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Western Gazette

Western Gazette Front Cover Designs & Spreads

Elections Issue 2015

Print Design

Journalism

Company Info

The Western Gazette is the student newspaper for Western University based out of London, Ontario. During my tenure the Gazette was Canada’s only daily student newspaper publishing four days a week (Tuesday to Friday) with an Editorial staff of roughly 25 people as well as dozens of volunteers. Established in 1906, the Gazette is rich with history and has a massive alumni base that includes sports writer and analyst Stephen Brunt, on air personality and analyst for Hockey Night in Canada Elliott Friedman, and director of TIFF, Cameron Bailey.

Western Gazette Front Cover Designs & Spreads

PROJECT OVERVIEW:

Every year the Gazette publishes an ‘Elections Issue’, that showcases the campaigns for each side running for University Student Council. For February 2015, we wanted to go with a nostalgic spin on it. Our Editor-In-Chief came up with the suggestion for a Pokemon issue which I jumped at the chance to do completely, doing both the inside spread as well as the front cover.

I worked at the Western Gazette for three years while taking my Bachelor of Arts at Western University. It was an amazing opportunity and experience that I’ll never forget. I can honestly say I learned more here than I ever did in school. I first worked as a Graphics Editor, then became the Graphics & Video Editor. My tasks were many at the Gazette. We printed four days a week and I usually came in the office around 3pm everyday other than Friday and would leave close to the print deadline (9pm).

We photographed each candidate and their teams getting them to awkwardly pose angrily to later edit them looking at each other, ready for battle. I edited them to give them all red and blue to create the contrast between them for the cover. I even found a make-shift Pokemon font that I modified and created my own letters for (they didn’t have the letter G or Z).

While the cover was fun to do, the inside spread is where I really had my fun. I learned how to create 8-bit versions of all the candidates with Adobe Photoshop. I then painstakingly recreated the GameBoy colour Pokemon games as best I could and made it look like the candidates were Pokemon fighting each other. It was a pretty innovative issue and I really enjoyed working on it.


While the cover was fun to do, the inside spread is where I really had my fun. I learned how to create 8-bit versions of all the candidates with Adobe Photoshop. I then painstakingly recreated the GameBoy colour Pokemon games as best I could and made it look like the candidates were Pokemon fighting each other. It was a pretty innovative issue and I really enjoyed working on it.

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Western Gazette

Western Gazette - Frosh Issue 2014

Print Design

Project Description

For my last Frosh Issue I got called upon to create the cover once again. This theme was very clear, Fantasy. I knew immediately it should look like an old arcane magic book. That led me to create the book background (many of those scratches were manually done and scanned in to look as real as possible on newsprint).

Western Gazette Front Cover Designs & Spreads

PROJECT OVERVIEW:

This issue may be one of my proudest designs. If the previous Frosh Issue had over 100 layers, this one probably had over 100 adjustment layers alone. Mostly to get it just right for print. At this point I had been working in print for over 2 years and knew how tricky it was to get a dark cover to print exactly how you wanted it to since the blacks would usually all blend together.

I knew that I would need some sort of mythical creature on the cover, some kind of engraving that looked ancient and mysterious. There’s no way I could pull something off like that and make it look professional so I called in a favour. One of my best friends’ sisters is an amazing artist and is especially good when it comes to anything in the fantasy realm. She created this amazing dragon for me below and I edited it in to be part of the “book”.

The cover was acclaimed by the staff as well as many outsiders but it soon became infamous for a whole different reason. The issue itself featured an article titled “How to sleep with your TA”. Obviously this incited controversy and things only got worse when our Editor-in-Chief promptly took to Twitter to defend his and the writers actions and fight with internet trolls. Naturally this brought the paper quite a bit of media attention and sure enough, my cover graced every story that the Gazette was in. You can see some shots of the cover from local and national news sources here.

They say any press is good press so I guess I’ll take what I can get.



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Western Gazette

Frosh Issue 2013 & Western Marauder's Map

Print Design

Project Description

I can’t remember if this issue had an actual theme but the cover came from a particular vision of our Editor-in-Chief. He wanted a scene where parents were dropping their kid off on the “Western Island” and sailing off into the sunset, thrilled. I obliged as it was rare that anyone actually had a specific idea of what they wanted to do. Usually it was more wild west in terms of design.

Western Gazette Front Cover Designs & Spreads

PROJECT OVERVIEW:

The cover itself actually was extremely complicated to put together. There must have been at least 100 layers in this Photoshop file. I got the idea to do a sort of faux-paint collage where I would take actual images, print them, paint them, and then scan them back in to the collage. You can see this on the palm tree and some of the water. In the end I created basically exactly what they asked for, you can even see the side-by-side comparison below!

For the marauder's map, it wasn’t a hard piece to create, more painstaking and tedious than anything. I got the idea instantly to create a Western-themed marauders map to show where hidden tunnels and paths are for students to venture to. All I did was find a high res map of western and manually trace each building in Adobe Illustrator. Then I added each tunnel, hidden pathway and different backgrounds and brushes to give it the look of an old, tattered map.

The front office staff at The Gazette were always pretty lax when it came to designs and they approved it immediately. It actually turned out to be quite a hit and I got a lot of positive feedback from it. Years later I ran into someone who said them and their friends all had the map cut out and hung on their residence walls. That was pretty cool to hear. Since it was my first real graphic for the paper I got to learn how to properly set bleeds, manually layout the pages (on actual paper with pencil!) and work with CMYK.




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