Seems appropriate to post this much-saluted Emmet Smith/Michael Tribble page in the wake of the Dallas Mavericks' defeat of the Heat in the 2011 NBA Championship.
Little comment here, except to note that if this page ran today, we'd need to make a small but significant change to the tiny type:
Seven years in Cleveland.
One in Miami.
Still no rings.
One last bin Laden page
Continuing my belated postings, here's a page from early May that put a bow on our bin Laden coverage, appearing on A1 on the Sunday after his death. The story tried to get a measure of the cycle of average American life since 9/11.
Illustration by Andrea Levy, design by news design director Emmet Smith and design and graphics director Michael Tribble. Headline by M.E. Thom Fladung.
It's worth noting that using illustration on Page One can be a tricky thing: Every detail needs to be sweated with sophisticated, conceptual imagery. Thankfully, The Plain Dealer has had a decades-worth of upper leadership that doesn't insist on the obvious (read: cliche) to illustrate complicated topics. But putting that philosophy in motion does put added weight on choosing the big words with care, so that the headline amplifies the message of the illustration rather than misdirect it. It's imperative that it act as a bridge between the illo and the story. Thom's headline really did just that with this package.
It's been a busy few weeks in Cleveland, and as predicted, I've been remiss in posting some of the strong work from the staff. Over the next few days, I'll try for a bit of catch-up.
First up, the cover of our NFL draft preview. The incredible Andrea Levy, illustration; Emmet Smith, design. Tribble and yours truly added some timely art direction.
The dog's name is Wrinkles Brown. He and his owner, Angelo Brown, drove all the way in from Washington, D.C. on Easter morning for the chance to grace the cover.
That's how rabid Browns fans can be.
The situation room photograph
There's been a lot of chatter about Pete Souza's photograph of President Obama and his advisors in rapt attention in the White House Situation Room as the events leading to the death of Osama bin Laden unfolded. The Washington Post has even done a complete breakdown of it, including the body language, food, decor and technology on display. Of particular interest was the expression of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: Hand over mouth, eyes red-rimmed and puffy.
Some high-profile folks in the design and picture editing world weighed in on WWD, and to a person, they think it's the combination of Clinton's and Obama's body language that makes the picture so compelling, and most feel that Clinton's gesture is what really humanizes the image.
No disagreement here on that point.
But it also occurred to me, despite Hillary Clinton's rather lame assertion that springtime allergies and a stifled sneeze are to blame, that something else may have been weighing on her: A similar raid, long ago in the fall of 1993. By all accounts, the failed raid in Mogadishu ultimately led to a wasted opportunity to end the genocide in Somalia, and damaged Bill Clinton's reputation for years after.
She alone among all those high-ranking officials would fully understand the implications of failure to this administration, as well as to the lives of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan.
And that's nothing to sneeze at.
Hello, news design friends.
After years of resisting the notion, I've decided to blog some thoughts about the state of news design, sharing inspiration within and outside the newspaper industry as I find it.
One caveat: Much like all of my well-intentioned endeavors, the posts likely will be random and few and far between. If you can live with that, then feel free to follow along.
p.s. Please be sure to comment below or e-mail potential blog topics. I could use the prodding!
About the author
David Kordalski has worked as a visual journalist since the early 1980s. He's currently the AME/Visuals for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio.