USA Today design manager Tory Hargro to join Facebook

And I don’t mean as a user. I mean as an employee.

USA Today design manager Tory Hargro announced a couple weeks ago:

150601ToryHargroTweet

As a student at Alcorn State University, Tory co-founded a digital design boutique, Nextverge Digital Media, that served state and nonprofit clients. He also served as director of development for WPRL, the NPR affiliate there in Lorman, Miss.

1506ToryHargroMug

After graduating in 2007, Tory served a visual journalism fellowship with the Poynter Institute and then, that fall, went to work at the Orlando Sentinel as a multimedia designer. A year later, he leaped to a similar position at USA Today. He was promoted to manager of new product development and design in 2010 and then to design manager in 2012.

Tory worked his last day at USA Today this past Friday, May 26. He starts his new job at Facebook next Monday, June 8.

Tory tells us:

Can’t say much about what I’ll be doing except that I’ll be working on “creative labs” products.

Find Tory’s Twitter feed here.

Abby Westcott explains the design ‘evolution’ at USA Today

USA Today‘s new design editor, Abby Westcott, might disagree with me, but I think USA Today has made a big change recently in the way its front page looks.

1405UsaTodayFront0413Boston

The paper has broken out of the formatted, heavily-policed look its had nearly since it first hit those funky-shaped newsracks in 1982.

1405UsaTodayFront0409Health

USA Today redesigned two years ago — you might recall I was less than complimentary at the time (here and here and here) — but I still think the look of the paper seemed a bit bottled up… “blue ball” logos notwithstanding.

But then, two months ago, USA Today brought in Abby from Gannett’s Asbury Park design studio.

1402AbbyWestcottMug

The result has been some of the best-looking pages the paper has published in years.

1405UsaTodayPhoto0405Aghanistan

Abby took a few minutes to answer some questions for us…

Q. What’s behind this new look for USA Today? Is this simple evolution or was this a deliberate effort to change visual direction?

A. I wouldn’t say this is a new look. It’s more of an evolution based on the redesign by Wollf Olins in 2012.

Bringing in someone new offers a fresh eye on what already exists as the visual identity. I am using the elements and page structure that already existed and trying to use them in a different way. The redesign was clean, simple and smart, so I’m leaning towards making visual decisions to reflect those things.

Most of my design influence comes from the Asbury Park Design Studio where I worked for three years.

1402AbbyWestcottSample01

1402AbbyWestcottSample02

1402AbbyWestcottSample03

The style I picked up there is definitely influencing the work I am doing at USAT, and has crossed over to produce something fresh.

The push for this visual “evolution” began with Gannett’s launch of the Butterfly initiative in October 2013. Butterfly is the code name for a long-term project linking Gannett’s community papers and USA Today. A condensed version of USA Today appears seven days a week in 35 Gannett newspapers — so far — including papers in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Rochester, N.Y., Palm Springs, Nashville, Louisville, Green Bay, Florida Today and elsewhere. Including Sports, the insert ranges from eight pages to as many as 22 pages on Sundays.

The circulation of USA Today has doubled because of this, so a large focus has been pushed to Butterfly, especially the Saturday and Sunday editions.

Q. It’s certainly different, after 32 years of a highly formatted front page. What’s the process? Are you sketching up ideas and getting them approved?

A. Again, I see this more as an evolution.

The process all starts with a conversation. During the week, I work with the executive editor, David Colton, who gives me the freedom to use my discretion for the visuals. For the weekend editions, I get input from my page one editor, John Siniff, and photo editor, Chris Powers. As soon as I met these two, I knew we had a unique chemistry that would produce something different. We were all brought in to work on Butterfly and are on the same page with what we want to see in terms of visual storytelling.

1405AbbyWestcottWithPage

If we know we don’t have any strong cover images, I come up with several concepts and run them past John and Chris. As a team, we decide which one works the best. They have both been essential to making the evolution of Butterfly happen, and have been extremely open to the visual direction I have been offering.

Q. Clearly, you’re getting support from your editors. Tell me a little about how the approval process has gone. 

A.I don’t think I have received any negative reactions. All I have heard is extremely positive feedback from everyone.

1405UsaTodayFront0504Abandoned

Q. Are you doing your own illustrations or Photoshop work for your centerpieces? Or do you have to put in a rush request for art?

A. Because I work on the weekend editions in advance, I have the freedom to execute my own illustrations and Photoshop work for enterprise stories.

I recently started collaborating with the graphics department on a yearlong mental health series and I’m looking forward to continuing this process to have more cohesive print and online packages for enterprise stories.

Q. It’s not just the design that’s changed, it’s the headlines.

1405UsaTodayFront0426Ring

Are you coming up with the headlines, too?

A. The headlines are courtesy of John Siniff. He comes up with great headlines. Sometimes, I offer input if I have a design idea that doesn’t work with a particular headline, or if I want to do a typographic treatment that needs different words.

1405UsaTodayFront0315Vape

I really like the conversational style of the headlines John writes. They are engaging and make you want to read the story.

Q. Tell me about the blue dot. The samples you sent me have only one blue-dot illustration.

1405UsaTodayFront0420Doctors

Do you recommend ideas that dovetail with your design? Or is that done separately?

A. The graphics department designs the blue dot. It usually runs in the national edition that dovetails stories.

Since Butterfly isn’t the “front cover” of the community Gannett papers, we scaled back the masthead and promos so they aren’t as loud.

Q. How many page-one designers work at USA Today? Do you do page one five nights a week, or do you switch off onto other sections from time to time?

A. On a typical night, we have one lead designer for the national edition 1A, and one lead designer for Butterfly cover.

Jim Sergeant leads our design team. I design the Butterfly cover five days a week, but am focusing most of my energy on the weekend editions. If I want to spend extra time on weekend covers, I can ask another designer to pick up pages for me.

We also work with several contacts in all of the studios for Butterfly who I hand pages off to when I leave.

Q. You also sent me a number of gorgeous photo pages.

1405UsaTodayPhoto0330Mudslide

I don’t recall seeing a lot of that before in USA Today. How often does the paper do this? 

A. I am actually really excited about these photo pages. Not a lot of papers are running them anymore, so it’s a rare opportunity to get to design these.

1405UsaTodayPhoto0308Ukraine

Chris Powers and I work on photo pages for Butterfly once a week at the minimum, and occasionally a few other times a week when there are larger page plans. We have full pages to work with and is a great way to get this kind of content in.

1405UsaTodayPhoto0412Blossoms

Q. You’ve been at USA Today for just over two months, now. What has surprised you the most about the place?

A. I was surprised by everyone’s openness to my ideas. I have been given a lot of freedom to explore things.

Q. So, what’s been your favorite tourist stop in D.C. so far?

A. Of course the Newseum is one of my favorite stops.

1405AbbyWestcottAtTheNewseum

Yards Park is also a really great area if you wanted something a little less frequented.

1405AbbyWestcottYardsPark

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

That paper’s design desk, of course, was folded into the design studio in 2011. Abby spent two years designing features for the studio before being named lead designer for the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle a year ago.

She moved to USA Today in March.

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

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

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

1402AbbyWestcottMug

Her new title, she tells us:

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

I start march 4th.

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

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

A few samples of her work:

1402AbbyWestcottSample01

1402AbbyWestcottSample02

1402AbbyWestcottSample03

1402AbbyWestcottSample06

1402AbbyWestcottSample05

1402AbbyWestcottSample04

Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here.

Yet another above-the-fold page-one typo by USA Today

If there’s one place you don’t want to make a typo, it’s above the fold on page one.

Yet, that’s just what USA Today did on Tuesday.

130801UsaToday01

Do you see it? I didn’t, either, until Jennifer Spugnardi — owner and founder of Clean Sweep Copy Editing, a freelance copy editing service based in Bellmore, N.Y. — pointed it out to us via Twitter and Facebook.

It’s the name of the former New York Giants coach. Bill Parcells.

130801UsaToday02

The correct name is Parcells, not Parcell. To be correct, the apostrophe would be to the right of the “s,” not to the left.

Jennifer credits Mike Cole of the New England Sports Network for making the original catch.

This is the third top-of-page-one typo I have in my collection from USA Today. Back in December, the paper misspelled the name of Speaker of the House John Boehner.

121221UsaTodayTypo

And then in February, it misspelled the word history.

130219UsaTodayError

There’s no excuse for misspelling a word at the top of page one. None at all.

Very sloppy, USA Today.

Have some fun on your pages. When it’s not appropriate, though: Don’t.

You remember USA Today‘s cute little logo doodles, right?

 

They’re still at it on their section fronts. Not every day, perhaps. But frequently enough to still have some fun with their year-old format.

Take Wednesday’s business front, for example: USA Today turned its dot logo into a train car.

130710UsaTodayTrain01

There’s just one little problem with this: The downpage story this art referred to was — using the paper’s own description — a “disaster” story:

130710UsaTodayTrain02

A blog reader who wished to remain anonymous called this…

… a cartoonish rendition of a somewhat animated-looking oil tank car, offered up to fill a circular doodad spot, yet up in Quebec they’re still searching for the burned remains of about 35 more people. I think it shows remarkably poor visual judgment.

I’d agree. Every bit as poor as the decision to use this pun headline on a plane crash story in the Chicago Sun-Times last weekend.

For the record, here’s the entire Wednesday business front.

130710UsaTodayTrain03

My correspondent elaborates about USA Today’s logo doodles:

I sometimes (not as often as you might assume) find them off-putting, or contrived. Or, like this one, ill-advised. I mean, it looks like something from a Thomas the Train set or something. Or like a green Minion from Despicable Me, flopped on its side and without eyes. Thing is, why not simply draw a realistic silhouette of a tank car and set it inside the green dot?

I think part of the point they’re trying to make is by angling the tank car toward the reader, sort of like it’s getting ready to roll down the grade at you. Which, if that is indeed part of why they drew it that way, shows even worse judgment in my opinion: “Watch out, here comes a USAT green dot oil tank car, rolling toward your town, readers!

My larger background point being, when they adopted that “illustrate the dots” infrastructure, they set themselves up to occasionally reach for a visual that is simply really, really inappropriate.

The logo doodles are fun. But, like pun headlines, there’s a time to have some fun and a time not to have fun. This might have been the latter.

Previous blog coverage of last fall’s redesign of USA Today:

  • Sept. 6: USA Today reportedly to launch a redesign next week
  • Sept. 13: Is this USA Today’s new logo?
  • Sept. 13: A closer look at the hints we’ve seen of the new USA Today redesign
  • Sept. 14: My epic search for a new-and-improved USA Today
  • Sept. 17: A (somewhat belated) in-depth look at the new USA Today
  • Sept. 17: My thoughts about Monday’s edition of USA Today
  • Sept. 19: Stephen Colbert‘s take on the USA Today redesign
  • Sept. 19: A critique of Wednesday’s USA Today: Day Four of the redesign
  • Sept. 20: USA Today responds to Stephen Colbert’s logo challenge
  • Oct. 16: Has USA Today run out of ‘blue ball’ logo ideas already?
  • Oct. 21: Logo designers of the world: You’re not doing it right
  • Oct. 29: USA Today tweaks body copy font

A look at Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling front pages

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

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

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

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

JOURNAL & COURIER

Lafayette, Ind.

