Another batch of “the Alphabet” front page art from the Sentinel & Enterprise

Last week, we took at look at the Sentinel & Enterprise of Fitchburg, Mass., and the paper’s month-long project during which they’ve turned Page One over to an artist and her team of interns.

They, in turn, recruited designers and typographers all over the world to create alphabet-themed artwork and stories for the paper’s front page.


The project started on Monday, July 13 with the letter A. The paper runs one front page a day — with the exception of Sunday — wrapping the Alphabet page around the paper’s standard front page. Which temporarily becomes page A3.


When we visited this project last week, the paper had just printed the I page at bottom right.


Here are the pages the Sentinel & Enterprise has run since then:


The letter: J
Designer: Joe Riedel
Specialty: Typographer and letterpress printer
Based: Northampton, Conn.


The paper reported:

“I wanted to pay tribute to the long history of the Fitchburg Sentinel and also to newspaper printing in general,” he said. “A couple generations ago, letterpress printing was a major trade, and it was far from the artisanal craft many consider it today. So I wanted to tie my project in to the newspaper and community.”


The letter: K
Designer: Francesca Bolognini
Specialty: Type designer and font developer
Based: London



The letter: L
Designer: Anna Schuleit Haber
Specialty: Type designer and font developer
Based: New Orleans


Schuleit Haber is the German-born artist who is overseeing the entire project this summer in Fitchburg. She chose the letter L for herself.


The letter: M
Designer: Franz Werner
Specialty: Typography and photography
Based: Providence, R.I.


Werner teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.


And today’s installment is an exercise in the use of negative space.


The letter: N
Designer: Frank Grießhammer
Specialty: Typeface designer
Based: California

Grießhammer helped develop Adobe’s Typekit font development tools.

Barring breaking news, the project should be complete by Aug. 11. Read more about it here. Read more about the contributing artists here.

Average daily circulation for the Sentinel & Enterprise is 15,031.

A coloring page. For grown-ups.

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

For grown-ups.

Click for a larger look:


The instructions say:

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

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

Sam tells us:

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

Previous posts about Sam and his work at the Pilot:

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


Inside the OC Register’s coverage of the 60th anniversary of Disneyland

On this date 60 years ago, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, Calif.

My former colleagues at the Orange County Register celebrated the birthday with a gala 24-page special report… that turned out to be even more special than they had thought when they set out to observe the date.

The first 10,000 guests at Disneyland this morning received a copy of the special section, distributed by actors dressed in vintage newsboy costumes.

Photo by Joshua Sudock, Orange County Register

Much of the content of the section is also posted in a new, permanent Disney page at the Orange County Register web site. Editor Rob Curley says the Register is still adding to the content there — he says…

It’s a work in progress

…which sounds very Disneyesque indeed: Walt famously said that Disneyland would never be complete. Every year, Disney adds and changes and tweaks the park to the ever-changing expectations and needs of its guests.

The print section was designed by my old pal Chris Soprych. The cover — indeed, much of the section — contains dozens of vintage photos of Disneyland over the years, from the Disney archives, various photo databases and the Register‘s own collection.

Click on this page — or any page here today — for a much closer look:


Page two, below left, is a by-the-numbers page.


On page three, above right, staffer Keith Sharon retells the story of how an orange grove in Anaheim — of all places — was chosen as the site for the world’s first theme park.

On pages four and five, Joseph Pimentel writes about the first little boy and girl allowed into the park on opening day. Walt Disney himself gave them lifetime passes to Disneyland.


Pages six and seven tell the story of a number of people who helped shape the park in its early days.


My favorite is the story at upper left, on page six. Warren Asa — now age 89 — was one of the first Jungle Boat skippers. He explains how that ride developed the culture of departing from the script.

Also, note the continuing timeline that runs along the bottom of most of the pages.

Page eight holds a story about a local woman who was Disneyland’s 1 millionth visitor — just 52 days after the park opened.


Downpage is a story by photographer/videographer Mark Eades about all the names on the windows along Main Street. It’s essentially like an employee Hall of Fame.

Page nine is a full-page ad.

A graphic on page ten shows which rides and attractions were open on that first day. Large swaths of the park were quite empty. So far.


There’s a great interactive version of this map on the web site.

On page 11: Another full-page ad.

The center spread on pages 12 and 13 is a wonderful collection of vintage photos of the park. Everything from the mermaids who once “cavorted” in the waters of the submarine voyage to real-life mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn.


On pages 14 and 15 is one of the coolest stories in the entire section: It’s about the innovations that made Disneyland the great place it is. The hub-and-spoke layout, the “immersive experiences,” and the visual magnets — Walt called them “weenies,” meaning the visual design of the park was like dangling a hot dog just out of reach in front of a hungry animal.


Page 17 is a collection of famous people at Disneyland. John F. Kennedy, Muhammad Ali, Sophia Loren, Kobe Bryant…


Page 19 holds two columns. One is by a man who led Disney’s Imagineering team for 30 years.


The downpage column is a personal piece by staffer Keith Sharon on what the park meant to him and his family.

The story across the top of pages 20 and 21 covers the most recent tweaks at the park.


The final story in the section is about Renie Bardeau, who spent 39 years as the official photographer for Disneyland.


Pages 23 and 24 are full-page ads.


Wasn’t that terrific?

But wait! There’s more!

The Register also reprinted the 16-page special section it published the Friday, July 15 — before the park’s invitation-only preview opening, 60 years ago today. This was a special edition created for Disneyland employees — known as “cast members” — but made available to the general public only at the OC Register building in Santa Ana, according to a press release.

Yes, that’s Walt Disney himself there on the front, cuddling a pony.


Rob tells me staffers combed through microfiche collections to find the sharpest, clearest copies of the 1955 section to use for the reprint. A copy at the library in Santa Ana proved to be much better than the one in the Register‘s own collection.

However, someone then scored a vintage “mint” copy of the section itself, Rob tells us.

The pages we had been looking at for five or six months, were all black-and-white. But our jaws dropped when we saw the spot color.

Yes, color existed 60 years ago. Believe it or not.


What’s really amazing about these pages is how boring the editorial content is but the inventiveness of some of these ads. I love that choo-choo on page two, above left.

And check out Aunt Jemima at the bottom of page five.


Newspapers also didn’t do a great job of packaging in those days. Stories about Main Street are scattered among other stories over several pages. Ditto for the railroad that circles the park.


And smack in the middle of the section — on page eight — is a woman wearing lingerie. Pretty racy for 1955, I think.


