Sunday editions: A soldier’s wife

The Los Angeles Times
(Click on any page for a larger look.)

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Michael Whitley, Assistant Managing Editor: “A Soldier’s Wife” is a story written by Christopher Goffard with accompanying photography and videography by Rick Loomis. It is about a soldier with post traumatic stress disorder told through the experiences of his wife and family.

This story is beautifully written – one of those pieces that you read the draft so fast you don’t realize how long the story actually is.  Its very lyrical. And it is journalism that requires space. It is a story you could harm by squeezing it in to 2 or 3 pages. There would be too many photographs left out and the pacing would be ruined.

We decided the design should be sparse – nothing to distract from the quality of writing and photography.  We already have a pretty minimal design style but this takes it a step further. Over several days of the design process we cut drop caps, printers marks, caption bold lead-ins and more.

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We designed the print version to six pages – the space we felt was right.  A lot of consideration was given to how the story unfolds and making sure the photography did not run ahead and reveal things too soon. So that also meant starting with a single righthand page, followed by two spreads and then a single left page. It may sound like a small thing, but the story played out much better this way than with three consecutive spreads. It felt like the best way to balance the writing and photography.

Our presentation was an easy sell for me and DME Colin Crawford to Editor Davan Maharaj and Managing Editor Marc Duvoisin. They supported our plan from the moment we presented it.

The print version was designed by Kelli Sullivan and the web version was done in parallel by producer Evan Wagstaff  and designer Stephanie Ferrell. You can see the result of a collaborative effort. The print and web versions are beautiful siblings.

Have an interesting Sunday project to share? Email the PDFs and information to katherine.myrick@gmail.com.