Look whose front page made it to the Newseum’s Top 10 today!
I’m mostly excited about this because I really was on my own last night as far designing goes. I also wrote the centerpiece headline, which is definitely not my forte.
It just feels good to hear some recognition.
11:16 am • 30 April 2012 • 1 note
15 fronts on the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
10 years ago, newsrooms scrambled to put together extra editions of papers to help inform the world of the horrible events that took place in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Today, newsrooms took extra time and care to put out some of their best work to commemorate, remember and tell the stories that have come out of that day. Lots of papers did great work, but here are 15 that I thought really shined.
The Anniston Star | Anniston, Alabama
The first page I saw when I visited the Newseum today stopped me in my tracks thanks to that great illustration. It isn’t overworked or forced, which is nice. It breathes easy and also is just a great piece of art. The ad at the bottom of the page is a distraction to say the least, but I guess they can’t control that. And even though it would have been nice to scrap all the promos on top too, I don’t mind them. This page, along with others, really are a testament to how a great illustrator in the newsroom can make the difference on the page.
The Arizona Republic | Phoenix, Arizona
Lots of papers did a variation on this ‘ghost tower’ concept, but what stood out for me about the Republic is the concept and idea behind it. The words surrounding the shapes of the towers are six word quotes from readers trying to summarize their feelings about the tragedy. Lots of papers also asked questions (are we safe? who won? how have we changed?), but, again, the Republic just sticks out to me because not only were they able to get user generated content, but their were able to take that content and put it to use. My only quibble? That skyline at the bottom of the page looks kind of unnecessary. Everyone knows that the towers were part of the NYC skyline, the context is redundant and seems forced.
The Washington Post | Washington D.C.
This isn’t the actual front page of the Post, but rather the front of an entire special section they put together that’s full of really moving stories (and awesome design). Many papers did special sections, but they weren’t at the Newseum so I was lucky some of them were coming through on Twitter. @GregoryManifold tweeted this picture out, along with other great pages from the inside. I love the art direction as a whole for this entire section. You can really feel how much the paper invested into this project and it really shows. If you have the chance, check out the pages on his twitter. Or even better? Find yourself a hard copy.
The Los Angeles Times | Los Angeles, California
Again, I just was floored by how good this illustration is. Everyone had the same access to the same AP photos of ground zero and the new memorial and all that, but thank goodness people out there pushed themselves to do something better, something different.
Naple Daily News | Naples, Florida
Many papers did poster pages today, and really, with news like this, why wouldn’t you? I thought the angle the Naples team took for their cover was interesting, mainly focusing on the future. The picture is great, of course, but I just love how they let they left it alone at the top, their simple nameplate resting, out of the way. The copy at the bottom right does maybe obscure some of the action in the picture, but I think they made the right decision. Everyone knows what today means, they didn’t have to say it in a huge hammer at the top of the page.
West Hawai’i Today | Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i
I can’t decide if this is a wrap or a horizontal front. I initially thought it was a wrap, but it seems way too wide, unless the paper is tab. Whatever, either way, this page is a knockout. If it’s a wrap, imagine picking up that spare front with just that striking image on the front. I love that they made this much room to really show their readers something this powerful. I can imagine all of their readers taking this, getting it framed and hanging it in their houses. Awesome work.
The Sioux City Journal | Sioux City, Iowa
I saw lots of fronts with these weird and random word clouds that I thought just totally missed the mark. The Sioux City Journal though did a great job here. The clouds aren’t arbitrary and really enhance the experience.
The Fayetteville Observer | Fayetteville, North Carolina
I’ve had a big designer crush on the Observer for some time now, and they are only confirming my not so secret love for them today with this great page. I usually shy away from complex photo illustrations, but looking at the Observer’s pages is a study on how to handle complex photo illustrations. They take such care to ensure that all the little details are covered and everything is so finessed, you can just see how much work they put into making these great covers.
Asbury Park Press | Asbury Park, New Jersey
I’m not completely in love with what the Press did here, but I thought it was worth showing because 1) it’s very different and 2) it was done at the Gannett Asbury Park design studio, which is why you can see this cover on about four different area papers in New Jersey. I can appreciate the thought to go a different direction here, but I’m not sure they reflection pools make that big of a statement. Also the literal reflections from the hed and nameplate look a little tacky and forced to me. Am I wrong? I’m open to hearing other people’s thoughts on this one.
The Star Ledger | Newark, New Jersey
What a bold and pleasant move here by the Ledger. The copy on the cover was written by Mary Jo Patterson, who they say wrote their first 9/11 story that morning 10 years ago. I love this because it shows the community that the paper isn’t some big faceless machine. It says that they are a part of the community too and have the same experiences and memories that everyone does. The most striking thing here? No visuals. Aside from the white slashes putting space between the promos at the bottom, we’re only seeing black copy on a gray background. Instead of yelling at us with grand pictures, the Ledger is remembering with us.
The Albuquerque Journal | Albuquerque, New Mexico
Those three small, simple illustrations are all it takes to tell this story. I’d ditch the kitschy star confetti though.