Circulation: 25,531

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

130627ScotusLafayetteInd

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

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

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

VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 142,476

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

130627ScotusNorfolkVa

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

The photo is by Mark Wilson of Getty images.

DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE

Rochester, N.Y.

Circulation: 114,502

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

130627ScotusRochesterNY

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

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

JOURNAL NEWS

White Plains, N.Y.

Circulation: 72,764

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

130627ScotusWestchesterNY

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

130627ScotusBinghamtonNY 130627ScotusElmiraNY 130627ScotusIthacaNY

From left to right:

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

DES MOINES REGISTER

Des Moines, Iowa

Circulation: 101,915

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

130627ScotusDesMoinesIowa

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

The banner picture is by staffer Bryon Houlgrave.

PRESS-CITIZEN

Iowa City, Iowa

Circulation: 12,130

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

130627ScotusIowaCityIowa

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

That great picture is by staffer David Scrivner.

CHICAGO TABLOIDS

Chicago, Ill.

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

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

130627ScotusChicagoRedEyeIll  130627ScotusChicagoSTIll

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

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

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

QUAD-CITY TIMES

Davenport, Iowa

Circulation: 46,824

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

130627ScotusDavenportIowa

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

COURIER-POST

Camden, N.J.

Circulation: 46,547

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

130627ScotusCherryHillNJ

The picture is from the Associated Press.

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

LOS ANGELES NEWSPAPER GROUP

Los Angeles, Calif.

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

130627ScotusLADNCalif

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

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

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

130627ScotusLongBeachCalif 130627ScotusTorrenceCalif

130627ScotusPasadenaCalif 130627ScotusSanGabrielCalif 130627ScotusWhittierCalif

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

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

130627ScotusSanBernadinoCalif

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

130627ScotusRedlandsCalif 130627ScotusOntarioCalif

BAY AREA NEWS GROUP

Walnut Creek, Calif.

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

130627ScotusSanJoseCalif

The picture is by staffer Jane Tyska.

130627ScotusOaklandCalif 130627ScotusWalnutCreekCalif

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

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL

Santa Cruz, Calif.

Circulation: 25,000

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

130627ScotusSantaCruzCalif

The picture is by staffer Kevin Johnson.

U-T SAN DIEGO

San Diego, Calif.

Circulation: 230,742

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

130627ScotusSanDiegoCalif

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

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

LOS ANGELES TIMES

Los Angeles, Calif.

Circulation: 616,575

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

130627ScotusLATCalif

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

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

A movement swept aside

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

Nicely done.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Santa Ana, Calif.

Circulation: 280,812

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

130627ScotusSantaAnaCalif

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

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

San Francisco, Calif.

Circulation: 229,176

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

130627ScotusSanFranciscoCalif

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

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

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

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

130627ScotusSFChronWrap01

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

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

130627ScotusSFChronWrap02 130627ScotusSFChronWrap03

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

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

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

130627ScotusSFChronWrap04 130627ScotusSFChronWrap05

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

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

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

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

130627ScotusSFChronWrap06 130627ScotusSFChronWrap07

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

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

130627ScotusSFChronWrap08 130627ScotusSFChronWrap09

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

Newsom, by the way, is now Lieutenant Governor.

The photo is by staffer Lea Suzuki.

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

130627ScotusSFChronWrap10  130627ScotusSFChronWrap11

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

130627ScotusSFChronCartoon

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

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

130627ScotusSFChronWrap12

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

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

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

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

A look at today’s best and not-quite-the-best Boston bombing front pages

As you’re already aware, the Boston Globe and its photography staff rose to the challenge of yesterday’s bombings during the Boston Marathon. Pictures by staffers John Tlumacki and David L. Ryan appeared in papers around the world, bringing the horror and the emotion home for readers everywhere.

Here’s a quick review of some of the day’s notable front pages…

BOSTON GLOBE

Boston, Mass.

Circulation: 225,482

The Globe itself led with a picture of a woman laying on a blood-splattered sidewalk, comforted by others until help arrives. This was one of the pictures by Tlumacki that we looked at last night.

130416BostonGlobeNews01

Tlumacki talked to Time magazine about that series of photos yesterday. Find that here.

In case you missed it, check out the story in the bottom left: A mother reels in anguish as her two adult sons are both caught in the blast. They each lose a leg.

UPDATE

That page was designed by AME Dan Zedek, who sent along inside pages this morning just as I was posting this story. So I added the pages and design credits.

Click on any of these for a much, much larger look.

Tlumacki’s pictures are played large on pages six and seven.

130416BostonGlobeNews06 130416BostonGlobeNews07

Also on page six: A detailed map of the affected area.

Page seven, below left, contains yet another Tlumacki photo. The picture of the woman on the cell phone on page eight, below right, is by staffer Bill Greene.

130416BostonGlobeNews08 130416BostonGlobeNews09

And here are pages 10 and 11.

130416BostonGlobeNews10 130416BostonGlobeNews11

Inside A pages were designed by Marc Lanctot, Robert Davis and Dan Coleman.

Metro was designed by Beverly Cronin. Lead art on today’s metro front was of police keeping a lonely guard late last night at the crime scene. Quite a bit of the Back Bay area of downtown has been roped off.

130416BostonGlobeMetro01

The picture is by staffer Essdras M. Suarez.

Here are Metro pages three and four.

130416BostonGlobeMetro03 130416BostonGlobeMetro04

On the sports front: A huge photo by staffer Yoon S. Byun of the runners who were halted a block or two away from the finish line after the bombs went off.

130416BostonGlobeSports01

That page was designed by Luke Knox.

Here are pages eight and nine…

130416BostonGlobeSports08 130416BostonGlobeSports09

…and pages 10 and 11.

130416BostonGlobeSports10 130416BostonGlobeSports11

Inside sports pages were designed by Colleen Dumont and Greg Lang.

BOSTON HERALD

Boston, Mass.

Circulation: 108,548

The Herald wrapped a photo around its edition today.

130416BombingBostonHerald

The downside: That’s not a terribly good photo. It was taken moments after the blast. But you can’t see much, other than smoke and the debris of the retaining fence.

That’s the problem with playing up one picture really, really big: It’s got to be a terrific photo. This one wasn’t.

It’s also not credited.

METRO

Boston, Mass.

Distribution: 163,000

Boston’s Metro tabs went with the emotions of a family reunited after the chaos.

130416BombingBostonMetro

The picture is from Getty Images.

Now, let’s look at pages from around Massachusetts…

CAPE COD TIMES

Hyannis, Mass.

Circulation: 35,776

Tlumacki wasn’t the only Globe photographer shooting the finish line yesterday. David L. Ryan was there, too. He captured a number of horrific images that pass the breakfast test only on huge news days like this.

130416BombingHyannisMass

A great picture and a great headline.

PATRIOT LEDGER

Quincy, Mass.

Circulation: 38,537

The paper in Quincy, in the suburbs of Boston, also paired a great picture and headline today.

130416BombingQuincyMass

That’s a firefighter grimacing as he carries a victim to safety. The picture is by Ken McGagh of the MetroWest Daily News service.

THE ENTERPRISE

Brockton, Mass.

Circulation: 22,454

The Patriot Ledger‘s sister paper, the Enterprise, used a different headline but also to good effect.

130416BombingBrocktonMass

SUN CHRONICLE

Attleboro, Mass.

Circulation: 14,080

The Sun Chronicle opted for one of Tlumacki’s first shots after the bomb went off — this one showing police not quite knowing how to react but springing to action just the same. And a runner who was knocked off his feet by the concussion of the blast.

130416BombingAttleboroMass

STANDARD-TIMES

New Bedford, Mass.

Circulation: 21,582

The Standard Times of New Bedford used this picture by Ryan of the crowd running for safety moments after the first blast. You can see the second bomb going off in the background.

130416BombingNewBedfordMass

This picture drives home the pandemonium that erupted across the area — and, indeed, across the nation — yesterday.

TAUNTON DAILY GAZETTE

Taunton, Mass.

Circulation: 6,703

Taunton used that same picture today and even worked “chaos” into the headline.

130416BombingTauntonMass

Note how the papers played each of these photos well. They used them big and got the hell out of their way.

Nice work around the state today.

PROVIDENCE JOURNAL

Providence, R.I.

Circulation: 114,013

In nearby Rhode Island, Providence used that same picture large but with a more cut-and-dried headline that didn’t really add much to the story.

130416BombingProvidenceRi

And this brings up a great point: We’ve talked at length about how a good headline will spin a story forward, whenever possible. But this was a day when facts were in short supply. How does a headline keep from repeating facts that the reader already knows when those few facts — two bombs went off, three are dead, about 140 were injured — is all we really know? Speculation or overstatement are not welcome in a headline. What does that leave?

USA TODAY

McLean, Va.

Circulation: 1,817,446

Many papers chose to play up the word “terror.” Granted, we don’t know for sure yet whether this was an attack from within or outside the U.S. But it’s safe, most likely, to call it a terrorist attack.

130416BombingUSAToday

USA Today played that Tlumacki shot as a vertical and then used three smaller vignettes down the side.

I also like the conversational tone struck in that headline at the bottom left:

That post-9/11 quiet? It’s over.

Nice work.

VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 142,476

Among the papers that played up the word “terror,” none did it physically larger than did the Virginian-Pilot.

130416BombingNorfolkVa

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Chicago, Ill.

Circulation: 236,371

The Sun-Times also built around “terror,” but used an alternate frame of that same Tlumacki shot.

130416BombingChicagoSunTimes

This one seems to emphasize the man in the blue jacket. I can’t say I quite understand this picture choice.

REDEYE

Chicago, Ill.

Distribution: 250,000

RedEye, on the other hand, stuck with the Tlumacki shot of the cops scattering.

130416BombingChicagoRedeye

Again, this paper built around the word “Terror.” However, the headline itself is understated a bit in size, giving the page a bit of quiet dignity, despite the chaos in the photo.

DAILY NEWS

New York, N.Y.

Circulation: 579,636

On the other end of the spectrum was the New York Daily News. It chose one of the bloodiest pictures of the day, also by Tlumacki, wrapping the shot around the entire edition.

130416BombingNYDailyNews

The headline was arranged so that “Massacre” appears on the front.

Yes, a lot of people were injured yesterday. But I’m not sure that three dead justify use of the word “massacre.”

NEWSDAY

Melville, N.Y.

