Here’s a look at what I feel are the nine best front pages today dealing with Friday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.
If you haven’t seen this page already, then you’re probably not spending enough time on social media.
This is the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., which elected to lead today’s front page with a charmingly simple illustration of a rainbow heart and the closing lines of Friday’s majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy.
That was designed by the Star-Ledger‘s sports designer, Kiersten Schmidt — who is soon leaving the business, she says, to go to grad school at the University of North Carolina.
Kiersten wrote last night on her Facebook timeline:
In my last few months as a newspaper designer, I’ve been fortunate to design pages for some pretty cool events — the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, the 29th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits (who also happens to be one of my favorite players) — but this one was far and away the best.
As I move onto North Carolina and a (ever-so-slight) career change, this is the page that will stay with me.
To be honest, a lot of days it feels like what I do doesn’t really matter. Not today. Today I decided to stray away from what you’re “supposed” to do when big news breaks because I felt that today’s news deserved something a bit more.
I hope when the people of New Jersey pick up their papers on Saturday, they feel the happiness in their heart that I felt when I designed this page. I hope they think of this page and Kennedy’s words when they remember the day we all became a little more equal.
Love wins. And good design matters.
Find Kiersten’s web site and portfolio here.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer also led today with just the text of Justice Kennedy’s
The text against the stark black background is very sharp indeed.
This was designed by Josh Crutchmer, I’m told. Which explains why it looks so awesome.
From a stark black background to a stark white background: The Virginian-Pilot today also used that same excerpt.
Notice how designer Wes Watson used the same trick Josh did in Cleveland: He emphasized that last emphatic sentence.
Wesley tells us:
As I understand it, Paul [Nelson, design team leader] and new editor Steve Gunn had the idea at the same time to use the excerpt as the front.
So Paul had me work it up quickly to see how it would play out. I knew I didn’t want to knockout text; I wanted it as light and fresh as possible. We tried a couple of versions where we had another story and refers, and then just refers. My feeling was if we’re going to dedicate this much space — because we’re saying this is important — having anything else out there takes away from that message. And everyone seemed to agree.
So we removed everything else we could all the way down to the barcode. Simple and clean.
Mountain Home, Ark.
I realize this is probably stock art…
But, hey: I’d argue it’s the perfect piece of stock art, used in the perfect way on the perfect day.
UPDATE: I’m told this was designed by Valeria Rodriguez of the Gannett Design Studio in Des Moines.
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
San Francisco, Calif.
In San Francisco — ground-zero for the fight for same-sex marriage — the Chronicle published this fabulous front page today.
That is Jewelle Gomez and Diane Sabin, who were plaintiffs in a 2004 lawsuit involving gay marriage, at a City Hall news conference. Staffer Tim Hussin caught them in silhouette, against what appears to be a gay pride flag.
A number of papers went out to find local folks rushing to be the first married under the new world order.
In Omaha, Jenna Stanley and Kelly Brokaw had planned to get married in Iowa this weekend. But the ruling Friday morning caused them to move up their schedule and to stay at home.
The picture is by staffer Ryan Soderlin.
Note how clean that page is. When you have a gorgeous picture like that and it tells your story well, you know the drill: Play it big and get the hell out of its way.
UPDATE: I’m told this page was designed by Tim Parks.
That’s exactly what the folks did at the Leaf-Chronicle of Clarksville, Tenn.
Meet Travis Arms and Michael Vanzant, now husband and husband. Staffer Autumn Allison photographed them getting married by the Montgomery County Commissioner himself.
Nice headline, too.
My former colleagues at the Victoria Advocate — deep in conservative South Texas — also ran their lead art big today and got the hell out of its way.
That’s Nicole Dimetman and Cleo DeLeon at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin Friday evening, photographed by staffer Jaime R. Carrero. The local significance: DeLeon is a descendent of Victoria’s founding family.
The wonderful Jessica Rodrigo had superb access to Ms. DeLeon for several months and wrote a great piece for today’s paper. Read it here.
That terrific page: Run it big. Get the hell out of its way. Right? That’s Kimiko Fieg, who’s semi-retiring this month after a decade or so as the Advocate‘s presentation editor.
Also, for what it’s worth, I left the Advocate with an exhaustive — but, sadly, incomplete — timeline history starting with the birth of the modern Gay Rights movement in New York City in 1969 and running through… well, my last day on Wednesday. My former colleagues updated the timeline and ran it in today’s paper.
In addition, my pal Jordan Rubio converted my work into an interactive version. Find that here.
But the award for luckiest shot of the day — which made for perfect lead art, if somewhat accidental — is this picture by Valerie Mosley of the Springfield, Mo., News-Leader of a rainbow after a Friday afternoon rain.
Does that sum up the story perfectly, or what?
UPDATE: This page, I’m told, was designed by Eric Fields and Sean McKeown-Young.
I put out a few messages this morning, seeking names of designers and so on. If you have any information to share — especially a few sentences on how the page came together — please send it to me. I’ll add it here as quickly as I can.
These front pages are all from the Newseum. Of course.