from a designer's eye


How newspapers covered the death of Moammar Gadhafi

To start, I want to apologize about the watermarks on the pages. I pull all of them from Newseum so you’ll just have to try your best to ignore them from now on.

From what I saw, Gadhafi’s death wasn’t played as big as I thought it would be in the U.S. In my mind, this was as close to a big breaking story as the death of Osama bin Laden and it wasn’t played to that size in the U.S. Now, outside of the country it was played much bigger, especially in Canada.

Here are the best pages from October 21:

The National Post: Toronto

The illustration here is brilliant and catches your eye. The red background was a smart choice especially with the yellow coloring that’s on the Post’s front page. The headline work was nice, as was the deck. 

I love the fact that the piece was played big and while there may not be a lot of content on the front, the teases at the bottom of the page help to break up the text and allow for more stories inside. 


The Virginian Pilot

A classic take from the Virginian Pilot. This page is everything that you’d expect from this paper. Full top of the fold photo with excellent headline work. The kicker being more explanatory and the headline just looking to draw in attention works perfectly. Red seems to be a common color that was used, and I guess that’s to be expected with how bloody his death was. 


Omaha World-Herald


This was one of my favorite pieces of the day simply because of the infographic. The way that the story was actually played was similar to the rest of the country’s papers:
Large close-cropped portrait, typical headline and the story that everyone had. The infographic is what made this page. 

Looking at all of the dictatorships and how long they lasted was a brilliant idea. Once again the red color came into play, but I think the true message here is keeping the reader hooked to the front page for just a little longer. The graphic is super simple and packs so much good, interesting information that I’m sure readers stuck around for a few more minutes. 

The key lesson here is once again that art was played big. Headlines are super important, and the melding of the two is essential. With big news like this, it’s important to remember to keep the headline simple and straightforward and most papers did just that. 

As always, pages were pulled from Newseum