>> Friday, December 17, 2010
One aspect of the design that came together even better than I'd expected was the map on page two. I created a map of our small town, and used it to plot different points of significance to Waynesboro's Hispanic community, like the a church offering weekly services in Spanish and a park where many people -- including former Mexican professional league players -- play fútbol. Local and regional statistics surround the map to complete the infographic.
Everything for this section was completed by Tony, Chase, and me. Reporting, writing, photography, design -- we did it all. So we all feel a real sense of ownership about this section. The photos that Tony and Chase took turned out so well, and they drive the design for the section. I was able to use a variety of large dominant photos and truly give a face to this community that is often overlooked.
We were also all excited to see that our section had been featured on Charles Apple's The Visual Side of Journalism blog. Charles had many complimentary things to say about The Borders Within, and specifically appreciated the visual appeal of the infographics, and the design of the section overall. Reading his post truly made my day, and was ceretianly a highlight after such a hectic week (and weekend) preparing for the section's publication.
And here's a bit more about the section, in Tony's words:
At its most basic, the idea behind the reporting in this section is not new. Like many reporters, we chose to explore an unfamiliar immigrant community and one that struggles with a language barrier.
But we thought we could deliver something meaningful to readers by bringing our curiosity to Waynesboro’s Hispanic community in particular — a community nestled into a small town and one that still remembers the first who came from Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, and elsewhere. They remember because those pioneers arrived not so long ago.
Because of the short time these families have lived here, we find them on the cusp of transition. As that population meets more frequently with the broader community, those unfamiliar words and nameless faces become harder to ignore, or to refuse to understand. Their needs have grown. Their successes are mounting.
We chose to approach in Spanish whenever possible, no matter how much we’d stumble. We focused on people, not politics, and the ordinary as often as the extreme.
This project first arose in fall 2009, but it might not have started without an unsolicited call and a soft threat. The caller told us to feature Kim Romero’s struggle to bring her husband Rigo back from Mexico, where he’d become mired in immigration bureaucracy. If we wouldn’t write the story, some other reporter would, the caller said.
The Romeros’ story turned from one chapter to the next just after midnight Sept. 10, when Rigo came legally into Kim’s arms at Dulles International Airport. We were there. Rigo has since gained residency through 2020.
Their story isn’t over. Nor is our work.
>> Thursday, December 16, 2010
I'm taking a break amid the holiday rush to share a few more custom orders I completed this fall. This photo album was given as a wedding gift by Emma, one of my best customers. (She also ordered this photo album for her cousin, and this journal for a friend.)
Emma is often hands-on with the initial design process for her orders, which I enjoy because it's fun for me to see someone who is as excited about books as I am. She scoured the Paper Mojo website to find this red and gold Japanese paper for the cover. From there, I selected the cream bookcloth for the spine and the gold accents for the endsheets, giving the book an extra-special gleam. And once I had determined that the book needed to be bound with gold thread to complete the elegant look, I couldn't let the idea go until I had found the perfect option.
Emma was very pleased with the way this album turned out, and told me that the couple loved it as well. She even had them open the gift at the end of their wedding reception so they could see it right away. I hope Kathlyn and Leland enjoy filling this book with photos and memories of their married life together.