But that ad was for an actual women’s underwear shop on Disneyland’s Main Street. The copy for that ad says:

The wonderful wizard of bras is at that Disneyland. Be sure to visit him at Ye Olde Hollywood-Maxwell Bra Shoppe beginning July 18th.

Also amusing: The rabbit in the ad at the bottom of page nine, above right. He says “Yeh, Doc.”

That would be the other guys: Warner Bros.

Here are pages 10 and 11…


…and 12 and 13. Note the ad, below left, for Chicken of the Sea tuna, served in the Pirate Ship restaurant in Fantasyland.


There’s yet another amusing ad on page 13:

At Disneyland, too, you know they’re cooking with gas.

The reason it’s amusing: A natural gas leak caused about half of the park to be shut down during during the gala press preview on July 17, 1955.

Pages 16 and 17 contain pictures and stories about how natural the new trees look in Adventureland.


And for those of you who think alternative story forms are a new thing: Check out the back page.


That’s a guide to the park: How to get there, when the park is open, how much it costs to park and to get in and what you can do once you get there.

Here’s how the Register promoted the special section on the top of today’s front page:


According to a press release from the Register:

A must-have collectible for Disney fans, the 1955 section will be available in limited quantities for Register subscribers and the general public.

Register seven-day subscribers may request a free copy of the 1955 collectible section at the Register’s headquarters at 625 N. Grand Ave. in Santa Ana by downloading a flyer through its Register Connect subscriber rewards site at

The public may also purchase the 1955 collectible section at the Register headquarters for $2. The public may also order up to five copies of the 1955 and 2015 sections together by mail by visiting Pricing by mail starts at $6.95, plus tax and shipping/handling.

Average daily circulation for the Orange County Register is 280,812.

Hutchinson (Kansas) News transforms itself into the Smallville News

Look! Up in the sky!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a… newspaper?


That was the actual Thursday front page of the Hutchinson (Kansas) News.

My pal Ron Sylvester — managing editor of the Hutch News — tells us the page was designed by assistant managing editor for design Wendy Skellenger and graphic artist Jim Heck.

He writes:

Three years ago some comic fans presented a pretty detailed argument that Hutchinson was geographically close to where Smallville, Kansas, would’ve been located. They convinced the mayor and the city council to change the name of the town to Smallville for a day.

Since then, there has been a festival created, a comic con, and it’s expanded to four days. It’s become quite a community event.

The first year, the Hutchinson News changed its name to the Daily Planet:


It was received so well in the community and so popular we decided to do it again this year. Except the Daily Planet was really located in Metropolis. So we decided calling at the Smallville News would be more faithful. Plus, we could use that iconic typography from the Superman comics that we all read  growing up.

We had imagined Superman flying out of the Cosmosphere.  The problem was finding a Superman image we could use. We spent days scouring and finally found an image that had a Creative Commons license that we felt comfortable we could utilize under Fair Use.

Wendy and Jim did an amazing job of paying attention to detail. My favorite is the placement of the barcode and the edition number to parody a comic book.


This is what a newspaper looks like when people have fun coming to work every day!

This page was the front of what was essentially a four-page pull-off section that wrapped around the rest of Thursday’s paper. These pages were designed by staffer George Woods.

Ron tells us:

It was designed so people could pull off the cover, get the four-day schedule and have a little program on those four pages.

Page two contained a schedule and quotes from local folks.


Page three contains a timeline of how the Smallville event came to be over the years.


On the back were a couple of pictures from last year’s festival and a story about a local bookstore that sponsored a Where’s Waldo?-like game tie-in with the event.


Ron notes that Thursday…

…was also one day we could use comic sans and we didn’t let it go to waste.

On our opinion page, we ran an editorial on why we change our flag and support the festival.


Inside, Thursday’s Page 3 was essentially the usual Page 1.


Ron writes:

Our entertainment section, the b, featured the Comic Con on the cover, following the comic book theme.


Sandra Milburn, our AME of photo, took care of the header, as she does every day.

Naturally, there was also a strong digital component to the project.


Ron tells us:

Ryan Buchanan, our digital editor, pulled the main package together.

Find it here.

Ron closes by noting:

We have a really good team here. I’m glad they’re going to be recognized for their hard work.

Average daily circulation of the Hutchinson News is 25,722.

A video game took over page one Monday in Fargo

Did you catch the front page of Monday’s Forum of Fargo, N.D.?

Editor Matt Von Pinnon writes:

Troy Becker‘s front-page illustration of Minecraft is getting some love today, as we knew it would. Thanks to Troy for the authentic piece. And thanks to Jason [Miller, presentation editor] for suggesting the illustration idea and letting it cook.


Check out that nameplate, willya? Ha!

Matt continues:

My 5- and 9-year-old daughters, both Minecraft devotees, freaked out when they saw the paper today. That happens very rarely (Taylor Swift concert cover was the last time) and I think illustrates that the newspaper can still appeal to new readers if presented in a certain way.

The story is by Forum staffer Robin Huebiner. Find it here.

A 2000 graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., designer, graphic artist and illustrator Troy Becker joined the Forum in 2007.


Find his blog here and his Twitter feed here.

Average daily circulation for the Fargo Forum is 45,298. I spent a week teaching there in February.

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

A look at Richmond’s fun Saturday retro front page

Brandon Dingess, design editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, writes today:

Here’s a fun thing we did for the 150th anniversary of Richmond burning at the end of the war.

For those of you not from the South: That would be the Civil War. Or — as I was taught to call it — the War Between the States.

Brandon continues:

We wrapped Saturday’s A1 with a faux-1865 Daily Dispatch, our ancestor paper. That Dispatch didn’t publish April 4, 1865 because the building had burned down, so we did a “what if they did?” kind of presentation with accounts from diaries, telegrams and reprints from the Richmond Whig providing a report of the fire, evacuation and Union takeover.

Click this for a much larger, readable view.


Obviously, the design isn’t period accurate with that four-column engraving and big six-column headlines, but we decided to take some liberties since this was going to be sitting in the newspaper racks.

The deck ad at the bottom is from the Red Cross, who loved the idea and designed their ad in a similar period style.

Here’s a closer look at the left side of that ad:


Like Brandon says, the page isn’t exactly historically authentic. However, there are a lot of details here that certainly make it look and feel a century-and-a-half old. Like the uneven, italicized typography:


The punctuation after the nameplate.


Oh, and note the spelled out price.

If you think that’s funny, check out the subscription information downpage.


Yeah. Someone had way too much fun writing all that.

The folks at the Times-Dispatch went to a lot of trouble to pull out actual dispatches sent from participants in the evacuation and Union takeover of the city, detailing what happened. The effect reads much like a timeline or — dare I saw it? — a rolling blog.


