Close Call: Kentucky Tornadoes

A dramatic edit of the sky outside the Glide-Crawford dorm.

Students congregate in the student center at the end of the storm.

Near the end of the storm.

Asbury students take advantage of the warmer weather by playing in the puddles in front of the student center.

The sky turned green and orange at the end of the day.

Asbury USO show in black and white

The USO show this past Saturday presented a perfect opportunity to take a few pictures. I strolled around during the event, ate donuts and pestered my roommate (she’s the pianist in the jazz band). For those who aren’t yet familiar with Asbury’s new Miller Communication Arts Center, this is the lower level between the studio and the theater. It was the perfect place to have the event! Enjoy the pictures.


Taking pictures of Keeneland

Newspaper design has been great, but I’m ready to talk about something else now — something like photography. While I still plan on discussing newspaper design on occasion, I feel like it’s time for me to move in a different direction with this blog.

My experiences at Keeneland

I’ll start with a quick post about an event I covered last semester that ended up being published in the Asbury Collegian. Keeneland is a unique tradition here in Kentucky, so it was with much excitement I attended the horse race with several friends. Admission for the general seating was only $5, and I was happily surprised to find we could get extremely close to the track.

Adjusting to all of the high-class tailgaters was probably the most interesting aspect of the day. Imagine, if you will, women in four-inch heals walking around a lawn with beer and cocktail dresses. At one point we even saw a 20 minute line of fancy, and rather drunk, women waiting outside a porta potty. I just wish I had a picture of it!

Photo by Riah Lawry

How we redesigned our student newspaper in a week

The Asbury Collegian, redesigned: Sept. 2, 2011

There are many good reasons to redesign your campus newspaper (here are a few I discussed earlier). And I was fully convinced at the end of this past semester we needed to redesign our newspaper at Asbury. The difficulty was figuring out how to go about it. Here’s what we ended up doing; and I hope it may help you if this is something you’re thinking about.

 1. We determined the extent of the redesign

I did research online, I looked over newspapers students had redesigned and I stalked tabloid design on Newseum. But even with this research and the various conferences I’ve attended on newspaper design, there isn’t much out there explaining how to go about completely redesigning a newspaper. All we could do is dive in – and that’s what we did. Last semester came to an end and I met with the Executive Editor to determine how far we could go with the redesign. We set our goal: a complete revamp, including a new personality, page size, structure and content. We had high hopes, but little idea of how difficult it would be to actually accomplish the task.

 2. We put together a team of talented individuals who were dedicated to the project

The team consisted of Jane, the Graphics Editor; Erika, the Layout Editor; Anna, the Executive Editor; and me, the Managing Editor. We would have never finished if it wasn’t for the four of us dedicated to completing this redesign no matter how long it took to complete. And it took a long time, believe me. For some reason I had this idea we could begin and finish the redesign remotely during the summer months. I laugh now when I consider how impossible that would have been. To do something this complex we had to be together. After two months of pathetically trying to get something working remotely, we made the decision to return early to Asbury.

 3. We talked – a lot

Granted, the redesign team did comprise entirely of women, but there’s a lot of good that came out of our discussion. The four of us arrived on campus a week before the beginning of class and met in the Collegian office Monday afternoon. We knew we wanted to take the paper from broadsheet to tabloid and from an undefined personality to a very specific personality. Our Graphics Editor did good deal of research over the summer so we mostly spent our time narrowing down our new personality. I love the description we settled on: Dove men’s shampoo. Seriously! It defines our style so well, and it gives us a good chuckle.

4. We spent hours creating a mock-up Collegian

It took the Graphics Editor and Layout Editor many, many hours to create a mock-up of the newspaper in the new tabloid page size. Erika tackled the layout, and since broadsheet layout and tabloid layout is quite different, it took a little getting used to. She worked on incorporating more info boxes, graphics and pictures into the pages. We also played around with layouts you would typically find in a magazine and rarely in a newspaper. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! Jane dedicated her time to figuring out several important details, which I’ll discuss in the list of newspaper elements below.


