In the News
Lake County News-Sun
There are two things I love about newspaper design, especially for a small newspaper, the first is taking the usual strict layout and doing something unexpected the second is a really short chain of command. For the most part with the following examples I was calling my own shots, taking chances and collaborating with the reporter or  photographer to make the ordinary extraordinary. Most of the time there is no planning or time for it.
You have eight hours of the daily production cycle to make it great. So make the most of it because tomorrow
is another day.
Memories of 9/11

My Managing Editor wanted something that reflected our readers response. Art selection and treatment were up to me. All layers, screens, gradients and transparencies were achieved with Adobe InDesign CS.
Opening Knight

Holy typography Batman! A couple of simple bat paths and all the fonts you never use saved this page from my arch nemesis the press kit photo. As a side note all fonts were converted to paths to save my sanity putting this file through the rips and a trip to Arkham Asylum.
A Gallon of Gas

We soon realized after we did this story that the price of gas would get much higher. Looking back now it seems a fair price but with a daily news cycle the issue of the moment does not always stand the test of time. The original plan was to use a stock gas station sign photo. I was able to convince the editors we could say more with words on the cover and build interest for the three page spread inside.
Spring Break

The editors loved the art and left it to me to figure out where to float the headline. Perhaps I took them to literally. Adobe InDesign CS did the heavy lifting here converting the embedded Photoshop path around the diver into pure design magic.
Master Thespian

Super Bowl preview stories can drag on and gray up a page real fast. The real simple solution is it use a jumbo Manning cutout and wrap the text. But with a little bit of effort you can re-enforce the story message visually.
Super Men!
This in not a typical broadsheet newspaper spread it is in fact a tabloid cover double truck. If you think that sounds complicated then you have an idea how hard it is to guarantee that the front and back cover will print flawlessly across the spine.
Take 5 Again
My concept for the relaunch of our weekend entertainment section was to keep things short and sweet. Playing off the sections name I would craft the cover design using five facts about the highlighted person or event. The rest of the section was list heavy and relied on well balanced typography and images to maintain order. This insert broadsheet section was short lived and would eventually be incorporated into the News-Sun tabloid format.
Dog Daze

This story was on the number of quality hot dog stands in Lake County Illinois. Unfortunately the supplied images were not good enough to carry a five column display space. Luckily I happened to have scissors, pastel chalks and white paper. To give you a sense of scale the paper wrapper under the fries is a full sheet of 8.5x11. The hardest part of building this page was getting the piece to the photo studio without losing any of the layers.
Monsters Inc.

This was another press kit centerpiece that required unique framing. My daughter's happy meal toy made the ideal presentation vehicle. With the photo editor's assistance I was able to import the raw door frame image into Photoshop to add texture, shadows and clipping path. With QuarkXpress I married the press kit image and frame. To highlight the otherworldly fun I designed the lighting and shadows on the door frame to contradicted the lighting used in the photo.
Growing Concern

Aside from the image of the doctor interviewed for this story there was nothing to help illustrate the articles point. I drew this to scale for publication with pastel on colored paper. The image was shot by photography and tweaked in Photoshop for press levels, to add the shadow and red highlights.
Munch Time

This page was a lot of fun but stressful. I had two considerations for this page the first was materials and the second was file size. At first I had thought about using two types of chips in my mock snack smack down but using pretzels simplified the design and reinforced the play diagram concept I was after. The football was shot by photography and the pretzels were scanned. Photoshop made this page possible by providing clipping paths and the color shadows that anchor the action to the QuarkXpress page. 
A Shameful Disaster

To illustrate this story I contacted the Waukegan Historical Society for a map of the Waukegan lakefront in the 1900s. The image of the factory itself came from the News-Sun photo files. After scanning the base material I used Photoshop to apply blending screens for the map and transparency erasers to merge the factory photo with the background.
Take 5

This is the first of two redesigns I was tasked to implement for our weekend entertainment section. This incarnation was a 50/50 split of lists and feature display pages that would rotate story content thought the section. My concept for the teaser content in the flag was a hard sell to the editors but was the most stable content anchor for the section. The surf board for the inaugural centerpiece was completely built in Photoshop.
Halloween Horrors!

Sometimes simple answers are the best. I was able to design this cover using nothing more than my hand, the back of my head and a roll of gauze from the first aid kit. The photo editor was kind enough to shoot my bandaged hand while Photoshop effects gave me the Wolfman and Frankenstein for the cover.
Big Man on Campus
This cover is like many feature covers I have designed. The difference here is that this story of Lake Forest native Vince Vaughn caught the eye of not only Mr. Vaughn himself but also The Late Show with David Letterman. CBS contacted The Lake County News-Sun to get a copy of the article for Vince Vaughn to use during the taping of the show. I exported the layout to an image file and emailed it to New York. It turns out he spent most of his interview time reading from the article we wrote.

To the MAX

Curiosity is an excellent force for design solutions. This story talked plenty about the Galapagos Islands and how the IMAX shows in Chicago would take you there but it only devoted half of a sentence to where the islands are located. So with the help of a very large scanner and an even bigger wall map I able satisfy my curiosity and make a better point with even fewer words.