Circulation: 397,973

Another Big Apple tab, Newsday, also wrapped today’s edition, going with a picture of the actual explosion shot by Dan Lampariello of the Dobson Agency.

130416BombingMelvilleNY

A photo by the Globe‘s John Tlumacki appears at the top of the back page.

STAR ADVERTISER

Honolulu, Hawaii

Circulation: 124,000

The only broadsheet paper I found going with a wrap today was Honolulu, which wrapped that big immediate aftermath shot by David L. Ryan around today’s edition.

130416BombingHololuluHawaii

The Star Advertiser also invoked 9/11 with its headline.

STAR-LEDGER

Newark, N.J.

Circulation: 278,940

Newark chose the same bloody art that the Daily News used but put it to better use with a less-hysterical headline.

130416BombingNewarkNJ

The quote up top was a nice touch.

JOURNAL SENTINEL

Milwaukee, Wis.

Circulation: 185,710

The Milwaukee paper used an AP photo of that same scene, but shot from a slightly different angle. I presume this, too was by John Tlumacki.  Ken McGagh of the MetroWest Daily News service tells me he made this picture.

130416BombingMilwaukeeWis

Mayhem” was definitely a better choice than “Massacre.” The wider angle of that picture — showing victims and debris mere moments after the blast — works well with that headline.

SEATTLE TIMES

Seattle, Wash.

Circulation: 236,929

The Seattle Times attempted the same thing but didn’t quite pull it off — mostly because the photo shows more fencing than aftermath.

130416BombingSeattleWash

All of those pictures are by the Globe‘s Tulmacki and were shot in the first seconds after the bomb went off.

130416BombingSeattleWash 130416BombingMilwaukeeWis 130416BombingNewarkNJ

Again, the Seattle and Newark pictures are by Tulmacki. The Milwaukee picture is by Ken McGagh.

STANDARD-SPEAKER

Hazleton, Pa.

Circulation: 20,008

The paper in Hazleton, Pa., wanted to play up the word “terror” even greater that the usual large, bold type. So the designer reversed it out of a red box.

130416BombingHazletonPa

That works, I suppose. But again, its seems a but much. I think the large word “terror” stands out quite well alone, without additional adornment. The effect almost seems to cheapen the page a bit.

CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

Cincinnati, Ohio

Circulation: 144,165

Take the Cincincinati Enquirer. Yes, this red really punches up the Enquirer‘s headline today…

130416BombingCincinnnatiOhio

…but it doesn’t seem like a cheap trick. Because the top of the Enquirer‘s front page is red every day.

However, the top of the Enquirer‘s Kentucky editon is blue every day.

130416BombingCincinnatiKy

Notice how the color takes quite a bit of the edge off of the immediacy of the presentation. Blue is a calming, peaceful color. It doesn’t quite jibe with the story of the day.

This is why I don’t like to use color-coding as a navigational tool or a decorative element in a newspaper. Color can help tell a story or set a mood for a story. Color can help move a reader’s eye around a page. Yes, you can get away with using color for other purposes. But there are days in that will turn around and bite you in the ass.

Today was one of those days for the Kentucky edition of the Enquirer.

That photo, by the way, is by Charles Krupa of the Associated Press.

DETROIT FREE PRESS

Detroit, Mich.

Circulation: 232,696

The Detroit Free Press uses a blue reverse nameplate every day. But the designers often balance that out with quite a bit of red text.

130416BombingDetroitMich

The item I take issue with here is the question headline. I don’t really care for question headlines. My feeling is: We should try to answer questions for the reader, not ask readers the same questions they’re asking us.

On a day like this — as we said earlier — answers are in short supply. We can spin this story forward only so far. So your choices for a headline are a) A straight-facts headline that cites things the reader already knows. b) A label head like “terror” or “mayhem” or “chaos.” Or c) A question headline.

I don’t like it. But it’s probably a perfectly valid choice.

ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Santa Ana, Calif.

Circulation: 280,812

My colleagues one pod away at the Orange County Register also opted for a question headline today.

130416BombingSantaAnaCalif

Note the column across the bottom of the package. One of our own columnists was in the Boston Marathon yesterday and had crossed the finish line maybe 15 minutes before the bomb went off.

PIONEER PRESS

St. Paul., Minn.

Circulation: 205,171

Here’s a great alternative to a question headline, I think: It admits we don’t have answers to the obvious questions just yet.

130416BombingStPaulMinn

ROANOKE TIMES

Roanoke, Va.

Circulation: 78,663

I also liked this headline.

130416BombingRoanokeVa

I don’t care for the typeface. But I think the headline sums up the day perfectly.

THE STATE

Columbia, S.C.

Circulation: 70,980

And I’ll close with what might be my favorite headline of the day:

130416BombingColumbiaSC

The photo by the AP’s Charles Krupa is a wide shot of victims being loaded into ambulances. I think the photo of the crowd scattering as the second bomb goes off might have been a better choice and might have loaned a little more immediacy to that headline.

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

The great J. Ford Huffman on the relationship of visuals and text in an infographic

J. Ford Huffman was quoted recently by Anni Murray of visual.ly about the relationship of visuals and text in an infographic.

J. Ford said:

First, the text and the image must reinforce each other. Each must show or tell what the other cannot. Each has a function, and neither function is to decorate.

The two elements – text and image – have one purpose: To work together to tell a story simply and-or to explain a complex thing in a simple way. The graphic is supposed to organize the way we see and read.

In the 1980s, more newsrooms started understanding the value of graphics. There was a tendency to do mega-graphics for major news events. If there were 33 Olympics events, each one of them got a big graphic in advance of the competition. (Even if the sport was boring.)

Why? Because designers could. There were half-page and full-page graphics with lots of colors and visuals and text elements. Many of them were hard to read. Readers didn’t enjoy or read a dense full-page graphic any more than they enjoyed or read a dense page of body type.

The late John Monahan, who directed informational graphics at Gannett News Service and then at The Associated Press, convinced me that successful graphics are concise ones, ones that use no more space and text and art than necessary.

130314UsaTodayGraphic

Anybody can fill space. The smart artist uses minimal space (unless she is being paid by the inch.)

That’s one wickedly evil graphic illustration by the great Sam Ward.

Find the entire visual.ly essay here.

A magna cum laude graduate of West Virginia University, J. Ford worked at the Wheeling (W.Va.) News-Register and then moved to Gannett in 1977. He was part of the group that built the first prototypes for USA Today and served as a content editor for the Life section once that paper launched.

1109JFordHuffmanMug

He was named managing editor of the Rochester (N.Y.) Times-Union in 1984 and then managing editor of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in 1986. He then became the first managing editor for features, graphics and photography at the Gannett News Service. He moved back into USA Today in 1999 as deputy managing editor, art-directing page one.

He left USA Today in 2007 to become a consultant, instructor and a fine artist. In 2011, he co-edited a book for the Marine Corps War College. Find his artwork site here.

Another amazing headline error at the top of page one

Longtime blog readers know: One thing that sets me off is a misspelled headline. Especially when it’s above the fold on page one.

I can almost — almost — understand it when the word is a homonym for a word that would be spelled correctly. There’s no way an automated spell checker can catch something like that.

Which is why we have copy editors. No matter how smart we make spellcheckers, they’ll never catch the mistakes — and save our asses — quite like a copy editor can.

But a spellchecker not an excuse here. This is just a flat-out misspelled word. At the top of page one. In the second-largest newspaper in the country.

130219UsaTodayError

One good thing, perhaps: Evidently, the mistake appeared only in early editions of Monday’s USA Today. The version of the front page that was sent to the Newseum yesterday had the word spelled correctly.

130219UsaTodayCorrect

USA Today did this same thing back in December.

121221UsaTodayTypo

The name, of course, is Boehner. You’ll notice it’s correct lower in this cover blurb. It was also correct on the version of page one that was sent to the Newseum that day.

121221UsaTodayTypo02

Goofs like this should. Never. Happen. Yet, misspelled headlines occur all too often at the top of page one. Here are just a few modest examples from my growing collection…

Last spring, the Erie, Pa., Times-News made a prominent slip-up in its headline atop A1.

120502EriePaTimesNewsError

The Chicago Sun-Times made one of the largest — physically — typos I’ve ever seen with this front page from two years ago.

110215ChicagoSunTimesMisspell

A couple of months ago, the Boston Globe misspelled the name of popular actor John Krasinski at the top of page one.

121224BostonGlobeError

Speaking of homonyms, check out this “for” for “four” atop the Times-Record of Denton, Md., last spring.

1104TimesRecordDentonMdError

And the Wall Street Journal‘s European edition mixed up “route” with “rout” in this lead headline in August 2011.

110805WsjEuropeTypo

We’ve all made the brain-fart mistake “Obama” for “Osama.” But you really don’t want to do that in print. Especially when you’re putting Osama’s picture in a crosshairs.

120830AirForceTimesError02

On page one. Of a tabloid aimed at members of the military.

120829AirForceTimesError01

The Reformer of Brattleboro, Vt., got a lot of social media mileage — and not in a good way — with this headline back during the holidays.

121227BrattleboroReformerTypo01

Possibly the most egregious headline error I’ve ever seen at the top of page one was this one from the Green Bay, Wis., Press-Gazette.

110117GreenBayFullPage

Again, these errors are just baffling. Yet, as you can see, this sort of thing can happen to any of us.

We need to be extra-careful. We need to be super extra-careful on page one.

And in our headlines at the top of page one? I run out of superlatives. You just can’t make these mistakes. You just can’t.

On a related topic, stop by your copy desk this afternoon and give somebody there a big hug. Tell them I sent you.

Thanks to fellow McCormick, S.C., native Jim Glisson — now in Memphis, Tenn. — for the tip about Monday’s USA Today.

You know who else needs a copy editor?