Also of note is the wordy little bug at the bottom right of the page announcing that the “real” newspaper is inside this historical wrap.


Brandon tells us about the rest of the wrap:

Page 2 is map and schedule of all the major Civil War commemoration events taking place in Richmond this weekend.


Page 3 is more reports and accounts of the news.


Page 4 is a Wells Fargo ad, also done in period style and a promo ad for the 112-page Discover Richmond: Remember magazine we put out in March that charts the city’s history from 1850 to 1965.

This was a blast to put together and got great reactions in and out of the building before publication.

Inside, of course, is the “usual” Times-Dispatch. The lead story on today’s front page is about the very successful basketball coach at Virginia Commonwealth who is moving to the University of Texas.


Go here to find an online version of the  main story on the replica page.

Find the paper’s actual online anniversary story here.

Average daily circulation for the Times-Dispatch is 108,559.

More typically, newspapers run retro fronts on their own anniversaries, rather than the anniversaries of news events. Other retro or faux-retro treatments in my collection:

A collection of newspaper tributes to Leonard Nimoy

Unless you’ve been living under a rock this weekend, then you’ve probably heard that Leonard Nimoy — the actor who played the iconic science fiction character of Mr. Spock on Star Trek — died. He was 83.

Nimoy was originally from Boston and it reportedly took him years to ditch his Bahhstahhn accent. Astronaut Terry Virts tweeted this little tribute from the International Space Station — high above Boston on Saturday.


That, of course, is the Vulcan hand salute, typically used when one wishes another to “live long and prosper.”

I spent this past week in Fargo, N.D., where I taught staffers of the Forum newspaper company. Among the topics we talked about were ways to have fun with skyboxes and when to alter the paper’s nameplate. After my week was over and I returned to my hotel Friday night, I nearly fell out of my chair when I spotted this little gem on Twitter.


Sure enough, that was the Forum’s nameplate Saturday. Outstanding.

Several papers paid homage to Nimoy Saturday or today. Most looked rather like this one, on teh front of Saturday’s Lexington, Ky., Herald-Leader.


The Associated Press moved that portrait of Nimoy, shot just a few years ago before his health began to fall off. Note the secondary photo of Nimoy, shot during an appearance at Eastern Kentucky University in 1978, around the time the first Star Trek movie was being made.

Also, note the downpage interview with Walter Koening, who played Star Trek‘s Ensign Chekov,

My favorite front page of the day was this one by the Hartford Courant.


That is essentially a centerpiece promo to a story inside. But it was clearly assembled by someone who had a lot of love for Nimoy and for Star Trek.

The Staten Island Advance led Saturday’s front page with a collection of ten “pithy sayings” from Nimoy’s character.


Here’s a closer look:


The folks in Pensacola, Fla., received the benefit of some great timing: There was a comic book/scifi convention in town this weekend. Sending someone to poll the folks there about the loss of Nimoy was a no-brainer.


My friends at the Villages Daily Sun in Florida went out and asked locals about Nimoy and Spock.


It’s great if you have a science fiction crowd in town. But this proves you didn’t really need one. Nearly everyone loved Star Trek and Mr. Spock.

The two major New York City tabloids were regional twins yesterday. The Daily News used that AP portrait with a rather obvious “Beam me up” headline….


…while the New York Post wrote a similar headline but stuck with a vintage 50-year-old photo from the original TV series.


My former colleagues at the Orange County Register in Santa Ana, Calif., pushed back whatever they had planned for Sunday’s Focus page and spent their Friday putting together this nice page on the career of Leonard Nimoy.


Jeff Goertzen and Kurt Snibbe get brownie points for pulling out a picture of Nimoy singing. Ugh!


Kurt drew this little bit down the right side of the page showing three seemingly mystical aspects — or abilities — of the Spock character.


The Los Angeles Times Saturday led page one with a fairly recent portrait of Nimoy — shot through a window, for some reason — and a very nice obit.


I didn’t quite understand the little graphic at the bottom of the package, though. Here’s that same little graphic, from the web site.


This turned out to be a little refer to a fun online listing of all of Nimoy’s onscreen appearances as Spock, created by Javier Zarracina. There’s a little icon of Spock for every episode in which he appeared.


Mouse over each to find out what episode it was and when it was broadcast.

As you continue to scroll down, you see variations in Spock’s wardrobe for the odd episode here and there — like, for instance, the dungarees and stocking cap he wore when he and Kirk visited Earth in the 1930s in the episode City on the Edge of Forever (upper right). Or his fighting stance in Amok Time (second row, second from left). Or the “evil” alternate-universe Spock from Mirror, Mirror (second row, far right).


The little figures are animated, which is guaranteed to make you smile. Especially the Amok Time figure.

As you scroll to the early 1970s, you find icons for the animated Star Trek series from that era…


…and then the Star Trek movie series, which debuted my last year in high school.


Here, you see the final original Star Trek movie in which Spock appeared, his two appearances on Star Trek: The Next Generation and then his surprise appearance in the Star Trek reboot movie in 2009. Note the 18-year time gap.


I didn’t quite understand the little figure in 2012 until I read up on it: That year, Nimoy voiced a vintage Spock action figure in an episode of Big Bang Theory.

Fun, fun stuff. Go here to see it for yourself.

And then there’s this fine tribute to Nimoy by the Washington Post — which I would have never seen had it not been for my monitoring Twitter during my travel layover Saturday at O’Hare.

First, there’s this great headline atop the job of Nimoy’s obit in Saturday’s paper.


But the truly outstanding part was this fabulous illustration on the front of Saturday’s Style section.


That was created by London-based freelance illustrator Noma Bar.

Noma writes, on his web site:

I am after maximum communication with minimum elements.


Right. Well, he certainly pulled it off with this Spock piece.


Find Noma’s Twitter feed here.

This cool Super Bowl preview page wasn’t about football

My pal Nate Bloomquist — now a team leader for the Lee Enterprises design center in Munster, Ind. — writes to say:

I saw that you had a blog post about some Super Bowl stuff, so I figured, I’d provide some work of one of my coworkers that I am very proud of. Justin Gilbert is our design secret weapon here in the Lee Enterprises Design Center in Munster, Ind.


He designed not one, but two Super Bowl pages that many [of the Lee] newspapers decided to pick up. He designed a food centerpiece with three tasty and easy recipes for the Super Bowl:


Justin, you see, has been writing about food for years. But instead of writing prose and then running old-style text recipes, Justin builds everything as an alternative story form-type graphic. Here’s a sample from my collection:


Now, I have zero cooking skills. But after reading that, I almost feel like I could make a bleu-cheese crispy-onion burger.