Jane worked first on the new nameplate. We wanted the nameplate to look more like a logo than our last nameplate and to be flexible so it could go at the top, bottom, right or left. I think Jane accomplished this very well. What do you think?

The official Asbury Collegian logo designed by Jane Brannen.


Since our first edition this past Friday, we’ve decided to modify the folio further but I still like it. We just need to change the location of the page number so it’s easier to decipher which page you’re looking at. Thank you, Zach, for pointing this out.

 Type Faces

Honestly, we didn’t spend as much time discussing the typefaces since Jane had already completed most of her research over the summer. Headlines and the folio are Steelfish; the body is Arno Pro; and the subheads are Museo. We may introduce more weights as the semester progresses. For now, we’re still testing out these fonts and we’ll see if we need more flexibility.


Previously we ran cutlines directly below the pictures in left alignment. But I’m a big fan of a white box at the lower right corner, which is where we’ve decided to place our cutlines. They are in Helvetica Neue in right alignment.

 Pull Quotes

I feel like pull quotes can easily ruin a layout, but I’m fairly certain our pull quotes don’t fit in that category. They’re fairly simple. The quote is right aligned with white space above, which the eye naturally creates into a box.

Page 4 of the redesigned Asbury Collegian

5. We communicated the new personality to the newspaper staff

After four days of nonstop design work, we took a break for staff training. The training lasted two days and we dedicated two sessions on Saturday to explaining the new design. Not much, but it helped. And it was so encouraging to see the staff embrace the new personality! We also had the opportunity to learn from Buck Ryan, the creator of the Maestro Concept. I can’t go into all the specifics right now, but there’s a lot we learned from his session and a lot we will continue to develop throughout this year.

 6. We did it

Production night came much faster than expected. I encouraged the section editors to arrive early and place the content on the page. When the content was laid out, Erika and I would go through and design the pages while Anna and Courtney edited – at least, that was the plan. It worked for the most part, but we came across many unexpected problems. Let’s just say this past production night was the longest ever! Erika, Anna and I didn’t leave the office until 4:30 a.m. It’s a memory to never forget and, hopefully, never repeat.

If you want to redesign your student newspaper, do it! Seriously. None of us regret all the work put into this project. We’ve had so many students mention how much they like the new paper. Thank you to the amazing Collegian staff who put all this work into the first edition and for the work you will put in for the rest of the year! =) It’s something to be proud of.

(View the entire redesigned issue)

NYC internships from a graphic designer’s perspective

Guest post by Erika Graham

My summer internship came to a bittersweet end yesterday, and I still can’t believe that I’ll be back at school in less then a week. As an editorial intern for the Toy Book, a leading toy trade magazine based in Manhattan, I had a wonderful time running around NYC and gaining an experience that I’ll never forget.

In order to fit my summer into a 500-word blog post focused on why a NYC internship might be the best learning experience you’ll ever have, I’ve compiled my top three moments at the Toy Book. I also thought that, since I am a guest on a newspaper design blog, my list might hold a little more attention then a large block of text…

Top Three Moments of My NYC Toy Book Internship

  • Writing a bylined article for a nationally syndicated publication. I was asked to write the story for the annual ABC Kids Show a couple of weeks ago, which was definitely the highlight of my time at the Toy Book. I also got to design the layout for this section of the magazine. It always pays off to get to know your editors and let them know what you’re interested in. As soon as my editor knew I had experience with layout design, she started sending me more projects that involved both writing and design.
  • Meeting Dan Marino. I was able to meet him and other NFL legends at the media party for the fall release of NFL Madden 2012, one of the many events that I attended with the Toy Book. Writing that article might have been my top moment, but getting to participate in private demonstrations of new products and the upcoming holiday showcases was a very close second. Sitting down and playing the new FORZA Motorsport video game while the game developer sat next to me and explained it at Xbox’s Holiday Showcase in Milk Studios is an experience that can’t be duplicated at a local internship.
  • The contacts that I’ve made (and the sweet resume addition)! There is nothing like knowing you’ve made a few friends and really succeeded in your work as the internship comes to a close. I’ve added contacts that I can reach out to at any time for help when I’m looking for future internships, that evasive first job, or where to find the best slice of NYC pizza. Looking ahead to the fall semester, I’ve already had several responses to different intern positions due to my great summer experience.