Local TV news operations. Chicago’s WMAQ-TV in particular. And WLS-TV, also of Chicago. And Harrisburg’s Fox43 TV news. And WDAY-TV 6 News in Fargo, N.D. And Local 15 News in Mobile, Ala. And WMAR-TV in Baltimore. And WBAL-TV in Baltimore. And Fox 4 KDFW in Dallas. And KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles. And KNBC channel 4 in Los Angeles. And KCBS channel 2 in Los Angeles. And KSDK in St. Louis. And Charlotte’s WBTV. And KXAN-TV of Austin. And WFSB channel 3 in Hartford, Conn. And KOKI-TV, Fox23 in Tulsa. And Fox23 of Tulsa again. And Huntsville’s WAFF-TV. And WSPA-TV 7 in Spartanburg, S.C. And Miami’s WSVN channel 7. And KUSA 9 News in Denver, Colo. And 7News, also in Denver. And KSL channel 5 in Salt Lake City. And KCRG of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And KGMI News Talk radio in Bellingham, Wash. And local Fox affiliates. And other local TV news operations. And CBS local media. And CBS/DC in Washington. And the web operation for DC101 radio. And the Huffington Post. And the Huffington Post again. And CNN (and CNN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and a huge one here)(and yet again)(and yet again) and CNN Money and CNN mobile and Fox News (and Fox News again)(and Fox News yet again)(and again!)(and again!)(and yet again!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and again, for cryin’ out loud)(and yet again)(and again) and Fox Business and MSNBC (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC yet again)(and MSNBC yet again) and ABC News and NBC news and NBC News again and NBC News yet again and the Weather Channel (and the Weather Channel again)(and the Weather Channel again)(and the Weather Channel yet again) and the BBC and the BBC again and German news channel N24. And the Canadian Broadcast Corp. (and the CBC again). And Fairfax media of New Zealand. And Dagsrevyen, the evening news broadcast of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. And al Jazeera. And Martha Stewart’s TV operation. And the Disney Channel. And AOL. And AOL’s Patch. And Patch again. And Advance’s MLive media group. And creators of mobile apps. And Yahoo News. And Yahoo News again. And Yahoo News again. And the fictional TMI! web site on the Newsroom TV show. And Google News’ bots. And baseball jersey manufacturers. And football jersey manufacturers. And sports ticket counterfeiters. And the NCAA. And the Big 12 Conference. And Georgetown University. And Kansas State University. And the University of Iowa. And the University of North Carolina. And the University of Texas. And Nebraska Wesleyan University. And Appalachian State University. And high school diploma printers. And the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Twins the St. Louis Cardinals, the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals (boy, do they need a copy editor). And the Brooklyn Nets. And Manchester United. And the National Hockey League (and the NHL again). And the NHL Network. And NBA Premium TV. And ESPN (and ESPN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and three more times!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and again) and Fox Sports (and Fox Sports again)(and Fox Sports one more time)(and Fox Sports yet again)(and yet again). And NBC Sports. And NBC Sports again. And CBS Sportsline. And TBS Sports. And CNN.SI. And Sports Illustrated (and again) (and again). And college athletic department ticket offices. And the NCAA. And Leaf trading card company. And the Virginia general assembly. And college alumni magazines. And pharmacies. And the makers of Sudafed. And Borders bookstore. And the U.S. Postal Service. And government agencies and political candidates. And Tea Party candidates. And the Newt Gingrich campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign again. And the White House. And the Vice President. And the President himself. And city and county Boards of Elections. And Congressmen from South Carolina. Both the state of Pennsylvania and its department of transportation. And Costa Cruises. And Pittsburgh skywriters. And road paving contractors in Durham, N.C. and in New York City. And the city of Norfolk, Va. And the Ohio Dept. of Transportation. And the Alabama Dept. of Transportation. And the Maryland Dept. of Transportation. And the West Palm Beach, Fla., police dept. And Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Fla. And Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas. And Canadian school districts. And planners for Charlotte, N.C.’s Festival in the Park. And the Moose lodge in Carroll, Iowa. And South African traffic cops. And the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. And gas stations. And billboard companies. And bumper sticker manufacturers. And sign painters. And Home Depot and manufacturers of “hoodies.“ And T-shirt designers. And more T-shirt designers. And Old Navy. And Old Navy again. And Kohl’s. And Lids. And Adidas. And Mazda. And rubber stamp designers. And glass etchers. And stone carvers. And hotels. And more hotels. And manufacturers of custom-printed hotel accessories. And Starbucks. And Wendy’s. And Applebee‘s. And DaVanni’s Pizza. And restaurants, breakfast joints, Chinese restaurants and cake decorators. And more cake decorators. And drive-in movie theater managers. And auto dealers. And auto body shops. And romance novelists. And Capcom, the makers of Resident Evil video games. And 2K Sports, the makers of NBA 2K13 video games. And the Ku Klux Klan. And American Idol. And book cover designers. And editorial cartoonists. And business page editors. And South Africa’s New Age and Sunday Independent newspapers. And City Press of Johannesburg. And Dublin’s Sunday Business Post. And the Echo of Gloucestershire, England. And the London Daily Mail. And the National Post of Toronto, Canada. And the Winnipeg Sun. And the South China Morning Post. And the Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia. And the Air Force Times. And the Washington Post (Hey! Another repeat offender!), the Post’s Express tab (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!), the Washington Examiner, Boston’s Metro, the New York Times (Wow! Yet another repeat offender!)(Hey! A third offense!)(Hey! A fourth offense!), A.M. New York, the Los Angeles Times (and the LAT again), the New York Post, the New York Post again, the New York Post yet again, Wall Street Journal Europe, Newsday, USA Today, (and USA Today again), (and USA Today again) the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun-Times (and yet another!), the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle, the Daily Mail of London, the Echo of Liverpool, England, the Seattle Times, the weekly Manila Mail of San Francisco, the Miami Herald (and again!), the Portland Oregonian, the Durham, N.C., Herald-Sun, the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. (and the News & Observer again!)(and again!)(and again!)(and yet again!), the Chapel Hill, N.C., News, the Times-News of Hendersonville, N.C., the Greensboro, N.C., News & Record, Advance Publications’ Birmingham design hub, the Tampa Bay Times, the Missoula, Mont., Missoulian, the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune, the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, the Reformer of Brattleboro, Vt., the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, the Advocate of Stamford, Conn., the Hartford (Conn.) Courant, the Times-Record of Denton, Md., the News-Herald of Willoughby, Ohio, the Reporter of Lansdale, Pa., the Times-News of Erie, Pa., the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh, Pa., the Wilmington, Del., News Journal, the Dispatch of Casa Grande, Ariz., the Amarillo (Texas) Globe News, the Laredo Morning Times, the El Paso Times, the Daily Telegram of Temple, Texas, the Independent of Rayne, La., the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Cleveland Heights Sun Press, the Daily Times of Weirton, W.Va., the Waynesboro News Virginian, the Virginian-Pilot (and the Virginian-Pilot again) (and the Virginian-Pilot yet again), the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, the Coon Rapids (Iowa) Enterprise, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Gannett’s N.Y. Central Media hub, the Greenville (S.C.) News, the Gazette Journal of Reno, Nev., the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Denver Post, the Olympian of Olympia, Wash., the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, the Bakersfield Californian, the Pine Cone, of Carmel, Calif., the Carbondale, Ill., Southern Illinoisian, the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!) and the Canarsie Courier of New York City. And Politico. And the Associated Press. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press yet again. And the Associated Press yet again. And the Associated Press yet again. And yet again. And Mann’s Jeweler’s Accent magazine. And New Scientist magazine. And Investment News magazine. And Time magazine (and Time magazine again). And Editor & Publisher.

And, of course, I need a copy editor myself.

I’ve always needed a copy editor. Which is why you’ll see me fight so hard for them.

For your consideration…

Did you see what USA Today did with its logo today?

130211UsaTodayLogo

Very cute.

When we last looked at USA Today‘s “blue balls” logos, the paper was backing off just a bit to establish the big blue dot itself before continuing to play around with them.

Here are some of the variations we saw in the first month or so:

 

 

 

 

Today’s logo is from the front page posted today at the Newseum. Of course.

Previous coverage of the USA Today redesign, here in the blog…

  • Sept. 6: USA Today reportedly to launch a redesign next week
  • Sept. 13: Is this USA Today’s new logo?
  • Sept. 13: A closer look at the hints we’ve seen of the new USA Today redesign
  • Sept. 14: My epic search for a new-and-improved USA Today
  • Sept. 17: A (somewhat belated) in-depth look at the new USA Today
  • Sept. 17: My thoughts about Monday’s edition of USA Today
  • Sept. 19: Stephen Colbert‘s take on the USA Today redesign
  • Sept. 19: A critique of Day Four of the new redesign
  • Sept. 20: USA Today responds to Stephen Colbert’s logo challenge
  • Oct. 16: Has USA Today run out of ‘blue ball’ logo ideas already?
  • Oct. 21: Logo designers of the world: You’re not doing it right
  • Oct. 29: USA Today tweaks body copy font

More about that big space shuttle Challenger front page by USA Today

Had I known I’d be writing about that groundbreaking USA Today front page from the space shuttle disaster in January 1986, I’d have sent a request to former USA Today managing editor Richard Curtis for his memories of that day.

I did this afternoon, however. Richard’s reply:

I couldn’t have told you that the anniversary was today, but I do remember the event (who doesn’t?).

130128ChallengerUsaToday

I don’t remember too many details about how we arrived at the full page graphic except to say that I don’t remember it being a difficult sell to [publisher] Al Neuharth, [editor] Ron Martin and others. I do remember it was a sobering event and everyone in the (then) small newsroom was crowded around one of the few TVs.

Am I remembering correctly that the event occurred relatively early in the day? If so, that gave us some precious few moments of extra time.

It happened at 11:39 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, in fact.

Richard continues:

We probably — and I stress that word “probably” because others’ memories of the event are probably sharper than mine — figured that if we used the wire photos (which every other paper did use) there wouldn’t be much to separate us from the competition.

130128ChallengerNewYorkTimes  130128ChallengerBostonGlobe  130128ChallengerUsaToday

130128ChallengerCleveland 130128ChallengerIndyStar 130128ChallengerChicagoTribune

In those days (and actually subsequent days for many years), we already were giving serious consideration to how we would compete on newsstands, dependent as we were then on serious newsstand sales, and thought that the illustration would help establish us as a different voice.

Making the illustration much more like an explanatory graphic just seemed natural (later, we all would call this an alternative story form). This also gave us an easy way to update the information (all on the black plate) as it developed, so we wouldn’t necessarily have to update the other three plates on who knows how many presses we used in those days.

1007RichardCurtisMug  1301WebBryantMug02

Left: Richard Curtis. Right: Web Bryant.

Richard asked Web Bryant for his own memories. Web tells us that USA Today’s…

…art director at that time was Dave Miller. He did the main art. I did the page layout, assigned other graphics, gave out size positions. I also did the locator map.

People gave me the base art, we pasted it in position and cut large flaps on that large drawing board I had. We had four people cutting on the same amberlith flap. One on each side of the drawing table.

I recall Julie Stacey Snider, John Sherlock, and Dale Glasgoe helping on the flaps, among others.

I heard the breaking news on the way in near the key bridge. [NPR talk show host] Diane Rehm stopped a interview to tell everyone. My start of a very long day.

Richard tells us:

In hindsight, we were incorrect in using the photograph of the couple beneath the headline.

130128ChallengerUsaToday02

I don’t remember exactly, but I think we identified them as parents of Christa McAuliffe [a teacher and first civilian to fly on the shuttle], which they were, but the photo was taken before the explosion. The position of the photo to its place in the illustration and the OMG headline suggested that it was taken after the explosion. It wasn’t.

Web adds:

OMG (i think), was a quote by Nancy Reagan.

Note: This post was rewritten around 8:45 p.m. to include Web Bryant’s memories.

Today — Monday — is the 27th anniversary of the Challenger disaster. Find my earlier post on this topic here.

