Sunday editions: Policing a photo shoot, rapid transit, and a new workflow in Cleveland

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Los Angeles Times


Kelli Sullivan, designer: Our editor, Davan Maharaj, came to us a couple of weeks ago to talk to us about an investigation that is high in importance but has low potential for photographs or graphics. imageHe wanted to make it the visual lead for our Sunday edition.

The story is about a major drug company, Purdue Pharma, that since 2002 has kept a database of doctors it suspected of recklessly prescribing its drug, OxyContin. Despite its concerns, the company for years did little to alert law enforcement or medical authorities about the doctors. The company, which has sold $27 billion worth of the drug, profited from the prescriptions the suspect physicians wrote.

We brainstormed and AME Michael Whitley came up with the idea of taking the actual oxycontin pills and shaping them into the form of a dollar sign – a simple image that conveys the basic truth in the story. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helped us with the actual pills, and we laid them out and shot the cover in our photo studio with several officers there. The same effect could be achieved in photoshop, but we prefer in-camera solutions because the imperfections give it a more real feel. We discussed whether or not this was editorializing but came to the conclusion that the drug company’s profits have soared from the sale of oxycontin and the illustration does not suggest anything more than that truth.

The headline is red to connect it to a series of prescription drug stories we ran last year.

Dallas Morning News

PdfToMerlinWorking#DMN_DMN_Main_News_08-11-2013_State_1_A01_08-1   PdfToMerlinWorking#DMN_DMN_Main_News_08-11-2013_State_1_A12_08-1     PdfToMerlinWorking#DMN_DMN_Main_News_08-11-2013_State_1_A13_08-1

Alma Lozoya, news editor: Our centerpiece Sunday is on the 30th anniversary of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit. The story looks at whether DART has kept its promises to voters all these years later. We got a great lede photo, an aerial of the train passing over White Rock Creek Trail. Assistant News Editor Michael Apuan built the cover Saturday night, and he basically let that great photo take charge, and everything else sort of worked well around it. The package was simple, and the graphics were packaged together on the jump.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

7SU01A081113.pdf      7EA01C081113.pdf

David Kordalski, AME/Visuals: The debut of the redesign of the entire Sunday paper is a project, as it represents an entirely new way of working for us. It’s all predicated on the premise that nothing is done specifically for print … rather, our  small team selects the best of the daily digital offerings and we decide what and how stuff runs.

Curators make the picks and work with designers to bring the pages all together.

The “Pub Hub” is led by Daryl Kannberg. Emmet Smith is in charge of the curation team. That team chooses and edits the stories for the paper. I am the design team leader. The design team also plays the graphics and picture editing role for the paper now. Emmet and I did the redesign together.

Our core 2001 design is still very much intact — in fact, we are now philosophically much closer to what I consider the PD sweet spot of 2004-2007 than we were a month ago. We’ve clamped back down on the fundamental typographic and grid discipline that lets our award-winning photography and illustration shine. New label and page flag typography gives a fresh accent to this simple little black dress of a design. The new section flags are Miller Banner, Vitesse is the primary label with Forza and Tungsten in the mix as well.

Details on the specific pages:

7MN22A081113.pdf      7MN26A081113.pdf   7MN27A081113.pdf

I was the designer of A1, the Reinventing Rape series and the Forum front and back.

Reinvestigating Rape (A1 and special 8-page section) started as an online series that was posted Monday-Thursday; we simply recapped it in an effort to catch up our print readership and to drive those who consume our content both in print and online back to an important issue they may have missed. Rachel Dissell and Leila Atassi did all of the reporting; Lisa DeJong shot all the haunting photographs of the rape locations. There’s plenty of online content that we couldn’t begin to fit into the section, including a running total of cases closed due to the testing, interactive maps (William Neff) and video components (David Andersen).

7MN01E081113.pdf   7MN08E081113.pdf

The Sunday Forum front (we now have a full Forum section three days a week) is a half-way point assessment of our Editorial board’s 2013 agenda: important Northeast Ohio issues the board identified at the beginning of the year. The key to this page is that the front is driven by the editorial and reflects the institutional voice of The Plain Dealer Editorial Board, not a single columnist. Makes it tougher to do live, but not impossible

The back page of Forum — Marvin Fong photographs of the demolition of the Cleveland house where three women were held captive for a decade — doubles as tease to a larger online collection of the best pictures of the week. It’s called “In Our Eyes.” It gets posted every Monday.


A2 is a weekly sketchbook by Chris Morris. It highlights someone or something in Greater Cleveland worthy of note. This week, it’s Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s animal keeper Alisa Sandor.

7EA01C081113.pdf   7MN04C081113.pdf   7MN05C081113.pdf

Amanda Petkiewicz designed the cover and two-page spread of our new section, North Coast. It’s aimed at highlighting who Northeast Ohioans are, saluting what we like to do and where we can do it. The fair feature is also is a curation of images from another online photo feature called “Sense of Place.” This debut was shot by Thomas Ondrey.

7MN01D081113.pdf   7MN02D081113.pdf

Arts front was designed by Sharon Yemich.

Page two of Arts is “Site-Geist,” a curated visual look at what entertainment stories people are clicking on on … It’s a new-world take on the old-world Week in Review.


The Sports front is simply live albeit routine coverage, but it represents a bolder approach to the section fronts than we’ve had of late. Keith Bracken designed it.

We aren’t there yet, but it’s a pretty decent start. Give us a couple more months to get comfortable with our new system and new workflow and you’ll see a Plain Dealer like you’ve never seen before.

Have an interesting Sunday project to share? Email the PDFs and information to [email protected]


About Katie Myrick Parks

is the Senior Visuals Editor at the Global Press Journal.

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