The Salt Lake Tribune | Salt Lake City, Utah
I’ve previously spouted praise for the Tribune, so I’ll just say that I’m not disappointed by one of my favorite designed papers. I wonder if it was a struggle to convince the editors to basically tear the nameplate in half though.
EDIT: Apparently, this great front was covered by an ugly spaeda. Check out this tweet from the designer.
The Virginian Pilot | Norfolk, Virginia
The most visually interesting front of the day, hands down, goes to the Pilot. Again, a great paper who decided to toss all the photos they knew everyone else was going to use and went a totally different way. The info graphic shows the differences from now and then and is totally engrossing. The second to last on the left column says “Osama Bin Laden: 1” then the line descends to the right where it just says “0.” Clever stuff.
Casper Star Tribune | Casper, Wyoming
The Star Tribune has quietly become quite the design force this past year. I like the spare treatment to the simple black and white photo. It isn’t overworked, really drives home the message of remembrance.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer | Cleveland, Ohio
Okay, I lied, this is the most visually interesting front of the day. I thank the design gods that Emmett Smith had the sense to post this on his tumblr and tweet it out as well. If you aren’t already, follow him now, because the work him and his team do is ridiculous. This is the front of the Plain Dealer’s special 9/11 section, and even as much as I love the actual cover, I have no doubt this cover would have sold waaaay more papers. I mean, this cover is a work of art. I want to buy a poster of this and just look at it all day. So original, so simple, so beautiful…I just can’t say enough about how awesome and striking this is.
Well that’s it. Charles Apple took a look at some Friday and Saturday pages on his blog, and I’m sure he’ll have more great stuff and commentary later today. Check out the Newseum, pick up as many of these great fronts as you can while they are still around and let me know if I missed any great covers.
2:35 pm • 11 September 2011 • 24 notes
Thoughts on today’s Newseum Top 10
Looking at today’s Newseum Top 10 I couldn’t help but wonder, “Wtf?”
Among the picks for the day included a rather standard front from the Daily News, a confusing and just plain ugly front from the Kuwait Times and overall just a bunch of pages that missed the mark for me. Could these truly be the 10 best looking papers that were printed in the entire world today?
Here’s what the FAQ section says about the Top 10 picks:
Selections for the Top 10 are at each of the daily editor’s discretion and may focus on headlines, photos, innovative design or something else that elevates the front pages above the rest.
A different editor chooses the Top 10 each day. A front page that is consistently interesting may end up being selected more than once in a week. The editors independently peruse the front pages to determine his or her selections.
Um, ok. Except there were nary a headline, photo, or design element that elevates these papers above anything.
I will say that I always like USA Today and The Guardian (The Guardian is probably the strongest looking out of the bunch today), but there must be some sort of chicanery afoot here because please…what the hell is this?
3:07 pm • 20 July 2011 • 3 notes
Newseum provides a great service to the internet at large, and journalism in particular. We’ve used their Today’s Front Pages feature many times in the past to inform people about the day’s news, comment on what’s happening, and to inspire people to look a little bit deeper at the stories that inspire and inform us. Like all journalism should. Newseum runs one of the best parts of the entire internet — having every front page in the world at your fingertips is something most people couldn’t even imagine even 20 years ago. As a journalist, it’s something I bought into as well, and I’ve been an active participant over the years. And with the current situation (which involves the organization watermarking pages and enforcing copyright), I feel that I can’t just ignore it and let this issue get swept under the rug. Some thoughts and suggestions to deal with this:
- On “best practices” Newseum’s talk of not stealing other people’s content online being a “best practice” is totally missing the point of the Internet. Are they using the same Internet we are? Hint: It’s not “stealing,” it’s sharing. Blocking sharing cuts off the hose. By cutting off the hose, you lose influence and focus. You know what needs our attention more than ever? The printed page. Losing that would be a mortal blow to a medium getting less respect than ever.
- An alternate history To take this in a different direction, Newseum’s stance on this issue ignores a completely different story of the Internet — the growth of open-source content, the expansion of licenses beyond mere copyright, the story of folk heroes like Richard Stallman — all storylines that would not exist if everyone listened to the best practices put forth by the Newseum. Copyright is great and all, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Not on this issue.
- A request for newspapers We have a solution to this mess that we hope that newspapers at large heed: Consider making your front pages available in a Creative Commons format — one that nips this problem in the bud for good. (This license would be a great choice, because it would make sure that nobody, not even Newseum, could change the content.) Freely-available front pages don’t take away from bottom lines. They add to them. Think about that.
» Ultimately, to be clear: Newspapers are taking a bit of a beating as an information source these days. As we switch over to the Web for more and more of our daily lives and our tastes change, projects like the Newseum become more important reminders of where we came from and why these things remain important. We write this because we love what Newseum does, but also because we need MORE things like Frontpages, not fewer.
Took the words right out of my mouth.
12:35 am • 11 May 2011 • 34 notes