Civil War pages

by kbrynsvold

A famous battle in the Civil War — the Battle of the Ironclads — happened 150 years ago today/tomorrow. The Virginian-Pilot and the Daily-Press, among other papers in the east Virginia area, commemorated the event. I decided to look at the jump pages, not the fronts, because they were a tad more interesting/feature-y.


This is pretty awesome. I like maps in general, so I could really spend a lot of time with this page. The choice of typography, a real old-school cursive type, is perfect for this story. I’m sure this isn’t in the Pilot’s everyday font selection, but that doesn’t matter. It works for a 150-year-old story. I love it. The key for the map is perfect and really illustrates the maps in a simple way. The teal color they chose for the main border color is a good map color. It makes me think of the sea, which is where this battle took place.

One thing that kind of irks me is the way the ‘f’ in ‘of’ on the second part of the headline surprints on the map. This is the only place it happens on the page. If they wanted to go for that look, which would be fine by me, they should have done it in more than one place. By doing it in just one place, ever so slightly, it becomes distracting instead of endearing.


This is an example of a much more straightforward jump page for this type of story. But even as it is straightforward, it is more cluttered and busy than the Virginian-Pilot’s. That’s because the Pilot’s interesting idea was executed in a simple way. This normal news page from the Daily-Press has too many photos/illustrations without choosing a dominant one. I suppose the graphic on the left page could be considered the dominant one, but it just doesn’t command my attention. That could be because of all the white space in the graphic. I think if the graphic had a different background color, it would bring all the separate elements of the graphic (I count 8 or so) together into one package.

These pages just kind of makes me not like this newspaper at all. They had a lot of time to work on this, I’m assuming, and it looks like something that you’d come up with on deadline without much thought.

I think this package would have worked a lot better if there wasn’t half a page of ads. It kind of muddies up the special thing I’m assuming this is supposed to be.