Sunday was the 46th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire. Go here to read a piece I posted last year about this.

And Friday will be the 10th anniversary of the Columbia incident. More to come on that.

Do you remember where you were when the Challenger exploded?

On this date, 27 years ago, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

I was between jobs at the time, living in a small apartment northeast of Atlanta. My wife was at work. I was at home alone, watching it all on TV in horror.

The next day, I went out and bought every newspaper I could find. At the top of the list, however, was USA Today. That paper was only four years old at the time, but the front page USA Today published erased any doubts that may have remained about whether or not a visual-driven approach could work for deadline news.

130128ChallengerUsaToday

Amazing work. It was even more amazing at the time, because it had never been done before,  on this kind of scale and on this kind of deadline.

For myself — I aspired to get into editorial cartooning but I also had graphic design training as well as a brand-new degree in communications with an emphasis on newspapers — this front page was a giant light bulb over my head.

Oh. That’s the way you do it.

I think I speak for a generation of visual journalist when I say that page changed my life. Within a few weeks, I had caught on at the Athens, Ga., Banner-Herald and Daily News as a freelance cartoonist and infographics artist. My work there led to a fulltime position. And, eventually, to this career that’s meant so much to me.

It wouldn’t have happened without the Challenger disaster and that astounding front page by USA Today.

A few memories of Challenger from my Facebook friends…

Allison Lippert, trainer for DTI:

I was in junior high. Remember going into the social studies classroom to watch news on TV.

Kevin Burkett, Philadelphia Inquirer:

I was at a bowling alley during my 8th grade gym class when our teacher stopped us and had us watch the historic launch of the first civilian teacher on the shuttle live on TV. It was the “Oswald shooting” moment of my generation…

Jana Thompson, English professor, Northern Illinois University:

I remember everybody gathered in the grade school library to watch the Challenger. I was in fourth grade. They shut it off pretty quickly and ushered us out. Then they had to explain. I don’t really remember that part. But I can imagine it must be a lot similar to what teachers faced on 9/11.

Melissa Umbarger, Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record:

We went outside to watch the Challenger launch with my class in Daytona Beach. I was 6, so I don’t remember too much about it except that it was really cold and all the teachers were upset, but we didn’t really understand why until we went inside and turned on the TV.

Brooke Sample, American Metal Market:

I was in the second grade (don’t hurt me) and wanted nothing more than to be an astronaut; I even went to Space Camp four years later. I happened to be sick that day so I watched the launch from home. I remember crying a lot. When we finally launched again, I cried again with joy.

Here are a few more front pages from the next day:

130128ChallengerNewYorkTimes  130128ChallengerBostonGlobe

130128ChallengerCleveland 130128ChallengerIndyStar 130128ChallengerChicagoTribune

Lisa Buie, Tampa Bay Times:

I skipped [Bill] Fisher‘s law and ethics class [at Winthrop College, Rock Hill, S.C., where she and I had been classmates] to watch the coverage.

Dave Gulliver, formerly with the Virginian-Pilot and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune:

I was walking out of a college class on Soviet (!) history, chatting up a really cute blonde girl, when someone ran up and told me the news. (I was the campus newspaper editor.) Pretty much ended the flirting.

Linda Johnson, Dallas Morning News:

I remember that day clearly. I was working for the evening Fort Worth Star-Telegram (seems so much longer ago that they killed off the p.m. edition!), and I went upstairs to the composing room to clear all of the Page 1 grid for the news. Didn’t have time to see the video until the shift ended about 1 or 2. Then went home, lay on the couch and cried.

This, in fact, is a horrible week for NASA historians.

Sunday was the 46th anniversary of the Apollo 1 fire that claimed the life of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. Last year, I wrote a nice blog piece about it. Find that here.

Today is the 27th anniversary of the Challenger disaster.

And Friday is the 10th anniversary of the shuttle Columbia disintegrating as it flew over Texas on its way back to Earth. I’ll post more about that on Friday.

[Thanks to Robert Davis of the Boston Globe for posting the vintage Globe front on Facebook in response to this post.]

Rand Paul. William Paul. RuPaul. Peter, Paul and Mary. Seen one Paul, seen ’em all…

My pal Dave Sottile, a sports business reporter for PennLive, writes to tell us:

Before going to bed last night, I noticed this gem from USA Today‘s mobile site.

A senator was arrested? Turns out it was the senator’s son.

130107UsaTodayRandPaul

Guess they could use a copy editor.

Looks like they got it right in the story (see the very bottom line of text, just above the navigation bar). Meaning this is the same thing we’ve seen so many times before: A headline error.

You have to get your headlines correct. Especially when there’s an arrest involved.

USA Today replied to Dave this afternoon via Twitter that they fixed it as soon as they found the mistake last night.

You know who else needs a copy editor?

Local TV news operations. Chicago’s WMAQ-TV in particular. And WLS-TV, also of Chicago. And Harrisburg’s Fox43 TV news. And WDAY-TV 6 News in Fargo, N.D. And Local 15 News in Mobile, Ala. And WMAR-TV in Baltimore. And WBAL-TV in Baltimore. And Fox 4 KDFW in Dallas. And KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles. And KNBC channel 4 in Los Angeles. And KCBS channel 2 in Los Angeles. And Charlotte’s WBTV. And KXAN-TV of Austin. And WFSB channel 3 in Hartford, Conn. And KOKI-TV, Fox23 in Tulsa. And Fox23 of Tulsa again. And Huntsville’s WAFF-TV. And Miami’s WSVN channel 7. And KUSA 9 News in Denver, Colo. And 7News, also in Denver. And KSL channel 5 in Salt Lake City. And KCRG of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And KGMI News Talk radio in Bellingham, Wash. And local Fox affiliates. And other local TV news operations. And CBS local media. And CBS/DC in Washington. And the web operation for DC101 radio. And the Huffington Post. And the Huffington Post again. And CNN (and CNN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and a huge one here)(and yet again) and CNN Money and CNN mobile and Fox News (and Fox News again)(and Fox News yet again)(and again!)(and again!)(and yet again!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and again, for cryin’ out loud)(and yet again) and Fox Business and MSNBC (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC yet again)(and MSNBC yet again) and ABC News and NBC news and NBC News again and NBC News yet again and the Weather Channel and the Weather Channel again and the BBC and the BBC again and German news channel N24. And the Canadian Broadcast Corp. And Fairfax media of New Zealand. And Dagsrevyen, the evening news broadcast of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. And Martha Stewart’s TV operation. And the Disney Channel. And AOL. And AOL’s Patch. And Patch again. And creators of mobile apps. And Yahoo News. And Yahoo News again. And the fictional TMI! web site on the Newsroom TV show. And Google News’ bots. And baseball jersey manufacturers. And football jersey manufacturers. And sports ticket counterfeiters. And the NCAA. And the Big 12 Conference. And Georgetown University. And Kansas State University. And the University of Iowa. And the University of North Carolina. And the University of Texas. And Nebraska Wesleyan University. And Appalachian State University. And high school diploma printers. And the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Twins the St. Louis Cardinals, the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals (boy, do they need a copy editor). And the Brooklyn Nets. And Manchester United. And the National Hockey League (and the NHL again). And the NHL Network. And NBA Premium TV. And ESPN (and ESPN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and three more times!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again) and Fox Sports (and Fox Sports again)(and Fox Sports one more time)(and Fox Sports yet again)(and yet again). And NBC Sports. And NBC Sports again. And CBS Sportsline. And TBS Sports. And CNN.SI. And Sports Illustrated (and again) (and again). And college athletic department ticket offices. And the NCAA. And Leaf trading card company. And the Virginia general assembly. And college alumni magazines. And pharmacies. And the makers of Sudafed. And Borders bookstore. And the U.S. Postal Service. And government agencies and political candidates. And Tea Party candidates. And the Newt Gingrich campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign again. And the White House. And the Vice President. And the President himself. And city and county Boards of Elections. And Congressmen from South Carolina. Both the state of Pennsylvania and its department of transportation. And Costa Cruises. And Pittsburgh skywriters. And road paving contractors in Durham, N.C. and in New York City. And the city of Norfolk, Va. And the Ohio Dept. of Transportation. And the Maryland Dept. of Transportation. And the West Palm Beach, Fla., police dept. And Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Fla. And Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas. And Canadian school districts. And planners for Charlotte, N.C.’s Festival in the Park. And South African traffic cops. And the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. And gas stations. And billboard companies. And bumper sticker manufacturers. And sign painters. And Home Depot and manufacturers of “hoodies.“ And T-shirt designers. And more T-shirt designers. And Old Navy. And Old Navy again. And Kohl’s. And Lids. And Adidas. And Mazda. And rubber stamp designers. And glass etchers. And stone carvers. And hotels. And more hotels. And manufacturers of custom-printed hotel accessories. And Starbucks. And Wendy’s. And Applebee‘s. And DaVanni’s Pizza. And restaurants, breakfast joints, Chinese restaurants and cake decorators. And more cake decorators. And drive-in movie theater managers. And auto dealers. And auto body shops. And romance novelists. And Capcom, the makers of Resident Evil video games. And 2K Sports, the makers of NBA 2K13 video games. And the Ku Klux Klan. And American Idol. And book cover designers. And editorial cartoonists. And business page editors. And South Africa’s New Ageand Sunday Independent newspapers. And City Press of Johannesburg. And Dublin’s Sunday Business Post. And the Echo of Gloucestershire, England. And the London Daily Mail. And the National Post of Toronto, Canada. And the South China Morning Post. And the Air Force Times. And the Washington Post (Hey! Another repeat offender!), the Post’s Express tab (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!), the Washington Examiner, Boston’s Metro, the New York Times (Wow! Yet another repeat offender!)(Hey! A third offense!)(Hey! A fourth offense!), A.M. New York, the Los Angeles Times (and the LAT again), the New York Post, the New York Post again, the New York Post yet again, Wall Street Journal Europe, Newsday, USA Today, (and USA Today again), the Boston Globe, the Chicago Sun-Times (and yet another!), the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle, the Daily Mail of London, the Echo of Liverpool, England, the Seattle Times, the weekly Manila Mail of San Francisco, the Miami Herald (and again!), the Portland Oregonian, the Durham, N.C., Herald-Sun, the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. (and the News & Observer again!)(and again!), the Chapel Hill, N.C., News, Advance Publications’ Birmingham design hub, the Tampa Bay Times, the Missoula, Mont., Missoulian, the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune, the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, the Reformer of Brattleboro, Vt., the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, the Advocate of Stamford, Conn., the Times-Record of Denton, Md., the News-Herald of Willoughby, Ohio, the Reporter of Lansdale, Pa., the Times-News of Erie, Pa., the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh, Pa., the Wilmington, Del., News Journal, the Dispatch of Casa Grande, Ariz., the Amarillo (Texas) Globe News, the Laredo Morning Times, the El Paso Times, the Daily Telegram of Temple, Texas, the Independent of Rayne, La., the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Daily Times of Weirton, W.Va., the Waynesboro News Virginian, the Virginian-Pilot (and the Virginian-Pilot again) (and the Virginian-Pilot yet again), the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, the Coon Rapids (Iowa) Enterprise, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Gannett’s N.Y. Central Media hub, the Greenville (S.C.) News, the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Denver Post, the Olympian of Olympia, Wash., the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, the Carbondale, Ill., Southern Illinoisian, the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!) and the Canarsie Courier of New York City. And Politico. And the Associated Press. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press yet again. And the Associated Press yet again. And Mann’s Jeweler’s Accent magazine. And New Scientist magazine. And Investment News magazine. And Time magazine (and Time magazine again). And Editor & Publisher.