Here’s another one that’s even easier: Essentially, a pizza sandwich.


Justin’s been doing this sort of thing for years and then selling his work freelance. For the life of me, I don’t understand why every paper in the country didn’t buy his work. Truly, this is inspired stuff.

I wrote about him back in 2011 and then he wrote a guest post for me in 2013. Somehow, I missed the news that he joined the Lee Studio last fall.

Find Justin’s Behind the Bites web site here. Find his Twitter feed here.

Nate tells us:

The food page ran in the Provo (Utah) Daily Herald, the Southern Illinoisian (Carbondale), the Coos Bay World, Mason City (Iowa) Globe Gazette, the Maysville Ledger, Auburn (N.Y.) Citizen, the Quad-City Times, Sioux City (Iowa) Journal, Butte (Mont.) Standard.

Justin adds, via his blog:

As a bonus, I got a VIP award from the management, but more important, there are editors at Lee Enterprises that are now well aware of my skill for recipe development and food presentation. I can’t wait for the next opportunity to arise.

As if that wasn’t enough — Justin previewed the game itself, too:


Nate tells us:

The game preview page ran in many of the same papers..

It is an honor to work with Justin, and we have a small army of folks just like him here at the design center.

And, we’re hiring!

Previous blog posts about this year’s Super Bowl:

A tribute to Joe Cocker by the Times of Oman

You probably know that legendary singer Joe Cocker died Tuesday.

What you might not have seen: A Joe Cocker tribute page that ran Wednesday in the Times of Oman.

Design director Adonis Durado tells us:

I designed the Joe Cocker obit.

I knew from the very beginning that my headline will be taken from Cocker’s iconic songs. I was mulling over between Up Where We Belong or You Are So Beautiful. I thought that if I used the former, I am going to redact “we” and write “you” on top of it — “Up Where You Belong”.


But when I read in Wikipedia that the lyrics of You Are So Beautiful is actually a love song about God, I decided to work my concept around it. In my initial sketch I had Joe Cocker’s head replaced one of the letters in the title.


Then I pulled a little conceit to myself — an obstruction — not to use any mugshot of the legendary singer. So I ended up with the final design where I highlighted his five memorable songs.

Click this for a much larger look:


Adonis illustrated 45 rpm singles to use as devices to replace the O’s in his big text and with which to pull out factoids. Here are closer looks at them:






A 2001 graduate of the University of San Carlos in the Philippines, Adonis Durado worked as a designer, art director, and creative director for a number of magazines and advertising agencies before serving as the consultant for a major redesign of the Cebu Daily News in 2004 and 2005.

From there, he became design editor of a free weekly tabloid published by the Gulf News of Dubai and then news presentation director of Emirates Business 24-7. He spent two years as group creative director of Instore and Indesign magazines in Bangkok, Thailand, before moving to the Times of Oman — and its sister publication, Al Shabiba — in 2010.

Find Adonis’ Twitter feed here.

Previous posts featuring work by Adonis and his staff at the Times of Oman

  • Feb. 10, 2011: What the hell is the Times of Oman?
  • Sept. 2, 2011: Times of Oman observes Ramadan with a page a day… for 28 days
  • July 31, 2012: ‘The world would never forgive us if we don’t do this particular graphic’
  • Aug. 2, 2012: Yet another genius Olympics visualization by the Times of Oman
  • Aug. 15, 2012: Yet another bit of Olympics graphic genius from the Times of Oman
  • May 30, 2014: Now this is truly an alternative story form

Fort Myers News-Press celebrates its 130th birthday

The News-Press of Fort Myers celebrated its 130th birthday on Nov. 22 — Saturday before last.

Michael Babin, Florida design team leader for the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville, tells us the anniversary paper…

…featured a commemorative 4-page wrap around the regular newspaper, featuring an alternate front page produced to mimic the look and feel of the very first paper (published as a weekly under the name The Fort Myers Press back in 1884).


A sampling of stories was pulled from that day’s main run paper and the front page was designed circa 1884, complete with ink smudges and many of the features presses of that day would have yielded.

On the left, below, is an actual page from 1884.


Michael tells us:

It was a team effort, as the newsroom partnered with the advertising department and text-only classified ads were sold down the left-had rail of the page, some even sold from the very same business addresses that were featured in the first issue 130 years ago.

But, in fact, that was just one component of the commemoration by the News Press and deigned by the studio. Thinks kicked off back in August with a Sunday centerpiece story on the history of the paper and how it’s tied in to the history of Fort Myers.

The jump pages contained a detailed timeline history of the paper…

…and a look at noteworthy headlines from the ages. The sidebar here focuses on one of the several owners the paper has had over the past 130 years: Car manufacturer Henry Ford.

Here the third and last inside page from Aug. 24.

Michael writes:

Starting this past summer and running every day for 130 consecutive days, the News Press has run a feature on page 2 called “Celebrating 130 Years”, where it looks back at each year of its existence with notable features such as top headlines, local news, a person of influence, facts about the paper and a trivia question.

This was the first installment of the series, on that Sunday, Aug. 24.

This was the second one, the next day. Note the helpful label at the upper right of each page, to help readers keep these in order.

The 33rd in the series ran Sept. 25.

By Oct. 24, the series had grown up to No. 62: 1945.

And this one — No. 91, covering 1974 — ran Saturday, Nov. 22.

Michael tells us:

Each day’s page is devoted to a year of the paper’s rich history and it runs chronologically every day through the end of this year.

They’ve been a huge hit with readers.

That brings us up to that retro-styled wrap on Nov. 22. The usual page one was inside, of course.


Michael tells us:

Fort Myers took things a few steps further by hosting an open house on its birthday to showcase the work its journalists and other staff members are doing today.

The paper covered that as well. This ran the next day on the paper’s local news page.

The jump featured a few more pictures of readers touring the printing facility.

Michael tells us:

Project editor Andrew Jarosh led things from Fort Myers. Senior designer Phonethip Liu Hobson handled much of the design for 130th pages throughout this series. I handled planning and on-deadline execution of the commemorative “old-style” cover.

Find all the News-Press‘ 130th anniversary stories online here.

Average daily circulation for the Fort Myers News-Press is 54,761.

49 interesting facts about apples… plus one dropped name

The 50th annual National Apple Harvest Festival is being held this weekend and next in Adams County, Pa.

The York Daily Record celebrated the festival’s 50 years with this great page listing 50 fun things you might not know about apples.

