Special Section: Joshua's Journey
An 8-page tab published in The Colorado Springs Gazette in December 2018
About the story
The Gazette's features reporter and photographer spent a year with a Colorado Springs family to chronicle a young boy’s battle with kidney cancer. The story published in an 8-page magazine-style, black-and-white presentation a week after the boy turned 5 years old.
First Place in Page Design in the 2019 Best of the West Journalism contest
First Place for Best Editorial Special Section Design in the 2019 Colorado Press Association competition
My design process
In October 2018, the photographer assigned to this heartfelt story expressed that he favored me to be the designer to develop the story presentation on a young local boy’s fight with Stage 4 cancer. I was extremely moved by the sentiment, so I quickly took the lead in the project planning process.
I discussed the story with the reporter and photographer in detail. After seeing the stunning photography, I conducted a meeting with the editor and the photo director to pitch the idea of running the story in a pullout section as opposed to running it in a traditional story format for print. I also discussed how I would display the powerful images throughout the special section. Both managers loved the idea and I was given approval to move forward with designing the story presentation for print.
Throughout my design process, I led several meetings to share my progress with the reporter, photographer, photo director and editor. I integrated their overall feedback after each meeting. During one of the visual design meetings, the photo director had mentioned how he was learning toward a particular photo to be the lead image on the cover. While I valued his thoughts, I had a bit of a difference of opinion. In a follow-up meeting, I presented different cover design options using the suggested photo as lead and using a different photo that I felt set the tone better for the entire section. The photo director, along with others, agreed that my proposed option had more impact and we ran with it. The photo director's suggested lead photo ran as the lead image on the back page.
News and Sports Design
Front pages designed on a tight deadline for The Gazette and The St. Petersburg Times, now Tampa Bay Times
Denver Broncos Super Bowl 50 Win
The front page of The Gazette in Colorado Springs as the Broncos win their third Super Bowl in 2015. I designed the page on a tight late-night deadline.
Death of Osama bin Laden
The front page of The St. Petersburg Times the night U.S. forces killed terrorist Osama bin Laden. I designed the page within minutes after the news alert.
The Osama bin Laden front page won First Place in Page One Design in the 2012 Florida Society of News Editors competition. The page also was recognized by Newseum as one of the Top Ten pages of 2011.
The front pages of The Gazette on Christmas Day in 2014, 2015 and on the Fourth of July to commemorate the holidays
My design process
One of The Gazette's former editors started a fun tradition when he joined the newsroom in 2012. We started designing holiday postcard front pages for readers, and they absolutely loved it. It also was a fun way to work side-by-side with staff photographers and the photo director on something we knew would bring smiles to our readers. We did face one challenge when producing these covers every year -- working around the possibility of ads running on the front page the day of the holiday.
Typically, these days also were light news days, but we always created a contingency plan to accommodate for breaking news. Every year, I get the pleasure of brainstorming with the visuals team on what image or photo illustration will take this prominent spot in the newspaper. And I always include a horizontal or vertical rail to include promos to local news stories and other news of the day. I use limited text to let the image or photo illustration speak for itself.