Inaugural coverage

The Times printed an extra 5,000 copies of today’s paper so that all the school kids in our Newspapers in Education program would have a commemorative issue. One of our editors decided we should just use the entire cover for photos and tease to the coverage inside. Because the inauguration took place in the middle of the day, we had so many more photos to choose from (as opposed to the election, when we didn’t have the option of running a shot of Obama’s acceptance speech due to the press time).

I rarely get to work on the front page of the paper; it’s usually designed after my shift. But because today’s edition was so unusual, I got to do the layout. Eric says it could have been bolder, and I agree, but I argued that this is pretty bold for our paper.

The editors initially picked out a different picture of Obama. Very similar to this one, but he looked a little stern and you could see the entire presidential seal on the podium. That shot was a bit more vertical and left no room for a headline or additional teaser photos, so I asked if we could use this one instead.

The headline font (and yeah, if you know me, you know I have font psychology) is not our usual one. Because the cover was getting special commemorative treatment and the headline was a quote (also unusual for the main story on A1), I wanted it to have a different look. We’ve heard from at least one person so far that our cover was “a bit over the top.” After perusing hundreds of other front pages at, I see that we were far from alone in dedicating such an amount of real estate.