving out the usual calendar-type details was a bold choice many editors may not have made. Yet — as you can see — it worked just fine.

Just above there is a map of the U.S., showing rainfall across the nation. As you can see, the entire Midwest was affected while the West Coast — and especially the South — had more than their usual amount of wet stuff this summer.

I hate to second-guess the folks in Omaha — because, after all, it’s very difficult to create a chloropleth map — a readable one, at least — that uses seven different tones of color. But I wish a more similar color palette could have been used on the map and the calender. I’m finding it slightly jarring that this one is red, yellow and green while the calendar is red-and-blue.

Especially since the giant bar chart running up the right side of the page is all black.

I presume the measurements here were set up to be actual size in the paper. The black bars worked very well.

Also great here is the sun illustration — just like the calendar and the bar charts, very simple and stripped down to its barest elements — and the brief story, with centered lines with bullets separating the paragraphs.

Dave tells us:

I’m speaking for Tim here, but I know one of our goals was to present this information in a fresh way. As you can guess, we’ve had a lot of drought/heat photos on our pages during the past few months.

Mission accomplished.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

This front page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Omaha’s first football game preview sports front of the season

How better to observe the start of college football season than with the first pregame centerpiece in the Omaha World-Herald?

Master sports designer Jay St. Pierre tells us:

We tried to come up with a unique, and fun, way to illustrate how tough of an opponent Southern Miss could be for the Huskers.

Matt Haney did the illustration.

Very cool. Click that for a much larger look.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,223.

A fun golf section front illustration today in Omaha

Today, the World-Herald of Omaha, Neb., inserted a golf guide special section.

The section was designed by Jay St. Pierre, who tells us the cover is…

…an illustration of a few of the wacky and entertaining stories we ran on the inside, which include former Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch hitting a bird on a tee shot. Dave Croy did the illustration.

In case you’re curious, here’s the Eric Crouch story, as cited in the lead story:

Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch: “I was golfing with Turner Gill in Lincoln during my playing days and killed a little bird while teeing off. Yes, I got a birdie.”

Good golf anecdotes are like Lay’s potato chips: You can’t eat just one. So here’s the tale that immediately follows that one:

And sometimes planes get in the way. Ask Rich Stanko of Omaha:

“While flying for the Army in 1969, I was landing at the municipal airport in Jackson, Miss. The final approach was over a golf course next to the runway. As I was daydreaming about how I wished I was out there, I heard a loud crack as something struck the front cowling of the plane. I called the tower and reported what I thought had been a possible bird strike. The tower asked if I could identify the type of bird since they had no reports of previous sightings. All I could recall was that it was some kind of white bird.

“After landing, I inspected the cowling and there it was. A perfectly round, dimpled indentation with a long white streak behind it. I then recalled I had seen a golfer hitting a shot as I passed over the fairway. I went into base operations and called the tower to report that I had identified the bird as a Titleist.”

Good stuff. And that’s just the start. There’s plenty more in the online story which, sadly, is unbylined. Find it here.

A 1982 graduate of Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Dave has worked at the World-Herald for 28 years. Unfortunately, I can’t find a mug shot of him or an online portfolio anywhere. I do have this one page of his in my collection:

Read more about that one here.

Average daily circulation for the World-Herald is 135,282.

No birds were harmed in the creation of this fun basketball pregame front

Today in Omaha, the Creighton Blue Jays — who were flying so high before back-to-back losses this week — host Wichita State.

The World Herald previewed the game with this amusing sports centerpiece:

The studio photo is by Rebecca S. Gratz. The page itself was designed by Jay St. Pierre, who tells us…

The concept came from the fact that Creighton, a team that started the year off on fire and had reeled off 11-straight conference wins, has not been the same the past two games.

They’ve left fans wondering where that team has gone and when they will return? I figured it would be a pretty fun way to visualize the Bluejays “disappearing.”

Q. Where did you find the feathers? Were any actual bluejays harmed in the making of this  centerpiece?

A. Ha! No, there weren’t any Bluejays harmed in the process. Here’s a video we took of the photo shoot to prove it:

Also, we got the feathers from Hobby Lobby. They have everything!!!

Read the story here.

Jay’s built a number of notable pregame fronts in his time in Omaha. Two quick examples:


A 2009 graduate of Louisiana State University, Jay worked as a sportswriter, a copy editor, a page designer and as associate managing editor for the school’s student paper, the Daily Reveille. He also served as a sports stringer for Sports Illustrated On Campus, as a design intern for the Colorado Springs Gazette and as editor of Legacy magazine.

He spent several months as a designer and copy editor for the Clarion-Ledger of Jackson, Miss., before moving back to Colorado Springs in May of last year. He moved to Omaha in July.

Find more of Jay’s work his NewsPageDesigner portfolio. Find his Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the Omaha World Herald is 135,282.