Monthly Archives: January 2012

Redesign: Legatus Magazine

I’M DELIGHTED with the results of the redesign of Legatus Magazine.

It’s a publication distributed to a limited but powerful group of Catholic business leaders.

The redesign has been a long-term project. Actually, I began working on it last April, with Editor Patrick Novecosky and designer Shawna Kunz.

I couldn’t be more thrilled with the first issue. It’s colorful. It’s crisp. It’s contemporary. It’s bold. All of those qualities we had worked on when I visited with Patrick and Shawna last spring in Ave Maria, FL.

A half dozen pages from the first issue follow. If you want to see the entire final proof of the inaugural issue, let me know and I’ll be happy to send you a link!

Thanks, Patrick and Shawna…for a wonderful redesign experience and a great first issue!

1 Comment

Filed under Redesign

Web design goes to hell

THIS HAPPENS. A LOT. Not only to web designers, but to other designers (yrs truly included) as well.

Those of you who are designers know what I’m talking about. You will laugh/cry at this link: How a Web Design Goes Straight to Hell at the

And it isn’t only web or publication design. If you’re an ad designer, you’ve had this happen to you about, oh…a bazillion times!

Thanks to follower Laurie Shillings for sending this one along.



Filed under Web

Designer position: The Catholic Miscellany

LOOKIN’ FOR A DESIGN JOB? Here’s one that may interest you.

I’ve worked with the people at The Catholic Miscellany on and off for the past few years and, well, if I lived in the Charleston area I’d think about applying!

Here’s the posting:

DESIGN LAYOUT of the bi-weekly newspaper for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, SC, design advertising and other publications, including diocesan directory, programs, brochures, campaign materials, etc.  Coordinate with printers and advertisers. Bachelors degree in graphic design or communications with min 2 yrs newspaper page design experience or Associates degree with min 4 yrs experience required. Proficiency with Adobe InDesign and Photoshop required. Attention to detail, knowledge of AP style, ability to manage multiple projects under deadline pressure, thorough knowledge of Catholicism required.  Excellent benefits, generous paid time off, convenient downtown location, free parking.  Cover letter with salary expectations required as part of application process. Apply online only at  No phone calls please.

Leave a comment

Filed under Other

Poll results: Retouching photos

IT’S A THREE-FER! Our poll on retouching photos has two front-runners with the third right up there in the running. Then there are the…uh…others.

You can see the results for yourself. Pretty clear how those who voted (92 total votes) feel.

Here are some of the comments from those who voted:

“Never is too strong but it should be very very rare.”

“If you would cut it out, (ie right situation, usage, internal style) then ok.”

“I wouldn’t have retouched either of the two photos in the illustration.”

“A slight retouch, as with this photo, is ok. But almost never is my opinion.

“Nothing that would alter photo’s content and/or mislead readers.”

“On submitted photo, I’ll remove a date stamp if I can’t crop it out. That’s all.”

“Retouch to improve image quality only. Content should never be added or removed.”

“Photos should only be retouched when they’re labelled as such.”

“Only if it does not misrepresent the subject or event as it occurred.”

“We crop to remove distracting backgrounds so same applies to retouching.”

“I’ve ‘cloned out’ lettering on a T-shirt that read, ‘I’m with stupid,’ and I’ve reduced cleavage on high school Homecoming queens…even been guilty of trimming down a good friend’s waistline one time for her teacher retirement photo…no harm done! I have a camera. I have Photoshop. Might as well make the best of both!”

Also, check out the running comments that accompanied the original post.

More polls to come.

Leave a comment

Filed under Poll | survey

Survey says…print and paper

ACCORDING TO A RECENT SURVEY, “70 percent of Americans, including 69 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds, say they prefer to read print and paper communications than reading off a screen.”

The survey was commissioned by Two Sides, the fast-growing non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. So, it may be a bit self-serving (hmmm…wonder if that’s ever happened before!). Still, there are some findings that may be of interest to those of us who know newspapers are not dying.

It also says 68 percent of those surveyed believe that paper records are more sustainable than electronic record storage and that paper is more pleasant to handle and touch than other media (67 percent).

Here’s the full report.

1 Comment

Filed under Other

Best of College Design: Magazine

AS PROMISED last week, here is the third (and final) installment showing winners from the Best of College Design pages I recently judged.

Last week was Opinion pages, the previous week, front pages.

These are index pages from college magazines.