Click this for a much larger look:


Assistant managing editor for presentation and digital innovation Brad Jennings wrote to say:

Samantha Dellinger and I put together a page for today that you might want to take a close look at.

That’s something we in the news business call “a hint.” So I began wading into the apple facts. I didn’t have to get very far became I came across this one:


Ha! I’ve finally lived long enough that I’ve become an Easter egg in somebody’s features page!

I’m honored, Brad and Samantha. Plus, on top of that: It’s a swell illustration.


I used to do a lot of teaching for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association in Harrisburg and around the state. The Daily Record sent lots of folks over the years to my sessions. Brad, in particular, probably gets some kind of frequent-flier points for staying awake through my presentations.

Find Brad’s Twitter feed here and Sam’s Twitter feed here. Find the paper’s web site here.

Average daily circulation for the York Daily Record is 57,738.

More fun with nameplates: U-T San Diego

The annual Comic-Con comics, scifi and entertainment convention is being held in San Diego this week.

UT-San Diego has been celebrating with these fun comics-themed nameplate treatments illustrated by the paper’s award-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Breen.

Wednesday’s nameplate featured a hyphen that’s turned into zombie food.


In Thursday’s nameplate, the Man of Steel is stealing the “T.”


And there is a little lightsaber accident in today’s nameplate.


UPDATE – Saturday, July 26


A 1994 graduate of UC Riverside, Steve spent nearly five years as cartoonist for the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey before moving back to the west coast in 2001.


Steve has won two Pulitzer prizes: In 1998 and 2009. Find galleries of his work here and here. Find his Twitter feed here.

More U-T San Diego Comic-Con coverage…

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

Follow U-T San Diego‘s coverage of Comic-Con 2014 here.

A look at Sarasota’s three-part series on a ballet family’s return to Cuba

Tony Elkins, assistant managing editor of the Sarasota, Fla., Herald-Tribune writes to share his paper’s latest project.

He writes:

At the end of April we sent reporter Carrie Seidman and photographer Elaine Litherland to Cuba to tell the story of a  Sarasota ballet dancer traveling to Havana to compete in an international festival. Going with him were his parents, former Cuban ballet dancers who defected in 1993.

What they came back with is one of the most visually stunning stories I have had the opportunity to work on.

Here’s the front page to Sunday’s special section. Click on this or any page here today for a much larger look:


The print version is something I am very proud of. Litherland’s photos pop off the page and we wanted to do them justice. That meant a lot of paper. We ran the stories over 3 days, in 8-page special sections.

Pages two and three of Sunday’s section…


…and the center spread, pages four and five.


Pages six and seven…


…and page eight.


Tony continues:

I was project manager and handed the design over to our newest recruit, Kylee Cress. She may be young, but she has chops, as you can see in the designs. Sometimes the content makes our jobs easier, and while we had our fair share of work, it was best to get out of the way of the photos and let them tell the story.

Here was the front page of Monday’s section…


Pages two and three:


The center spread, pages four and five:


Pages six and seven:


And page eight:


The series concluded today. Here is the front page of today’s special section:


Pages two and three:


The center spread, pages four and five:


Pages six and seven:


And page eight:


Tony concludes:

The digital version is at and includes video and photo galleries.


Be advised, though: That’s an autoplaying video on that web site. And a loud one, too.

Average daily circulation for the Sarasota Herald Tribune is 63,864.

A look at my two-day Beach Boys Focus page extravaganza

I’ve been a big Beach Boys fan all my life. That’s probably one of the reasons I’ve felt so at home in the 15 months since I moved to California: I have all of Brian Wilson‘s albums. I feel like I know the place already.

When I went off to college in the fall of 1980, I hung a couple of posters on my dorm room wall, stood back and thought: What I’d really like to have here is a huge poster showing the west coast, showing all the beaches the Beach Boys mention in their classic surfin’ songs from the early 1960s.

It’s now 34 years later and I never managed to find that poster. So, what the hell: I guess I’ll just have to make it myself.

This was yesterday’s Focus page in the Orange County Register, the Los Angeles Register and the Press-Enterprise of Riverside:


As you can see, the huge map I wanted all those years ago runs down the right side of the page. They’re all there — not only are they listed, but I did some research to find out why each was famous.

  • From Surfin’ Safari: Huntington, Laguna Malibu, Rincon and Cerro Azul.
  • From Surfin’ USA: Del Mar, Haggarty’s, La Jolla, Manhattan, Narrabeen, Pacific Palisades, Redondo Beach, San Onofre, Santa Cruz, Sunset, Swami’s, Trestles, Ventura County Line and Waimea Bay.
  • Doheny actually appears in both songs.
  • And from Hawaii: Waikiki.

I mention Huntington Beach is known as “Surf City” but I didn’t include Surf City as one of the songs.

Why not? That was not a Beach Boys song — that was Jan & Dean. Brian Wilson wrote much of it, but gave it to Jan & Dean, who finished it off, recorded it — with Brian’s help on the high parts — and rode the song to No. 1. The rest of the Beach Boys were reportedly not happy Brian gave away his first No. 1 single.


I only used the classic Beach Boys songs from 1962 through 1964 or so. They sang about more places in the 1970s and onwards. But hey, I had only one page.

One subtle Easter egg: Instead of dots on the map, I used tiny little 45 rpm records.


The lead art is an outtake from the first album cover photo session Capitol Records held with the Beach Boys in 1962 at Malibu’s Paradise Cove. The session resulted in cover pictures for the group’s first album, Surfin’ Safari and their third album from 1963, Surfer Girl.


The rest of the page is taken up by definitions of terms heard in those classic surfin’ songs from 1962-64.


I was particularly proud of getting a 19-year-old Sally Field into the graphic to illustrate a “Surfer Girl.”


I also tried to work in a little humor here and there.


At the request of our page one editor, Marcia Prouse, I built this for the top of page one of Monday’s Orange County Register to plug my page:


I also built a skybox for the Long Beach Register, but it didn’t get used: The L.A. Kings’ big win in the NHL playoffs knocked me off the page.


Did you spot the Easter egg? No, I didn’t think you would. I meant it to be very, very subtle.

I meant that to be the same surfboard from the Paradise Cove photo shoot.


In the process of working on this surfin’ page, it occurred to me: What would really be a public service is a page explaining all the words used in the Beach Boys old car songs from that same era. The boys sang a lot of them — in fact, they typically turn the songs into one long medley in their concerts. It always brings down the house.

But just what is a “four-speed, dual-quad positraction 409“? Or “a competition clutch with a four-on-the-floor“? Or, for that matter, a “pink slip, daddy“?

So, I decided to go for it. The surfin’ page ran Monday. The car songs page ran in today’s papers.


