Good example of labeling

The Virginian Pilot, the local newspaper in Virginia Beach, VA, has a good graphic design department. I have always liked their maps and this Sunday's edition had another fine example detailing the changes on Witchduck Rd. One element of their design program I really like is how points of interest are labeled using a modified balloon -- a simple pin shape with the label text below. All the points of interest clearly labeled and aligned at the edge of the map and the connections acute triangular shape does not interfere with the map's content.

Does anyone have pointers to specific services or tools for cleaning up newspaper scans? It just seems that the page color can be subtracted without touching the printed image.

1 comment:

Charles Apple said...

Greetings, Andrew!

I can't tell you how much your kinds words made my day. For four years, I was the graphics director of The Virginian-Pilot.

In a round of newsroom cuts, the Pilot eliminated my position on Jan. 2. I'm still working there as an artist. But the department now consists of three artists. Previously, it had consisted of four artists plus the director -- me -- and I created a lot of artwork even as a manager.

So naturally, your post perks up my spirits quite a bit!

The particular map you cite was created by John Earle. Some last-minute edits were made on John's day off by Bob Voros. Each of those guys have worked at the Pilot more than 15 years and each are a big, big part of the look and feel of the Pilot's maps and charts and illustrations.

I maintain a blog for the entire news design community. Check it out here:

To answer your question, the best way to remove the paper texture from a scan is to open the scan in Photoshop -- or whatever image-altering software you're using -- and fiddle with the contrast and brightness tools. Increase the brightness enough and the paper will turn completely white, or invisible. You'll lose the lighter details of the printed work, but by increasing the contrast, you can gain most of that back.

It'll take quite of bit of practice for you to get the hang of it. But that's how we used to do it in the old days.

Now, of course, we just open whatever document and save it as a jpeg or a pdf. When I'm posting a graphic from another newspaper, I'll simply e-mail them and ask for a copy of the graphic. If they think you're going to heap praise on them, they'll nearly always honor your request.

Thanks again! :)