And, of course, I need a copy editor myself.

I’ve always needed a copy editor. Which is why you’ll see me fight so hard for them.

You heard it here first: The world did NOT end today

…So far, that is.

Were you surprised? Believe me, you’ll know when the world comes to an end: The Chicago Cubs will win the World Series first.

Here’s a look at some of the day’s most notable Mayan “apocalypse” front pages…

__________________

LET’S GET THIS ONE OUT OF THE WAY EARLY, SHALL WE?

The Sentinel of Santa Cruz, Calif., quoted the famous old song by R.E.M.

121221MayanSantaCruzCalif

It’s a terrific song. And despite the fact that it’s a fairly obvious approach: I think it worked well here.

__________________

ILLUSTRATING A MAYAN STORY WITH AZTEC ART

If you Google “Mayan calendar,” you’ll most likely come back with a picture of what is actually an Aztec stone carving. Not the same thing.

Yet, folks persisted in using this today. The problem was kind of rampant. Most notably — as I mentioned earlierUSA Today put an Aztec carving in place of its “blue ball” logo this morning.

121221MayanUsaToday

Average daily circulation for USA Today: 1,817,446.

Other papers using (what appears to be) this same art today include the Union of Grass Valley, Calif. (circulation 15,900)…

121221MayanGrassValleyCalif

…the Daily Reflector of Greenville, N.C. (circulation 23,051)…

121221MayanGreenvilleNC

…the Gaston Gazette of Gastonia, N.C. (circulation 24,354)…

121221MayanGastoniaNC

…and the Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, S.C. (circulation 12,456)…

121221MayanOrangeburgSC

…Although, I must admit, I really like that last one. The sunrise effect behind the carving and the headline — which seems to brag about the fact that Earth didn’t expire overnight — gives that one a real sense of playfulness.

__________________

THE DAY’S CLEVEREST TREATMENTS

TELEGRAPH

Macon, Ga.

Circulation: 43,100

At first glance, the Macon Telegraph appeared to use that same art. But look closer (click for a larger look).

121221MayanMaconGa

Instead, I think this is a custom illustration. Based perhaps, on the Aztec carving. But very deliberately not the same piece of art.

My only beef with it: No credit.

AMERICAN NEWS

Aberdeen, S.D.

Circulation: 14,272

When the Aberdeen paper decided on a photoillustration, it didn’t begin with the Aztec stone carving. It started out with something just a bit newer.

121221MayanAberdeenSD

The illo was not credited, unfortunately.

REVIEW-JOURNAL

Las Vegas, Nev.

Circulation: 220,619

The cartoon illustration by staffer David Stroud afront today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal will bring a smile to the face of even the sourest doomsayer.

121221MayanLasVegasNev

Not only is the Earth threatened by a giant meteor, a rouge planet and nuclear war, it’s also accompanied by… a celestial disco ball?

Hmm. Sounds like something Jack Kirby might have come up with.

READING EAGLE

Reading, Pa.

Circulation: 49,437

In Reading today, planets parade over a Mayan ruin, generating enough static electricity to bring everything to a standstill.

121221MayanReadingPa

The illustration is by staffer Bob Schneider.

DENVER POST

Denver, Colo.

Circulation: 401,120

The cover illustration by the Denver Post‘s Jeff Neumann is quite perfect enough for today’s page one.

121221MayanDenverColo

But what really caught my eye today was that humdinger of a pun headline.

Wow. That’s truly inspired. I love it.

(I asked the folks at the Post if they could identify the twisted mind that came up with that. If I get a reply, I’ll add it here.)

UPDATE – 9:45 p.m.

I’m told the headline was written by Dale Ulland. The page was designed by Jeff Domingues.

EXPRESS

Washington, D.C.

Distribution: 183,916

And in D.C. today, the Washington Post’s commuter tab used a similar idea today for its own cover illustration.

121221MayanDcExpress

METRO

Philadelphia, Pa.

The nation’s Metro tabs made great use today of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” meme that dates all the way back to British propaganda posters in World War II.

121221MayanMetroPhilly

As you can see, it worked very well in the Philadelphia edition of Metro. The effect was diminished somewhat by an ad in the New York edition (below, left)…

121221MayanMetroNY  121221MayanBostonMetro

… and it didn’t work at all in the Boston edition (above, right).

If you’re going to mimic a poster, you have to use some space. It’s hard to give decent space to a cover illustration when you stuff that many ads onto the front.

POST-STANDARD

Syracuse, N.Y.

Circulation: 78,616

Today’s weirdest front page illustration, however, was by Susan Santola of the Post-Standard of Syracuse, N.Y. She created a “rain of jaguars.”

121221MayanSyracuseNY

A whaaa?

A rain of Jaguars. The Post-Standard‘s Hart Seely spoke with Cornell anthropology professor John Henderson — author of World of the Ancient Maya, published in 1997 — who specifically mentioned this in today’s story:

A. Some of the metaphors in myths of destruction and recreation are quite spectacular. There is a rain of fire and a rain of jaguars, who come down and eat everybody.

Q. Wow. A rain of jaguars? That would be a serious end.

A. You bet.

Presumably, they meant the running cat-type of jaguar and not the automobile.

MIAMI HERALD

Miami, Fla.

Circulation: 160,988

Another fun — if a bit more subtle — take on the whole thing was taken today by the Miami Herald, which showed folks gathered in Bugarach, France, where supposedly one might escape from the entire apocalypse today

121221MayanMiamiFla

It all seems fairly serious. Until you notice the hats the men are wearing in the picture by Patrick Adventurier of Getty Images.

121221MayanMiamiPic

Yes, Funnels.

I guess they were out of tin foil or something.

DAILY PRESS

Newport News, Va.

Circulation: 57,642

The Daily Press — across the water from me in Newport News, Va. — took on a great angle today: Their calendar ended. But the Mayans never said exactly what would happen next. If anything.

121221MayanNewportNewsVa

Did you ever think you’d see Kang (from the Simpsons… or is it Kodos?) on the same page with John Glenn?

Such is the weirdness connected to today’s Mayan non-apocalypse.

VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Norfolk, Va.

Circulation: 142,476

And on this side of Hampton Roads, the Virginian-Pilot delighted readers with this fabulous cartoon illustration atop page one of Earth’s new robot masters.

121221MayanNorfolkVa

The art is by Wesley Watson.

The illustration refers to the back of the A section, where presentation team leader Paul Nelson wrote up nine ways today’s newspaper might be useful if, indeed, the world comes to an end today.

121221MayanNorfolkBack

Click that for a much larger view.

But hurry… there are just a few hours left in today. You’d better be ready to deal with those freakin’ robots.

UPDATE – 5 p.m.

Jim Romenesko today posted perhaps the greatest apocalypse front page of them all, from the Weatherford (Okla.) Daily News.

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

Previous coverage here in the blog regarding the End of the World…

It’s another page-one display text ‘boner’

A little (snow)bird tells me:

In case you didn’t see it… Note the USA Today headline in the edition delivered here.

121221UsaTodayTypo

The name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, of course, is not “Bohener.” It’s John Boehner — you see it spelled correctly in the last line of the blurb.

Like my tipster notes, the name is spelled correctly in the version posted today at the Newseum.

121221UsaTodayTypo02

I was going to write about them anyway today: They’re one of several papers today using not a Mayan calendar, but art of an Aztec carving. In the case of USA Today, however, the art is extremely prominent: It’s in place of the paper’s daily “blue ball” logo.

You know who else needs a copy editor?