Again, I did the lingo thing. This was important to include, I thought, because lead singer Mike Love didn’t always pronounce everything properly.


Many, many thanks to Bob Beamesderfer on our copy desk, who is one of the bigger car experts in the building. He carefully read behind me to make sure I didn’t make a fool of myself. I’m pretty good at researching stuff like this, but I don’t know beans about cars.

Or surfing, either, for that matter.

The lead art was from our archives — those are the Beach Boys performing I Get Around on the Ed Sullivan Show in September 1964.


Notice how I labeled each guy. Most casual Beach Boys fans might remember the names “Brian Wilson” or “Mike Love” but they wouldn’t necessarily be able to pick them out of a police lineup.

The purple Deuce Coupe at the bottom of the page was from our archives.

I explained what is a Deuce Coupe, and I referenced the one of the front of the 1963 Little Deuce Coupe album — that picture was an outtake from a photo session that produced a cover photo for Hot Rod magazine in 1961.


The fun part of this page, however, was where I show all the cars the Beach Boys sang about in their songs.


I knew a Sting Ray is a Corvette, and XKE is a Jaguar. And, of course, I was familiar with T-Birds and Hondas. But I had no idea a “409” refers to a Chevy Impala SS. Or that a “Super Stock Dodge” is a souped-up Dodge Dart.

I went through a lot of web sites for these.

Now, any sharp-eyed old-timers out there might have a question at this point: Why did you include Little Old Lady from Pasadena but not Surf City? They were both Jan & Dean songs!

The answer: Little Old Lady from Pasadena was covered by the Beach Boys on their Concert album in 1964. But they never recorded a version of Surf City, despite the fact that Brian helped write it.

Yesterday, my pal Ron Sylvester, editor of the L.A. Register, asked me for a “ribbon” skybox to promote my page in today’s paper. Here’s what I built for him:


Yep. Sometimes, this job is an awful lot of fun, fun, fun.

I first saw the Beach Boys play two back-to-back shows in Atlanta, Ga., in June 1981. Carl Wilson wasn’t there, unfortunately — he had just put out a solo album and was taking a break from the usual grind — but his troubled brothers were.

That’s Brian, the guy who wrote and produced most of their hit songs on the right, approaching the piano. He’s struggled with mental health issues. It’s a miracle, really, that he’s still around and productive.

The third Wilson brother, Dennis, is climbing onto his kit at left.

The Beach Boys’ shows during the early 1980s weren’t superb. But they did play most of their hit songs.

The next summer, I drove back to Atlanta to see two more back-to-back shows. This time, Carl Wilson was there but neither Dennis nor Brian was present.

After the show, my brother and I got a chance to chat a few minutes with Al Jardine. He proved to be a terrific guy — and appreciative of his fans.

In March 1983, I took my girlfriend — Sharon, who I eventually married — to Augusta, Ga., to see the Beach Boys in concert there. The show was less than spectacular. What’s worse, Dennis and lead singer Mike Love got into a fight onstage during the show. I guess it really wasn’t a good introduction to the band for Sharon.

They didn’t allow cameras into the venue, so I didn’t get pictures that time.

Three months later — June 1983 — I caught the Beach Boys again when they played a post- soccer match concert in Charlotte, N.C. They sounded much better. I wish Sharon had seen this show, instead.

Before the concert — while the soccer game was in overtime, in fact — several of the band members came out to watch a little of the action. So yeah, I got to photograph Mike Love up close, as well as chat with him a bit.

While he was signing an autograph for me, I happened to mention that I had bought his solo album, which had come out the year before. Mike looked at me oddly for a long while. For a moment, I wondered if he was afraid I was going to ask him for a refund.

I also got pretty close to Dennis Wilson, here chatting with a couple of members of the backing band.

I thought about approaching him as well but — seeing the beer bottle in his hand and remembering the sad state he was in during the Augusta show — I decided against it.

Six months later, Denny was dead. I’ve been kicking myself ever since.

I later dragged Sharon to shows in Athens, Ga. (October 1987), Carowinds amusement park near Charlotte (August 1990) and Carowinds again (July 1991).

In 1993, of course, my daughter was born. Elizabeth grew up listening to Beach Boys whenever we drove around. When she learned to talk, in fact, she insisted their name was “the Barbara-Anns.”

Carl Wilson died of cancer in 1998. The band pretty much broke up. Mike and Bruce Johnston licensed the Beach Boys name from the corporate entity and took to the road. Brian pulled himself out of his funk, issued a remarkable series of solo albums and also went on tour with his own band.

Al Jardine — “Mr. Dependable” — spent some time touring with a band composed of his sons and Brian Wilson’s two daughters, Wendy and Carnie — better known, perhaps, as two-thirds of Wilson Phillips. I took Sharon and Elizabeth to their show in Dubuque, Iowa, in July 1999.

Afterwards, we agreed it was the best Beach Boys show we had ever seen. And Al was the only “Beach Boy” on stage that night. (Go here to read a lengthy review I wrote of that show.)

After that show, I again got a chance to chat with Al. He asked me for suggestions on what other old Beach Boys songs he might play in concert. I named one of my favorites — Steamboat from the 1973 Holland album — but apparently that was a bit obscure, even for Al. He nearly busted a gut laughing.

After that, I pretty much stopped going to Beach Boys shows: With Dennis and Carl dead and with Brian and Al doing their own thing, it just didn’t seem like the Beach Boys, y’know? In April 2002, however, a features editor at the Des Moines Register asked me to review a Beach Boys show for the paper.

Which I did. They sounded terrific. I wrote them up nicely. Later, Scott Totten — a member of the backing band who I had singled out for praise — send me an email thanking me for my review.

Brian’s solo tour came to Virginia Beach a couple of times over the last decade. Each time, I was out of the country doing consulting work.

Two years ago, however, the Beach Boys reunited for a 50th anniversary tour. They played an outdoor amphitheater just a couple of miles from my house in Virginia Beach. I was between assignments, though, and strapped for cash, so I had resigned myself to not going to the show.

Then, my pal Brian Sandford — who’s now the editor of the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, Nev. — stunned me by gifting me tickets.


Which I enjoyed very much.

Not long after I relocated to Southern California, I dragged my wife and daughter out for a Beach Boys road trip. We visited the old Wilson home in Hawthorne, where Brian, Carl and Dennis grew up.


They tore the house down back in the mid-1980s to build I-105 — which is just beyond that hill in the picture. But the city came back in 2005 and put in a nice historical marker on the spot.


Hawthorne, of course, is now more famous for being the home of Elon Musk‘s SpaceX.

