Red Eye and Express, bringing the lulz as always.
A little old, but still perfect.
So most people have a very vague sense of what a news designer does on a day to day basis, but it’s mostly because most news designers do lots of things depending on where they work.
It’s especially tough in today’s industry because designers and copy editors aren’t strictly content producers, so often we are placed on the lowest rung of the journalism totem pole.
To combat this, to prove our worthwhileness if you will, we need to be masters of multitasking - listening to the scanner, pumping out illustrations and graphics on the fly, be headline writing geniuses, speed demons, everything and more.
I developed crazy newsroom eyes early in my career as a news designer at Texas Woman’s University.
I know I produce a lot of pages and content in my current position, but thinking back to the newsrooms of my past it’s a little bit crazy to take the time and really think about exactly how much I’m doing compared to I was back then.
Am I doing too much? I don’t know. Probably, but so is every other newsperson I know.
In an effort to clarify what I do specifically (and probably provide some sort of catharsis for my crazy work life) I thought I’d try and write out what I do exactly, page count and all, on every given day of my work week.
It’s also worth mentioning that I guess I’m not your average page designer. My official title is assistant presentation editor and I’m a salaried employee and as part of my job description I have more responsibilities. Mostly though, I’m just a page designer.
Here’s some of The Washington Post’s print design coverage of President Obama’s second Inauguration put together for the newspaper of January 22, 2013.
Here’s an abandoned treatment I was preparing in case our photo shoot fell through this week for our entertainment tab.
Our feature is on Twilight and I thought I could maybe pull off illustrating the entire cover with this blood theme. I’m kind of glad the photo shoot came together because this was very quickly looking more and more like a high school art project.
On Election Day SND launched this cool and nifty new tumblr to help foster communication and creativity. Got a cool page? Show your work and let the conversations begin. There are already plenty of cool pages up.
Sigh of relief! Here’s a preview of tomorrow’s NYT via buzzfeed.
Alright, now someone get the New York Post’s front.
But then I went through today’s Newseum and I realized I did an ok front. Seriously, looking at some of awesome fronts today make mine look like amateur hour. Here are some of my favorites. I also reblogged the awesome Emmett Smith cover of the Plain Dealer earlier. Check that out here.
Probably one of the most creative and clean fronts today. I love the thoughtful illustration with the states and how everything seems to be nice and tucked away in its place. I also like that they didn’t just go with big pictures of the candidates. Everyone knows what they look like, we don’t really need to see them. Color me impressed by the Gannett Design Studio in Nashville.
The Hutchinson News
Lots of papers did these collage fronts. I’m not sure, but those photos look like Instagram pictures, though that might have been the point. Either way, I like the idea of showing these moments all together that are culminating tonight. It also isn’t too busy and they didn’t try to force too many pictures in here. It’s all grid work and I love it. Another cool collage front was done by…
The Fayetteville Observer
Again, I think this is so successful because the photo editing is spot on and it doesn’t deviate from the grid. That headline is pretty good too, haha.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan
I think I just have design boner for all things Colin Smith and considering he just did a lovely redesign of the Coloradoan, I love all things the Coloradoan. The illustration is clever and different and I like how much real estate they are spending on letting people know how to vote. You really get a sense that providing this public service is important from the page and the newsroom.
The Town Talk
I mostly like this because of the in your face headline. The overall boldness of the page is all business. The photo filters are a little crazy, but not a deal breaker. What is though is what the Daily Advertiser (which is a sister paper I’m assuming) did to the same front:
What? Why? Whatever.
The Chicago Tribune
Papers with the resources were able to pull of some awesome illustrations. This one by the Chicago Tribune is super clean and almost looks like they could appear in their own comic book. Also, check out how big they are! I bet the fold lands nicely under the headline. Super cool.
The Tribune’s commuter and youth tab also has a pretty freaking cool illustration on their cover today, too. Totally a different style, but just as sharp. I especially like the vs. part.
Las Vegas Sun
The creme de la creme of illustrations today, though, goes to Elizabeth Brown and the Las Vegas Sun. This Obama illustration is huge and gorgeous and the entire page is just organized so well. I can definitely see the people of Nevada saving this page for years to come. The best part? Page 8 apparently has the same treatment for Romney. I reached out and I’ll hopefully have that page to post here later today.
As promised, here’s both together.
- All pages courtesy of the Newseum