In the UK, American newspaper design tends to get a bad press. Not being a designer by trade, I’m hardly an authority on the subject but can see where people saying UK design is at times streets ahead – particularly when comparing regional newspapers in the UK with city newspapers in the States.
But when I saw this front page, I instantly thought it’s perhaps the best concept front page I’ve ever seen:
Apologies for the poor quality image, but I’ve failed to find a better version anywhere. It’s from the Journal News newspaper in upstate New York, and it’s their front page for December 25th. Yes, December 25th – check the dateline!
Each candle represents the name of one of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting which took place 40 miles or so away in Newtown, Connecticut.
The Journal News has taken a lot of stick for publishing, on a map, the addresses of people with gun permits in their circulation area – information which is available under legislation in New York. As Roy Greenslade reports, it’s caused quite a stir: Gun owners say it makes them a target (for what?) while non-gun holders say it makes them a target for burglars – an argument I can sympathise with. I guess it all depends how commonly known it is that the information is available.
Anyway, as front pages go, I can’t think of many which make such a statement without making use of a superb photo.
You can see front page which used some striking images after the Newtown shootings on this Denver Post picture gallery.