Local TV news operations. Chicago’s WMAQ-TV in particular. And WLS-TV, also of Chicago. And Harrisburg’s Fox43 TV news. And WDAY-TV 6 News in Fargo, N.D. And Local 15 News in Mobile, Ala. And WMAR-TV in Baltimore. And WBAL-TV in Baltimore. And Fox 4 KDFW in Dallas. And KTLA channel 5 in Los Angeles. And KNBC channel 4 in Los Angeles. And KCBS channel 2 in Los Angeles. And Charlotte’s WBTV. And KXAN-TV of Austin. And WFSB channel 3 in Hartford, Conn. And KOKI-TV, Fox 23 in Tulsa. And Huntsville’s WAFF-TV. And Miami’s WSVN channel 7. And KUSA 9 News in Denver, Colo. And 7News, also in Denver. And KSL channel 5 in Salt Lake City. And KCRG of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And KGMI News Talk radio in Bellingham, Wash. And local Fox affiliates. And other local TV news operations. And CBS local media. And CBS/DC in Washington. And the web operation for DC101 radio. And the Huffington Post. And the Huffington Post again. And CNN (and CNN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and a huge one here) and CNN Money and CNN mobile and Fox News (and Fox News again)(and Fox News yet again)(and again!)(and again!)(and yet again!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and again, for cryin’ out loud)(and yet again) and Fox Business and MSNBC (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC again) (and MSNBC yet again) and ABC News and NBC news and NBC News again and NBC News yet again and the Weather Channel and the Weather Channel again and the BBC and the BBC again and German news channel N24. And the Canadian Broadcast Corp. And Fairfax media of New Zealand. And Dagsrevyen, the evening news broadcast of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corp. And Martha Stewart’s TV operation. And the Disney Channel. And AOL. And AOL’s Patch. And Patch again. And creators of mobile apps. And Yahoo News. And Yahoo News again. And the fictional TMI! web site on the Newsroom TV show. And Google News’ bots. And baseball jersey manufacturers. And football jersey manufacturers. And sports ticket counterfeiters. And the NCAA. And the Big 12 Conference. And Georgetown University. And Kansas State University. And the University of Iowa. And the University of North Carolina. And the University of Texas. And Nebraska Wesleyan University. And Appalachian State University. And high school diploma printers. And the New York Jets, the Minnesota Vikings, the Minnesota Twins the St. Louis Cardinals, the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals (boy, do they need a copy editor). And the Brooklyn Nets. And Manchester United. And the National Hockey League (and the NHL again). And the NHL Network. And NBA Premium TV. And ESPN (and ESPN again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and three more times!)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again)(and yet again) and Fox Sports (and Fox Sports again)(and Fox Sports one more time)(and Fox Sports yet again)(and yet again). And NBC Sports. And NBC Sports again. And CBS Sportsline. And TBS Sports. And CNN.SI. And Sports Illustrated (and again). And college athletic department ticket offices. And the NCAA. And Leaf trading card company. And the Virginia general assembly. And college alumni magazines. And pharmacies. And the makers of Sudafed. And Borders bookstore. And the U.S. Postal Service. And government agencies and political candidates. And Tea Party candidates. And the Newt Gingrich campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign. And the Mitt Romney campaign again. And the White House. And the Vice President. And the President himself. And city and county Boards of Elections. And Congressmen from South Carolina. Both the state of Pennsylvania and its department of transportation. And Costa Cruises. And Pittsburgh skywriters. And road paving contractors in Durham, N.C. and in New York City. And the city of Norfolk, Va. And the Ohio Dept. of Transportation. And the Maryland Dept. of Transportation. And the West Palm Beach, Fla., police dept. And Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg, Fla. And Sunrise-McMillan Elementary School in Fort Worth, Texas. And Canadian school districts. And planners for Charlotte, N.C.’s Festival in the Park. And South African traffic cops. And the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico. And gas stations. And billboard companies. And bumper sticker manufacturers. And sign painters. And Home Depot and manufacturers of “hoodies.“ And T-shirt designers. And more T-shirt designers. And Old Navy. And Old Navy again. And Kohl’s. And Lids. And Adidas. And Mazda. And rubber stamp designers. And glass etchers. And stone carvers. And hotels. And more hotels. And manufacturers of custom-printed hotel accessories. And Starbucks. And Wendy’s. And Applebee‘s. And DaVanni’s Pizza. And restaurants, breakfast joints, Chinese restaurants and cake decorators. And more cake decorators. And drive-in movie theater managers. And auto dealers. And auto body shops. And romance novelists. And Capcom, the makers of Resident Evil video games. And 2K Sports, the makers of NBA 2K13 video games. And the Ku Klux Klan. And American Idol. And book cover designers. And editorial cartoonists. And business page editors. And South Africa’s New Ageand Sunday Independent newspapers. And City Press of Johannesburg. And Dublin’s Sunday Business Post. And the Echo of Gloucestershire, England. And the London Daily Mail. And the National Post of Toronto, Canada. And the South China Morning Post. And the Air Force Times. And the Washington Post (Hey! Another repeat offender!), the Post’s Express tab (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!), the Washington Examiner, Boston’s Metro, the New York Times (Wow! Yet another repeat offender!)(Hey! A third offense!)(Hey! A fourth offense!), A.M. New York, the Los Angeles Times (and the LAT again), the New York Post, the New York Post again, the New York Post yet again, Wall Street Journal Europe, Newsday, USA Today, the Chicago Sun-Times (And yet another!), the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill., the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat & Chronicle, the Daily Mail of London, the Echo of Liverpool, England, the Seattle Times, the weekly Manila Mail of San Francisco, the Miami Herald (and again!), the Portland Oregonian, the Durham, N.C., Herald-Sun, the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. (and the News & Observer again!)(and again!), the Chapel Hill, N.C., News, Advance Publications’ Birmingham design hub, the Tampa Bay Times, the Missoula, Mont., Missoulian, the Duluth, Minn., News Tribune, the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, the Bangor (Maine) Daily News, the Advocate of Stamford, Conn., the Times-Record of Denton, Md., the News-Herald of Willoughby, Ohio, the Reporter of Lansdale, Pa., the Times-News of Erie, Pa., the Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh, Pa., the Wilmington, Del., News Journal, the Dispatch of Casa Grande, Ariz., the Amarillo (Texas) Globe News, the Laredo Morning Times, the El Paso Times, the Daily Telegram of Temple, Texas, the Independent of Rayne, La., the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Waynesboro News Virginian, the Virginian-Pilot (and the Virginian-Pilot again), the Des Moines (Iowa) Register, the Coon Rapids (Iowa) Enterprise, the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Gannett’s N.Y. Central Media hub, the Greenville (S.C.) News, the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah, the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Fort Collins Coloradoan, the Denver Post, the Olympian of Olympia, Wash., the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, the Carbondale, Ill., Southern Illinoisian, the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger (Hey! Yet another repeat offender!) and the Canarsie Courier of New York City. And Politico. And the Associated Press. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press again. And the Associated Press yet again. And the Associated Press yet again. And Mann’s Jeweler’s Accent magazine. And New Scientist magazine. And Investment News magazine. And Time magazine (and Time magazine again). And Editor & Publisher.

And, of course, I need a copy editor myself.

I’ve always needed a copy editor. Which is why you’ll see me fight so hard for them.

USA Today tweaks body copy font

There’s a small blue tint box at the bottom of the front page of today’s USA Today.

In that box: News of a small change to USA Today‘s new redesign. The paper has “darkened and enlarged the typeface” of the body copy used throughout the paper, writes editor-in-chief David Callaway.

In addition, Callaway writes:

We’ve added more color to our famous weather map. We’ve moved the crossword puzzle back to its original page position.

Meaning that USA Today has now learned what every editor in the world has learned: Never, ever screw with the crossword.

In addition, Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon reports:

USA Today may be hearing from readers on another point Monday: Callaway’s note includes a typo:

We take critique from our loyal readers seriously and want you to know we’re listening.

Today’s front page is from the Newseum. Of course.

Previous coverage of the USA Today redesign, here in the blog…

  • Sept. 6: USA Today reportedly to launch a redesign next week
  • Sept. 13: Is this USA Today’s new logo?
  • Sept. 13: A closer look at the hints we’ve seen of the new USA Today redesign
  • Sept. 14: My epic search for a new-and-improved USA Today
  • Sept. 17: A (somewhat belated) in-depth look at the new USA Today
  • Sept. 17: My thoughts about Monday’s edition of USA Today
  • Sept. 19: Stephen Colbert‘s take on the USA Today redesign
  • Sept. 19: A critique of Day Four of the new redesign
  • Sept. 20: USA Today responds to Stephen Colbert’s logo challenge
  • Oct. 16: Has USA Today run out of ‘blue ball’ logo ideas already?
  • Oct. 21: Logo designers of the world: You’re not doing it right

Logo designers of the world: You’re not doing it right

The news recently out of Columbus: Wendy’s hamburgers is updating its logo.

I think Wendy’s blew it. That’s simply not how you redesign a logo these days. This is how you redesign a logo these days:

Also, Arby’s chain of barbeque sandwiches has redesigned its logo.

They, too, misfired. Here’s what Arby’s should have gone with:

Here’s yet another fast-food chain that redesigned its logo recently.

And yet again, a missed opportunity.

And online auction site eBay also made over its image this fall:

They, too, screwed up.

That’s the problem with logo designers these days. They just don’t have the balls to do it right.

Has USA Today run out of ‘blue ball’ logo ideas already?

Several folks have asked me: What’s the deal with the graphic icons — or lack thereof — in the USA Today logo lately?

Have the USA Today graphics folks run out of ideas already, just as predicted by Stephen Colbert?

 

 

 

 

The answer: No, they haven’t. USA Today publisher Larry Kramer told Politico‘s Dylan Byers last week:

…We have to establish the ball first. We don’t want to be out there with a new ball every day when readers have never seen what the baseline is.So, the marketing team asked, Can you just run it for a while without a dressed-up logo, so people know what the logo is?

…We decided we’d spend a couple of weeks getting the ball out there, let people see what the logo is, then we’ll start playing with it again.

And now you know.

Passing through town tonight: Richard Curtis

Richard Curtis and his wife, Jane, came to Hampton Roads this weekend to do the tourist thing. They were soooo bored this evening that they took Sharon and me out to dinner.

Yet, this was the only picture I took.

Richard, of course, is the founding managing editor for graphics and photo at USA Today. He worked there for 75 48 27 years before retiring in 2008.

It’s always a pleasure to see Richard. A few years ago, he drove over to Dulles to have breakfast with me during a layover on my way to South Africa. A few weeks later, he did it again when I was making my way back home.

He was kind of like a one-man, personal TSA. But without the patdown.

Richard is one of those guys I’d love to see write an autobiography. He’s been in the business so long, has done so much and has so many great stories to tell. Idea: I should write a series of books on greats of visual journalism. I could start out with a biography of Richard, hit on George Rorick next and then take on Karl Gude for volume three.

Hmm. If I ever win the lottery, that’s what I’ll do.

Anyway, we tied up a table tonight for probably way too long. Yet, the management at Red Lobster didn’t say anything snippy to us or kick us out. So, in return, let me say: Red Lobster has an all-you-can-eat “endless shrimp” special going right now that is truly decent.

Disclaimer: Many, many shrimps died, I’m afraid, in order to bring you this message.

A look at today’s debate preview front pages

Tonight is a huge night for political junkies: The first presidential debate will be held tonight at the University of Denver.

Here’s a look at some of today’s front page preview treatments…

DENVER POST

Denver, Colo.

Circulation: 401,120

As you might expect, the Denver Post was all over it with a special section that wrapped around today’s paper. In a starring role was Jeff Neumann‘s cover illustration.

Nice idea and wonderfully designed. I’m not sure how I feel about all that exposed skin having a blue cast to it, however. It gives the backs and upper arms of the candidates kind of a zombie-like look to them.

______________________

MORE BOXING METAPHORS

ASBURY PARK PRESS

Neptune, N.J.

Circulation: 98,032

Denver wasn’t the only paper to go with a boxing metaphor on page one today. Jeff Colson of the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park created this illustration of colliding boxing gloves that reminds me of something you might see at the beginning of a Fox Sports broadcast.

The “Rumble in the Rockies” headline and the tale-of-the-tape treatments beneath add to the theme.

Interestingly, the studio went with a question headline in the version that ran in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

 

  • Left: Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal; circulation 25,064.
  • Right: East Brunswick, N.J., Home News Tribune; circulation 29,648.

COURIER-POST

Camden, N.J.

Circulation: 46,547

My favorite treatment today out of the Asbury Park Design Studio, however, is this illustration, also by Jeff Colson.

That one ran — with a question hed, which, again, baffles me — on the front of today’s Camden paper.

THE EXAMINER

Washington, D.C.

Distribution: 260,950

And perhaps the strangest boxing reference today is this one in the deck headline of the Washington Examiner.

Do readers today even remember Muhammad Ali‘s infamous tire-the-other-guy-out “rope-a-dope” strategy? I suspect not.

The interesting thing here: If you’re a Democrat, you can be offended by the suggestion that President Barack Obama might have to “resort” to this. If you’re a Republican, you can be offended by the suggestion that challenger Mitt Romney is a “dope.”

So, at least, the deck is equally offensive to each candidate. I think.