 It’s not any grand discovery that interning while in college is (or should be) a huge priority. But definitely don’t wait until you’re a junior or a senior to start applying! I’ll be a sophomore in the fall, and while the job search is not right around the corner for me, I know that I’m opening doors for myself by taking advantage of the opportunities now.

As for next summer, I’ll most certainly be back in Manhattan, working for a different publication and chalking up some more “only in New York” experiences.

Erika, Riah and Leah in Times Square Spring 2011

Judges’ comments on 2011 KIPA contest submissions

Asbury and Kentucky universities learn from success

Kentucky university and colleges will awardsKentucky university and college students don’t have to wonder why their work succeeded at the  Kentucky Intercollegiate Press Association Contest in 2011. Comments from the judges are posted on the KIPA WordPress so you can check it out for yourself.

This may seem a little late to post the results of the KIPA contest but I have a feeling not many of the Asbury University winners got to see the feedback provided by KIPA. Personally, I think it’s really nice to catch a glimpse of why the stories, photos or layouts were selected.

KIPA awards presented to Asbury students

First Place:

Brownrygg Woolls – News Photo

Rebecca Baker – Sports Photo

Tyler, Rebecca, Zack – Photo Essay

Staff – Website Home Page

Staff – Overall Website

Anna Leon – Feature Headline

Staff- Sports Headline

Jordan Crouse – Sports News Story

Jordan Crouse – Sports Feature

Brison Harvey – Sports Column

Tyler Hoff – Front Page Layout

Laura Laffoon – Sports Page Layout

Zack Klemme – Analyses and Special Reports

Second Place:

Brownrygg Woolls – Feature Photo

Zack Wilson – Sports Photo

Ian McAfee – Informational Graphic

Tyler Hoff – News Photo

Staff – Sports Page Layout

Anna Giaritelli – News Story

Whitney Ward – Continuing News

Zack Klemme – Analyses and Special Reports

Riah Lawry – Personality Profile

Sarah Abiro – Sports Feature

Brittany Howard – Sports News Story

Brittany Howard – Sports Game Story

Laura Laffoon – Sports Headline

Third Place:

Ian McAfee – Comic Strip

Anna Leon – News Photo

Will Houp – Analyses and Special Reports

Anna Leon – Personality Profile

Staff – Continuing News

Kenton Sena – Sports Game Story

Kenton Sena – Sports Headline

Ben Joubert – Feature Headline

Leah Girard – News Headline

Tyler Hoff – Sports Photo

Eric Shelton – Feature Photo

Honorable Mention:

Leah Girard – Analyses and Special Reports

Zack Klemme – Continuing News

Joey Nunez – Feature Photo

Get Google+Facebook, download malware and a gimmick all in one click

Browsing through my Google Plus feed today, I noticed a post about a Google + Facebook add-on that incorporates your Facebook feed into your Google Plus feed. Sound too good to be true? Yep, sure is.

On Reddit, a social news website, a user called RougeDarkJedi discusses the add-on and notes it “acts like malware and the service is a security vulnerability waiting to happen.” For example, the add-on can go through emails and attach a signature to try and get your friends to install the add-on. Biggest issue with the Google+Facebook scam is undoubtedly the privacy issues.

CEO and co-founder of Crossrider (the developer of Google+Facebook), Koby Menachemi, claims this is just a misunderstanding. Here’s a screenshot of what they claim it will look like.


But the overwhelming response from those who have unfortunately installed the add-on and those who have researched it shows it probably is a deceptive program.

Best idea is to keep away!