Last year, I posted a picture of a Western Mail front page which summed up the emotions of the Rugby World Cup for Welsh rugby fans:

Western Mail front page from the Rugby World Cup
Western Mail front page from the Rugby World Cup

Ask any splash sub and they’ll tell you that a front page can be a work of art (they’ll also point you to a rival newspaper whose front pages are anything but a work of art).

The Western Mail, for the 6 Nations tournament – which the Welsh won yesterday – has taken the concept of newspaper splash as a work of art to a whole new level. Each of the fronts below gained real traction and appreciation through Twitter and Facebook, but are worth seeing next to each other:

Western Mail front page ahead Wales playing Ireland
Western Mail front page ahead Wales playing Ireland

The Western Mail’s warning to Scotland
The Western Mail predicts a storming of Twickenham
A subtle message for the Welsh team ahead of playing Italy
And finally… a poignant tribute ahead of the last 6 nations game

Newspapers have long known a good way to improve says is to make a souvenir edition out of a big event – and I’d argue you’d struggle to find a newspaper which comes anywhere close to the level of creativity which has gone into this batch of Western Mail front.

(Disclaimer: I work for Trinity Mirror, which owns the Western Mail. I also know nothing about rugby).


2 thoughts on “Newspaper front pages as works of art

  1. The Western Mail has a long history of producing fine examples of “front page art” around big events (usually sporting events). It hasn’t helped sales much though – the “National Newspaper of Wales” is having a torrid time on that front, even more so than many other papers in Wales. At the end of the day, a clever sub getting his crayons out is no substitute for good stories.

  2. The Western Mail used to be the foremost, i.e. only forum for debate in Wales that could in any way be taken seriously at a national level. In the 80s I used to look forward to the Saturday edition especially for the extended letters page(s) where the issues of the day were discussed. It was strictly B&W and broadsheet, the way a ‘proper’ newspaper should be. However, the WM has always suffered like other mediums in Wales in having to be something for everyone, and though it did cover the burning issues, (sometimes literally) of the day they were never as in depth or discursive as would have been the case with say the Gaurdain ( a paper completely dismissed by me due to their lazy, and often stereotypical treatment of Wales that was often very tardy). Sadly the WM went tabloid, though to be fair, the content went tabloid some years preceding the change in physical size. Now we have a dumbed down travesty of a national paper that feeds our ‘bread and circuses’ national obession, rugby. I’m of course glad that Wales won, but to my mind it’s a bit sad that a game has been elevated so.

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