Some interesting/exciting stuff. Print design is doing very well, thank you.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards

Poll: Would you…or wouldn’t you?

I RECENTLY RECEIVED an email from a client asking me to offer my opinion on a few photos of the Pope. One of them was to be used as part of a package for the magazine.

Here are two photos from the batch I received.

My reaction to the top pic was: “I wouldn’t use the first photo of the Pope. Looks like he has a crane growing out of his nose!” I also didn’t like the fact that the photo was mostly of the Pope’s back.

On the second photo, I commented: “I retouched it a bit (see retouched photo, below) to take some of the distracting smudges out of the background. Don’t know if you have a policy on that. I think the retouched shot is a lot cleaner, but I leave the decision on its use up to the two of you.”

My problem with the unretouched photo was that it looked like the Pope had a growth or whatever emerging from the top of his arm. And, I reasoned, this was a feature photo, not a timely news photo that couldn’t be altered in Photoshop.

What are your thoughts? Retouch? Don’t retouch? Occasionally? Never?

Take the poll. Let us know what you think! I’ll report on your responses in an upcoming post.


Filed under Poll | survey

“We will be here for your future”

SOME PUBLISHERS WORRY about the future of their newspapers. Perhaps some have good cause. But we all know the doom-and-gloom reporting about the death of newspapers has been overstated, overwritten, over  reported. Sometimes, we ourselves are guilty. It’s as if we hiked over to the local hardware store to buy a shovel…so we could dig our own graves!

Well, the folks at The Times and Democrat in Orangeburg, SC, have their hands on a keyboard, not a shovel.

And here’s what its editors think:

A NEW YEAR IS FULLY UNDER WAY. It will mark The Times and Democrat’s 131st anniversary as Orangeburg’s newspaper.

We point to longevity to make a point about ourselves: We plan to be around.

That’s right, a newspaper is telling its readers it plans to be around – this despite what some would have you believe. The naysayers point to long-term declines in the circulation of print products on top of competition for readers and revenue as reasons for the ultimate demise of newspapers.

We’ve made the point before about The Times and Democrat having many thousands more readers every day than ever, with our printed edition and the Internet broadening the way we provide information for many. We continue to distribute more than 12,000 printed editions of the newspaper every day, plus visitors to number from 15,000-20,000 daily. More people than ever are reading about The T&D Region and its people.

We’ll bet, however, that plenty of people for whom The T&D and are primary news sources would, at least initially, agree with a Pew Research Center for Excellence in Journalism finding in a recent study: Nearly seven in 10 respondents said the absence of their local newspaper would not have a big impact on their ability to keep up with information about their community.

That conclusion prompts questions. If the newspaper and its team of journalists working on local news are gone, who replaces them? Who is going to be out there digging for news about Orangeburg and surroundings? A medium for distributing the news is not the issue. From simple emails, to blogs, to social media, “news” can travel fast. But what kind of information are you getting? Rumor? Gossip? And just how far is anyone else going to be sure a story is followed, that complete information is conveyed over hours and days?

Without the newspaper, there would have to be, well, a newspaper.

Maybe that’s why the same Pew study found that, “The data show that newspapers play a much bigger role in people’s lives than many may realize. Newspapers (both the print and online versions, though primarily print) rank first or tie for first as the source people rely on most for 11 of the 16 different kinds of local information asked about – more topics than any other media source.”

According to Pew, newspapers rank as the top source for news on community events, crime, taxes, local government, arts and culture, social services, zoning and development. Newspapers tie with the Internet as the top source for news on housing, schools, and jobs, and tie with TV as the top source for local political news.

As David Carr of The New York Times wrote: “Forgive an old newspaper hack a moment of sentimentality, but it is somehow reassuring that a newspaper still has traction in an environment preoccupied by social media. It makes sense when you think about it: Newspapers convey a sense of place, of actually being there, that digital media can’t. When is the last time somebody handed you a website?”

The Times and Democrat will be here for your future and the future of Orangeburg, continuing to play the lead role in providing information to the people of our region. We’ll do it through printed newspapers, and we’ll do it through our website, plus social media and other avenues. People here and elsewhere are looking increasingly for credible reporting of the type that newspapers will continue to provide.

Leave a comment

Filed under Other

Best of College Design: Opinion pages

HERE ARE MORE WINNERS in the recent Best of College Design contest.

Last week, I posted Page 1 winners. Next week, winning magazine pages.

This week, the winning Opinion page entries.

The following pages are in order, first place winner to fifth place.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awards