_____________________

TIPS FOR THE CANDIDATES

A number of papers today featured a list of what each candidate is looking to do tonight — what each needs to do in order to win tonight’s opening debate. And some of these papers presented this information in the form of an alternative story form.

BUFFALO NEWS

Buffalo, N.Y.

Circulation: 147,085

Buffalo today led with two simple cutout AP images on a tinted background.

The tips were embedded in the tint box below the art. And they were fairly brief.

The text was by staffer Robert J. McCarthy.

NEWS-PRESS

Fort Myers, Fla.

Circulation: 54,761

The folks at the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville gave today’s Fort Myers front a simple but effective visual, including a great headline…

…and a nice staff-written ASF down below.

Observation: I think this might have worked better had the peach-colored tint box extended all the way to the bottom of the page, including the ASF material.

ROANOKE TIMES

Roanoke, Va.

Circulation: 78,663

Here’s the first of what will be a recurring theme today: Empty podiums.

The page is composed very well. The thing that frightens me, however, is putting that much reversed text atop a background that might be a four-color black (the photo blends into the background).

I’m sure my friends in Roanoke have been burned on that before. When you build a page like this, make sure you take the cyan, magenta and yellow out of the black that lies behind the text. Also, while you’re at it, you might bump up the point size of the reversed text just a bit. and go with a bolder weight, if you can.

That way, if your presses get a little out of register, readers will still be able to read the text.

UPDATE – 7 p.m.

Diane Deffenbaugh of the Roanoke Times — the designer of this page — writes to say:

I agree that reverse type can be a nightmare and much care was taken to be sure it would print cleanly. The faded background is indeed 100% K for just that reason.

SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Salt Lake City, Utah

Circulation: 110,546

Speaking of reverse boxes, check out the text treatment of the ASF afront today’s Salt Lake Tribune.

Beautifully done. If, that is, all this was readable. Many U.S. newspapers simply can’t hold colors like this behind white text.

I hope you’re reading these breakout boxes. Some of these tips are really terrific. Like, for example, the middle one for Romney here: “Egg him on… create a moment that makes the president come across as smug.”

The main problem I have with this page: For such a large package, this debate thing sure is far down the page. But you can see the reasons for that: A giant local whooping cough story and the death of a former Salt Lake Tribune publisher.

The photos up top are from the Associated Press.

BIRMINGHAM NEWS

Birmingham, Ala.

Circulation: 103,729

I really, really don’t want to like this page today. Only because I’m so unhappy with what Advance is doing by taking its Alabama papers to three-times-a-week publication. Today was the first day the Birmingham News has published under this new schedule.

But, in truth, this lead package is gorgeous. From the lead photo by David Goldman of the Associated Press…

…down to the “keys to victory” text from the Dallas Morning News.

Naturally, the 44,725-circulation Huntsville Times was assembled today along similar lines…

 

…as was, most likely, the Mobile paper. Which, alas, didn’t make it into the Newseum today.

Nice work by the new Birmingham-based production hub. But I hope Alabama readers don’t get cookie-cutter designs every publication cycle.

_____________________________

SPINNING IT TOWARDS THE READER

While some papers spun their packages toward the candidates, others focused more on the viewing public… The voters… The readers.

JOURNAL STAR

Lincoln, Neb.

Circulation: 55,398

The Lincoln, Neb., paper cleverly illustrated its package with, yes, cutouts of each candidate and a clever headline. The downside: That lead package was forced to compete with an equally-clever cow in the skybox.

The material downpage — edited down from a column by Dan Balz of the Washington Post — gives readers six answers to questions they might have going into tonight’s spectacle.

The only complaint I have here is the election logo. It looks a little lost here. Either bump it up in size or replace it with a more modern-looking strap across the top of the package.

RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL

Reno, Nev.

Circulation: 43,095

Reno led today with an empty podium and a nicely-conceived package giving readers five reasons they should even tune in tonight.

My only beef here: If you use a headline like “five reasons,” then you might want to punctuate the start of each copy block with a large numeral — kind of like how Lincoln did, above.

In fact, giant red numerals might have helped this ASF text look a little less dense.

OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

Omaha, Neb.

Circulation: 135,223

Omaha today also went with an empty podium and a black background.

Any readability issues were resolved by putting the ASF material into a neutral-colored box.

The text was written by staffer C. David Kotok and Aaron Sanderford.

My favorite part of this page, however, is the brief chronology of presidential debates across the bottom of the package.

QUAD-CITY TIMES

Davenport, Iowa

Circulation: 46,824

And, speaking of history, here’s where I’ll slip in the one inside page I have to show you today: This wonderful piece from the Quad-City Times of Iowa.

What a treasure chest of political history! Oh, I had so much fun combing through this package today.

QCT designer Nate Bloomquist tells us:

I took pieces of an AP story and combed through debate transcripts on debates.org to find other tidbits. I also ran all the transcripts through wordcounter.com to get the tallies of frequently used words in the debates.

Take note of this, folks. If you’re really interested in how many times words get used in debates or speeches, these little bar charts actually quantify this for you. Unlike word clouds or bubble charts, which merely illustrate that info for you.

Nate says:

I’m pretty happy with the page. I don’t really like the headline, but I always feel like I can do better with headlines.

And I’m delighted Nate shared. Thanks much!

USA TODAY

McLean, Va.

Circulation: 1,817,446

USA Today‘s infamous “blue ball” logo set the tone for the day by containing the obligatory empty podium…

…while the rest of the page focused on what the public says it wants to see in tonight’s debate.

I love the vertical crops on the pictures here. The light blue tint boxes don’t work quite so well. I wonder if black reverse boxes might have been more effective.

You can see the advantage of the new format, however. It’s difficult to imagine a cover story getting this much real estate before the big redesign last month.

What I don’t like so much are the very simple excerpts of what voters say they want to see:

Come up with all the answers for all the problems“? Really? That would make you vote for the president? Go figure!

The problem with approaches like this: If any of them make the reader say: “Well, Duh!,” then they’re not helpful. Reach deeper and find another quote.

REPUBLICAN AMERICAN

Waterbury, Conn.

Circulation: 42,673

Waterbury took a similar approach today and was helped by a) having mug shots of the folks responding and…

b) not being tied to precise quotes. Meaning the reporter was free to paraphrase a bit in order to help each “wish” read a little more cleanly.

Here’s a closer look.

There are a couple of these I have to laugh at, however. One is the picture of the woman on the right of the middle row with her eyes closed. The other is the comment made by the man at bottom right:

Henry A. Thibault, 65, Torrington:

The sky-high deficit hasn’t impacted him in any way he can think of but it’s a problem that needs to be solved.

Ooooookay…

HARTFORD COURANT

Hartford, Conn.

Circulation: 132,006

Longtime blog readers know how much I dislike word clouds. Especially when they don’t seem to tell us much of value. Which is, y’know, most of the time.

Given the headline — “Adding social to the debate” — I thought it might be built from tweets or facebook comments. But no: This one is a word cloud made of words uttered by the two candidates — color-coded, of course — during their acceptance speeches at their respective conventions.

As I wrote a while back, I saw a word cloud treatment recently — an interactive one that allowed the reader to dig further into the database of speeches. But this one? Not helpful at all, I think.

At best, it’s old news. Better to wait until Thursday and build a fresh one of these with the words from tonight’s boxing match. Assuming you can get a transcript built in time.

L.A. DAILY NEWS and sister papers

I love the headline on the package built by the folks at the Los Angeles Daily News for their chain’s Southern California newspapers. Because this sums up what viewers of tonight’s debates are all thinking: Tell us what we want to hear. Or else.

 

Interestingly, compare the language of those two lead headlines with the more informal versions below.

   

The terrific illustrations are vintage 2007 Chris Ware pieces from the McClatchy-Tribune graphics service.

Top row:

  • Long Beach Press-Telegram; circulation 82,556
  • Torrance Daily Breeze; circulation 75,352

Bottom row:

  • Los Angeles Daily News; circulation 94,016
  • Ontario Daily Bulletin; circulation 61,699
  • San Bernadino Daily Sun; circulation 56,456

PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Circulation: 188,405

And the folks in Pittsburgh today found an interesting angle for today’s centerpiece: How the talking-head spin you sit through during and after the debates can affect your opinion.

Which is very true. That’s why experts from both the right and the left are happy to participate in those post-debate, snap-analysis sessions.

That’s a nice horizontal crop on the photo up top. All three pictures are from Getty.

__________________

BEAUTY IN SIMPLICITY

A couple of metro tabloids kept things very simple today. Which I loved.

EXPRESS

Washington, D.C.

Distribution: 183,916

Two cutouts. A black background. A very simple headline. What’s not to like here?

That’s Express, the free youth+commuter tab published by the Washington Post.

HOY

Chicago, Ill.

Distribution: 60,000

And Hoy — the Spanish-language tab published in Chicago by the Tribune — came up with an even more simple cover today.

The illustration is by staffer Jacqueline Marrero.

The headline says: The first round.

____________________

IT’S GOTTA BE THE SHOES

Three newspapers today led with pictures of stand-ins during a technical rehearsal yesterday on the set of the debates at the University of Denver.

   

From left to right:

  • Dallas (Texas) Morning News; circulation 405,349
  • New York Times; circulation 1,586,757
  • Grand Junction, Colo., Daily Sentinel, circulation 25,161

The version used by Dallas — shot by Win McNamee of Getty Images — was gorgeous.

However, at that distance, it’s difficult to tell that those aren’t really the candidates. The editors in Dallas will have similar pictures to choose from tonight. Using this one today limits their options.

The version from the front of the Times was cropped tight enough so you could tell that each of the two “candidates” was, in fact, a ringer.

That picture, too, was made by Win McNamee.

My favorite of these, however, was the picture by David Goldman of the Associated Press and used by the Grand Junction paper.

Mostly, because of this:

Forget the issues. I’d strongly consider voting for any candidate who has the nerve to try that during a nationally-televised debate.

_____________________________

I HOPE THIS ONE’S NOT TOO CORNY…

CITIZEN PATRIOT

Jackson, Mich.

Circulation: 24,031

And finally — although it’s not strictly debate-oriented — please consider the lead art afront today’s Citizen Patriot of Jackson, Mich., an hour or so west of Detroit.

Those are the Republican candidates, carved into a cornfield. It took somebody just five hours using a John Deere tractor, a rototiller and a GPS device to create this, using a pattern the “artist” had created earlier via a computer.

Cute, right?

However, consider this: The owner of that cornfield happens to be the chairman of the county GOP. Plus, the picture itself wasn’t even shot by staff: It’s a “courtesy”handout, presumably by either the artist or the landowner or someone affiliated with them.

Is the paper obligated now to find an equally interesting gimmick featuring the other candidate now? Or is the concept of “equal time” — especially one page one — now an old-fashioned one?

Just curious…

With the exception of the Davenport, Iowa, page, all of these images are from the Newseum. Of course.