Monthly Archives: September 2009



PLEASE EXCUSE THE SHOUTING in the headline. I just want to be sure you know I haven’t deserted you.

And, yes, during the past few days I have sometimes felt like the character in the Edvard Munch painting “The Scream.”

My work upgrading to a new MacPro and to Snow Leopard on both the MacPro and laptop has created interesting moments. Like a high-stakes poker game: Hours of boredom puncuated by moments of sheer terror.

It hasn’t all been fun and it has taken my attention away from this blog. For that, many apologies. But I am storing away some interesting pages and other goodies. I r-e-a-l-l-y hope to be able to do some updating by midweek. So please check back then. Thanks for your understanding.


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For newcomers: Ed’s contact info

z e-mail address

IT SEEMS SO OBVIOUS…but sometimes I’m a master at not seeing the obvious.

I received a comment last night from Lyle Davis, editor and publisher of The Paper in San Marcos/Escondido, CA. I give Lyle an A+ for his resourcefulness.

With all my attempts at taking the blog national, I had not placed my e-mail address in the notices!

So, for the record, here’s how you can submit pages (or send me a nasty note!): Just e-mail me at You can send the pages as pdf files. Please send two-three sentences of information on the design concept and exeution. If I need more, I’ll contact you.

When I have a bit more time, I’ll set up another page on this blog with all kinds of “how-to-reach-me” information.

Thanks, Lyle!

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Going national: An update


FOR MONTHS, this blog has been a comfortable little secret. But no longer. Word is going out to newspaper  leaders, editors, designers and press associations.

My hope is that this will build readership—and more help for the designers and editors at community newspapers across the US and Canada.

The more readers we get, the greater the number of contributors and the more comments. If this is going to grow into a community where we can all learn from each other, having more contributors is certainly a benefit.

Many thanks to all of you who have contributed to this point.

Now, we’ll just see how much readership we get. I’ll keep you posted!


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Just for fun: How we read


HERE’S A PAGE I USE during design presentations. It’s something I ran into a few years ago and it really works! Read through it and you’ll see. It’s fun—but knowing it does not absolve us from the responsibility of getting the spelling right in everything we publish!


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Just for fun: The Secret Design History of 12 Famous Brands


The Tiffany box.

FAST COMPANY MAGAZINE’S web site carries this fascinating slideshow that briefly describes “The Secret Design History of 12 Famous Brands.”

Among them:

The FedEx logo.

The Campbell’s Soup can.

The Playboy cover.

The blue Tiffany box.

The Coca-Cola logo.

The Toblerone box.

No, it’s not news design. But it’s fun to look at . Think of it as eye candy.

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Why this blog matters


JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS AGO, I received an e-mail from Will Franklin, one of this site’s frequent contributors.

Will, a designer at The Herald here in Rock Hill, was copying me on an e-mail exchange he had had with a sports page designer in Moses Lake, Washington. Their e-mails demonstrate precisely why this blog matters:

“Hi, Will!

I saw your football tab cover on Ed Henninger’s blog, and (like everyone else, apparently) I loved it. At the risk of being presumptuous, is it possible you have a PDF copy of the whole tab I could look at?

I don’t want to be an idea vampire, but I’d really like to see how a better designer than myself puts together a sports tab. I work for a small daily in a rural area, and we cover something like 11 small-town high school sports programs. Anything I can learn from more experienced layout people, I’d be very grateful for.

Thanks a lot for any help you can give!

Joel Martin
Columbia Basin Herald
Moses Lake, Washington”



I am flattered, but I assure you there are probably a million designers out there better than me. I’m just glad that folks liked what I did. I do have a pdf version of the complete tab on my online portfolio ( It’s about 50 megs, but it’s a 24-pager. We have a relatively small paper here as well (we cover about 13 high schools during football season).

If there’s anything else I can do for you, please let me know. I’d be glad to help in any way I can.

Thanks again,

Will F.”

And thanks to you, Will, for sending this along.

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Going global…or at least nationwide!

THERE’S A LINE in a ZZ Top song: “Yeah, I’m ba-a-a-d…I’m nationwide.”

That line has been swimmin’ around in my head a lot lately.

z EARTH FROM MOONI’ve been building this blog very carefully the past few months and I’ve seen it grow into a tool that can be used to help foster good design—and good design thinking—among designers at small and community newspapers. It is the…only…place on the internet where designers at small and community newspapers can post their pages and offer each other ideas and feedback.

Word will go out soon to infopersons at press associations across the U.S. and Canada, and I’m hoping they will let others know.

You can help. It’s time to spread the word to your friends and colleagues. Please send them a quick note and let them know about Ed Henninger’s Blog.

I’m a bit concerned that the response may create too much interest, that I won’t have the time to post all pages that are eventually submitted. But what a wonderfully troublesome thing to happen! If that comes, I’ll find a way to work with it. But I’m looking forward to making this blog THE “go-to” place for designers at weeklies and small dailies.

Thanks to all of you who have submitted pages—and your comments—so far. It’s been a fun ride to this point. Now, let’s see where this takes us!


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August winners!

THANKS TO YOU, this blog is gaining momentum. Many of you have submitted pages—and comments—during the past weeks and those are the meat and potatoes of this site.

We had quite a few submissions in August…and comments on those pages. I’ve promised to award the best page and the best comment a free pdf copy of my latest book, 101 Henninger Helpful Hints.

FBTABcoverAUGUST BEST PAGE: Will Franklin’s football tab cover. Excellent idea, nicely executed. As a winner for best comment last month, Will already has a copy of 101 Henninger Helpful Hints. So I’m sending him a pdf of my first book, Henninger on Design.

AUGUST BEST COMMENT: Darah Patterson at The Greer Ctizen had this comment on pages submitted from the Biog Rapids Pioneer: “I think the map page is very well done. I can also appreciate the header with ‘The Land Before Time’ theme. I think the Lifestyles package with the clown is excellent and invokes feelings of fun and happiness. As a paper we are cautious of using too many colors, especially dark ones which involve reverse type. Mainly, because printing can become an issue, and secondly stories and elements start to compete with each other. The city lands jobs layout just uses too many elements. It might be more enjoyable to use a sparing amount of extra elements and focus more on the stories. Overall, I think the packages that spotlight one story are the strongest.”

Congratulations to Will (the first two-time winner!) and Darah!


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