Monthly Archives: November 2009

Seeking your ideas for a Christmas front

STU NEILSON IS, according to his note, the “Managing Editor, graphic ‘designer,’ ad salesman, delivery person, janitor…” at the Town Crier in Wilmington – Tewksbury, MA

He’s looking for some help with ideas to replace their Christmas front page. Stu writes:

“For the past several years we have run a Christmas front page (above) with photos of all the cutest kids decked out for their Christmas photos.

But . . .

With the downturn we’ve had some attrition—namely my graphic artist has taken another job and the publisher has not replaced him.

Add another hat to the stack I’m already wearing.

Managing and producing all those photos on my schedule is out.

My ad sales lady (part time—only 45 hours a week) came up with an idea which would be less challenging photo-wise, but still involve the community. It’s a Christmas Wish page. We would solicit wishes from the public on a special e-mail address and publish the best 50 or 100.

Now the challenge—design.

Has anyone, or do you, had a great design for a page like that?


FROM ED: My idea, Stu, would be to take some of the better submissions and to feature them in a childlike scrawl on the front, using crumpled paper, colored construction paper and crayons and pencils to imitate the writing of kids. Put them together in a kind of collage and shoot some photos, using that for your page 1 visual.

How about the rest of you? Any ideas to offer Stu?

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A treat for Thanksgiving

AS I WAS SEARCHING for a visual for the Thanksgiving header, I came across these wonderful old Thanksgiving greeting cards.

I thought I would share them as my Thanksgiving gift to all of you. Enjoy…and…Happy Thanksgiving!


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Statue of Liberty—18,000 strong

A FRIEND SENT THIS my way recently. I hear it’s been around before, but I thought it would be a treat for those (like all of us!) who enjoy visuals with a different approach.

This photo was shot in 1918. It’s a representation of the Statue of Liberty created by positioning 18,000 men at Camp Dodge, Iowa.

Base to shoulder:  150 feet
Right arm:  340 feet
Widest part of arm holding torch:  12 1/2 feet
Right thumb:  35 feet
Thickest part of body:  29 feet
Left hand length:  30 feet
Face: 60 feet
Nose: 21 feet

Longest spike of head piece: 70 feet
Torch and flame combined: 980 feet
Number of men in flame of torch: 12,000
Number of men in torch: 2,800
Number of men in right arm: 1,200
Number of men in body, head and balance of figure only: 2,000

Total men: 18,000

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Another request for quick help!

FROM A CLIENT PUBLISHER comes this request for quick help:
“We are mass mailing our newspaper to everyone in our county on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.
We need to make a great impression.
In our Arts&Entertainment section front we are planning a holiday calendar.

By any chance do you have an samples of designs for something similiar you could pass along?”

I’ve sent him a note saying I had no such calendar in my files—but that I was placing his appeal on my blog and he should check here occasionally.

If you have ideas, please send them along in a quick comment.

Better yet, if you have holiday calendar pages in your files, please send them to me ASAP and I’ll forward them.

Attach them to an e-mail to:



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Another update: You’re gonna like this!

I’VE HEARD FROM some readers that they’d like to be able to see submitted pages in greater detail.
UPDATE LOGO FOR BLOGThe latest comment on this came a couple of weeks ago (I’ve been busy, OK???!!!) from Joel Martin, Webmaster and Special Sections Editor at the Columbia Basin Herald. Joel wrote: “Ed, here’s a thought. Can you upload pictures at a larger size and then scale them down for the blog post? Blogger does graphics that way, with a link in the picture so you can embiggen it. I’d be surprised if WordPress couldn’t do the same. That way we can get a closer look at the details.”

OK…you got it!

Future pages will have a link (all ya gotta do is click on the page) to a larger image so you can see all the good stuff in detail.

That is…unless I forget.

Try it out here, with this mockup of a page I recently created for a client.



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An update from Ed

UPDATE LOGO FOR BLOGAS ALWAYS, I need your help to keep this blog going. No pages…no comments…no blog.

To this point, we’ve been pretty lucky: just when it seems there won’t be any pages on a given week, someone offers a submission. So we’re making it happen, but just…

Thanksgiving is around the corner. Then Christmas. Then New Year’s Day. Then SuperBowl.

So here’s an idea: Send me your special section fronts (or spreads), your front pages, your holiday features fronts, your Sports pages for SuperBowl (and the day after!). If only a half-dozen of you send pages—and get your designers and editors to join in—we’ll have lots of submissions.

Scrambling for pages is something I just never thought I’d have to do. This is just taking longer to catch on than I thought. So gather up those pages soon and send them this way.

And please spread the word! This blog is for you and your colleagues. The more submissions, the more readers, the more comments…the better.

This blog can become an important tool for news designers and editors—but only if we have more designers and editors join in the fun.

Send your pages to:


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