While we were there, we took a quick peek at the Fosters Freeze, where Brian and the boys would hang out after school.


We then drove into Hollywood to check out the famous cylindrical home of Capitol Records, for which Brian and the gang made all those great recordings.


And finally, we drove past Western Recording studios, also in Hollywood, where Brian recorded his classic Pet Sounds album.


So this two-day project was truly a labor of love for me.

A look at the Everett Daily Herald’s special 16-page mudslide section

Friday, the Daily Herald of Everett, Wash., published a 16-page special report on the gigantic mudslide that killed 43 people in nearby Oso back in March.

The project, says Herald editor Neal Pattison is…

…not just eye-candy. People should read the story. It’s a helluva story.

Here’s the cover of the section, beautifully designed by Katie Mayer and featuring a photo by Genna Martin.


Like Neal says, you really need to read the story by Eric Stevick, Rikki King and Scott North. You can find it here.

Other photos in the section are by Dan Bates, Annie Mulligan, Mark Mulligan and Sofia Jaramillo. Photo editing was by Mark Mulligan.


That map — and all the graphics in this project — was by Chuck Taylor. Katie Mayer designed the print section. The section editor was Robert Frank.


The obits scattered through the project were compiled by Andrea Brown, Quinn Russell Brown, Dan Catchpole, Gale Fiege, Noah Haglund, Rikki King, Julie Muhlstein, Amy Nile, Scott North, Sharon Salyer, Eric Stevick and Chris Winters.


Here’s the center spread of the print section…


…and here’s page 11.


Design of the web version was by Doug Parry. Kelsey Gochnour also worked on developing this for the web.


And here’s how the Herald plugged all of this from the top of Friday’s page one.


Average daily circulation for the Daily Herald is 46,481.

The Boston Globe’s Chiqui Esteban on everything from mouseovers to responsive design

Over the holiday weekend, Jonathon Berlin of the Chicago Tribune and the Society for News Design posted a nice Q&A with Chiqui Esteban, graphics director of the Boston Globe, about the interactive work the Globe has been doing lately.

An excerpt:

Alexa McMahon, our Arts producer told me the new issue of the “Most Stylish Bostonians,” a yearly special section, was coming together and she was wondering if we could do something for the site to present the featured people. I started thinking about what we could do, since there is not much information common to all and the only important thing was how they dressed and who they were.

Talking with Alexa she told me that the photo shoot was yet do be done, so if I needed something from it, I could ask for it. So that’s when I had the idea. We asked our great photographer Dina Rudick to take at least two photographs of each of the “awarded” Bostonians.
One posing and the other doing something crazy like jumping, raising a hand.


The photos she got were just what we needed and much of the good of this graphic comes from that amazing work. After that, the execution was easy.

Q. Talk a little about how you think about that type of interactive project in a responsive sense. I was wondering what would happen and I chuckled when I narrowed the browser and the people nudged over. Elegant solution!




A. Working responsive means that many times we work with groups of blocks that stack in different ways depending on the width. In this case that was even easier, because each person was a different block that could work individually, so we can stack them and break them wherever we considered it was necessary.

Find the entire Q&A here.

A 2002 graduate of the Universidad de Navarra, Chiqui worked at el Mundo, la Voz de Galicia, Diario de Cádiz and Publico.


In 2009, he founded de Nuevas Narrativas for LaInformacion in Madrid, Spain, which he went on to direct for three years. He moved to the Globe in 2012 and was promoted to his current position in November.

Chiqui also blogs about news graphics. Find his web site here and his Twitter feed here.

This gargantuan Godzilla graphic is great

Adolfo Arranz built a really cool graphic about Godzilla for last Friday’s South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

Click for a much larger look:


There’s so much graphic goodness here to love. There’s this bit, showing how Godzilla was originally designed with the most interesting parts of three different dinosaurs.


This bit shows how the original Godzilla costume fit.


This illustrates the new Godzilla, who looked so natural in the water.


There are breakouts on Godzilla’s little playmates.



And, of course, the obligatory bit on the much larger size of the monster in the new movie.


Adolfo tells us his…

…graphic combines digital hand draw with vector work.


I drew the monsters with a Wacom tablet and Corel Painter software…


…and finished in Adobe Illustrator.

Research was done through the Internet — many crazy websites.

I had a very busy week with other projects and finally I could not dedicate time to the graphic work I had wanted.

Well, gee, I can’t see how this piece could have been much better. It’s gorgeous and it’s a fun read.


Adolfo has been at the South China Morning Post for the past three years. Previously, Adolfo worked as an infographics artist for Madrid’s el Mundo.


Find his portfolio here and here and his blog here.

Meet the Beatles pages

This weekend marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first trip to the U.S., a cultural phenomenon that became known as Beatlemania.

  • Friday was the 50th anniversary of the day the Beatles arrived at New York’s newly-renamed JFK airport.
  • Sunday was the anniversary of the day they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Reportedly, 73 million people watched.

As my colleague Cindy O’Dell commented:

And at least half were screaming while the other half wondered why.

More 50th anniversary dates for the Beatles…

  • Tuesday will be the anniversary of their first full-fledged U.S. concert at the Washington Coliseum.
  • Wednesday will be the anniversary of their first show at Carnegie Hall.
  • Feb. 1 was the anniversary of the date I Want to Hold Your Hand hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It would stay there until knocked out by another Beatles single, She Loves You, seven weeks later.
  • March 16 will be the anniversary of the release of the single, Can’t Buy Me Love. It hit No. 1 on April 4 and spent five weeks there.
  • April 4, in fact, will be the anniversary of the week the Beatles occupied all top five positions in the Billboard charts.


  • July 13 will mark the anniversary of the release of the single, A Hard Day’s Night. It spent two weeks at No. 1.

Nate Bloomquist, design editor of the Quad-City Times in Davenport, Iowa, turned most of his Sunday wire report into a retrospective of the Beatles’ visit.

Click for a much larger view.


He listed the five songs the Beatles played on Sullivan that night…


…and also walked readers through the rest of the Beatles’ “breakout year” of 1964.

One of my favorite small papers — the Advocate of Victoria, Texas — devoted its entire front page to a recreation of the Beatles’ iconic 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover, but using people around town in place of the characters on the original cover.

Designer Julie Zavala wrote on her Facebook wall:

It’s not often that I’m given the chance to do an illustration this fun and time consuming.

[Advocate editor] Chris Cobler came up with this idea for the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. By Friday, after rushing to add the final touches, I was wishing he had picked an easier cover to recreate like maybe the White Album.

