In the Spring of 2011 I didn’t enroll in a news design course at Syracuse University. I, instead, enrolled in a magazine course. It was the en vogue course and I arrogantly thought I didn’t need the design class - I thought I was already a great news designer.
"I just don’t want to waste a class," I remember telling Sherry Taylor, an SU faculty member, and one of my mentors.
She nodded in understanding, but thankfully convinced me to drop that dumb magazine class and get myself into that news design course. “The design class gets to go to SND every year,” she said knowingly.
And thank goodness for Ms.Taylor’s brilliant guidance because without her, who knows where I’d be today?
At SND Syraucse there is always a panel before the competition for students. At SND 32 I was there, kind of in the back, my portfolio in hand for a critique (that turned out to be excruciatingly embarrassing) and just kind of in awe that I was getting this close with real-life professional visual journalists. The all stars of our industry were right there, sharing their secrets of success. More impressionable, however, was a young woman, an industry newbie, Andrea Zagata, from one of the Detroit papers.
She talked about her new career, the path she took and just gave great insight for someone like me who very much wanted to follow in her footsteps, only a couple paces in front of me.
During the competition I soaked in all the glorious pages, the winners, the losers - they were all beautiful. It was like my future - a future in visual journalism - became very real and attainable for me.
Three years later, I’m headed back to SND with that future realized. I have no delusions that my work will receive any kind of recognition - I’m not there yet. Instead, I’m going to focus on meeting some awesome people, check out some of the best pages in the world and just appreciate the opportunity to be part of a great industry.
Robert and the VicAd crew put together an awesome front page today. Check out the rest of the Newseum’s Top Ten.
Designers I Like: Ian Lawson
Ian Lawson’s work has a great balance between organization and creativity. The feng shui of his pages are beautiful - nothing ever looks out of place.
I’m super impressed by his creative photo illustrations, especially his news presentations, which usually turn into boring, cliche stuff, especially at big traditional papers.
His sports work is even more impressive. I don’t know Ian, but you can tell he’s a fan of sports because his pages are full of personality and are tons of fun.
Check out Ian’s NewsPageDesigner page.
The San Diego Union-Tribune regularly is doing awesome stuff on their section covers. They have a knack for going against the grain and trying cool and different things to stand out from other metro papers. This “Gravity” review poster page is a great example of that.
Like them on Facebook to peruse some of their best work.