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Peeking Under The Sun's Hood

I thought I'd take a break from slyly linking to my own stories under the "In Brief" column and failing miserably to lock down three potential MetaEzra Q&A interviews in a row to give another shoutout to The Sun for what promises to be a cool online feature: the CMYK blog, a peek into the paper's design process. Munier Salem, a compet for assistant design editor, starts out his inaugural post by reminding me of my own dorky past:

At one point or another in high school English class, a project comes along where the teacher asks you to make a fake newspaper; you know ... where the headlines read something along like "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Found Dead" or "Hobbit Finds Gold, Magic Ring." If you’re any sort of ambitious student, you probably tried to make the project actually look like a newspaper with columns, headlines, bylines, tiny type ... that distinct, tight, unmistakable look of newsprint, that always made current events that much more intimidating to read.

OK, mine was a history project called The Tenochtitlan Post whose stories (dated November 1519) had headlines like "Quetzalcoatl Sighted, Lavished With Gifts." But that obsession with journalistic style and convention, even down to a believable layout, foreshadowed a longer infatuation with newsprint (and news bits). Salem illustrates that some of the most innovative ideas come from ambitious editors in training and highlights the unsung heroes of the production process: the zombies who hunch over Photoshop and InDesign at insane hours of the night to make the next day's newsprint look presentable, clean and attractive.

And judging from The Sun's daily online PDFs of the front and back pages, the design has steadily improved over the past year or two, along with the photographs. Here's hoping for a guided tour of what's in store for the future of Ithaca's first morning newspaper.

Andy Guess | Posted on February 20, 2008 (#)

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