Again, click for a much larger view


Julie tells us:

The idea was to have readers submit essays on being Beatles fans. They were encouraged to send a photo of themselves so I could incorporate them into the cover.

If you look to the left of “John Lennon” you’ll see Chris Cobler in a black suit. I also put Tom Martinez, Advocate managing editor, and Dan Easton, publisher, all in black suits on the left, bottom.


It was a lot of fun to do and there are a few inside jokes throughout the illustration.

The man in the pink suit is a local character nicknamed, Pepper. Ha ha!


In addition, I see former Advocate features staffer and Julie’s good friend, Aprill Brandon, in the mix [above, right].

Julie continues:

The doll in black and white striped shirt has the head of the puppet we used for the “Chupacabra” movies we made with Aprill and Ryan Huddle.


His shirt says, “Will work for goats.” (Chupacabras are known for sucking the blood of goats. Go figure.)

It was Robert’s idea to put Queen Victoria in the picture since a lot of people assume the town of Victoria is named after her. Empresario Martín De León, the true founder of Victoria, is staring at her from the left.


We went to the college dorm in town and took photos of kids to fill out the crowd. Local celebrities like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Candy Barr (famous stripper from this area…


…and , celebrity hairdresser StacyK helped to round out the group. Also, the mayor of Victoria, Paul Polasek, front, taking the place of George Harrison.


This was part of a larger Beatles presentation inside. The only other pieces I’ve managed to track down were these two portraits by the Advocate‘s Blain Hefner.


Those, of course, are the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Paul is depicted the way he looked in 1963 or 1964. That’s the look Ringo had around 1967 or 1968.

The Advocate is constantly coming up with wacky, innovative ideas. Read about their zombie-themed TV commercial here. Find more of their work here.

And in case anyone is wondering: Yes, I did a Beatles presentation for my Focus page in the Orange County Register. However, I ran mine back on Dec. 26, the anniversary of the day I Want to Hold Your Hand was released as a single here in the U.S.


The rail down the right tells the story of the height of Beatlemania in the first half of 1964.

The rail down the left shows every single the Beatles released in the U.S., with emphasis on the ones that hit No. 1 in the Billboard charts.

The lead art was in our archives already. A number of folks thought the little pointers were a bit goofy. I thought they were fun, but whatever.

Inside the Tampa Bay Times’ lavishly-illustrated ‘Last Voyage of the Bounty’ series

No, this was not about paper towels.

Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times of St. Petersburg gives us the story behind a special project his paper published a few weeks ago:

The Times recently wrapped up publishing The Last Voyage of the Bounty, Michael Kruse’s amazing recounting of (spoiler alert!) the sinking of the storied tall ship (the very ship in Mutiny on the Bounty and Pirates of the Caribbean).


This three-part series was a project months in the making, going all the way back to February, which is when hearings about the sinking were held.

This summer, our online team of senior designer Lee Glynn and intern Alex Sanchez (who graduated from Northwestern in June) set out to build an immersive experience that would weave together story, illustration, photography and video. During the early stages of story drafting, they met with Kruse, editor Bill Duryea, artist Don Morris and photographer/videographer Maurice Rivenbark to create an outline and establish deadlines.

Lee says:

We created what I termed a “parallel story/media flow” – side by side tracks of a story outline, identifying the key moments in the narrative where there would be illustrations, videos and graphics needed.


To tell this story this way, it was important that we were all on the same page – one script for everyone. We all needed to be looking at this as an integrated story – videos were to be like a paragraph in the story, illustrations were to be like glimpses on the pages of that critical moment in a great nautical adventure book. And because there were no surviving documentary photos of the voyage, illustrations were key to bringing to life the dynamics of the story.


We would have a final documentary-style video, but the inline videos were not to be “standalone.” They would be “quotes” or “voices” that complemented, explained and illustrated specific moments in the story…


…graphics would be updates on where the ship stood against the storm at that moment in the narrative, catalogs of how things were breaking down as conditions worsened.


Ideally, none of it was just repeating the story.

And most importantly, we were not going to do things just because we could. We wanted the story to drive the experience. The media was not to distract but to help tell the story.

Immersive, but not intrusive.

The mobile presentation was a top priority for our online team, and it worked tirelessly to ensure the experience translated to phones and tablets.

Lee says:

As we went along, the responsiveness of every element had to be considered – is this something that would size down well, at which point would it no longer be effective, does this make sense for someone on a phone?


Then, via media queries and detecting user agents, we tried to serve the best they could for the majority of users on each platform. It is not perfect, but we hope it adapts fairly for most viewers.


Load speed was a concern, naturally, but then this type of media-rich experience is a commitment both for the producers and for the viewers. We sized down images…


…and trimmed the code at various points but also conceded (and hoped) that most folks invested in going through a presentation this immersive would not expect it to load in -0.2 seconds.

Thomas picks up the story again:

While our online presentation spectacularly integrated volumes of material, we sought to give the print version its own distinctive design. We had lots of great material to consider, but we chose to use Don’s illustrations almost exclusively.

Here’s the wraparound cover that kicked off the print version on Sunday, Oct. 27. Click this — or any other pages here — for a much larger view.


Thomas tells us:

Don began illustrating in August and ultimately drew more than 50 pieces for the series.

The roster page is the only photograph we used of the Bounty in print. Don’s art (and Lee and Alex’s diagrams) take it from there.

On the left, here, is page two, the roster page. On the right is page three, Don’s inner cover for Part One.


Thomas writes:

As you move through the story in print, you paint your own picture of what the crew is like, what the ship is like, what the storm is like, and we wanted to protect that.

Here are pages four and five, the center spread of the section.


Don’s artwork painted just enough of the drama to guide your imagination without sacrificing mystery.

Here are pages six and seven…


…and pages eight and nine.


Part Two inserted Wednesday, Oct. 30. Here is Don’s cover.


Thomas tells us:

The roster returns on page two [below, left] but is scaled back significantly.


The diagram on page three [above, right] catches the reader up on the Bounty’s mounting troubles.

Here are pages four and five…


…and page six.


The following Sunday, Nov. 3, Part Three was another ten-page section with another wraparound cover.


Here are pages two and three.


Note the watercolor map on page three that shows where the Bounty went down.


As you can see, pages four and five focused on the rescue effort.


Here are pages six and seven.


And the final pages, eight and nine.


Thomas tells us:

The series concludes with an illustration of Bounty as many will remember her.


Thomas adds:

And a hat tip to our copy editors Donna Richter, Ron Brackett and Ian Vazquez. Their top-notch work saves us every day.

Find the TimesLast Voyage of the Bounty here.