Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

55° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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The Weekly: Diving into design

A team of Northwestern students design The Daily Northwestern’s print paper two nights a week. In this episode of The Weekly, they share their thoughts on the process.

ANITA LI: If you hear the latest episode of The Bachelor coming from a small room on the third floor of Norris, that means The Daily Northwestern’s design team is hard at work.

[The Bachelor sounds / design team commenting on it]

DANNY O’GRADY: The ‘bachelor’ seems a little bit dumb, but he’s endearing and cute about it so we don’t care. There’s a lot of drama, and it’s very entertaining.

ANITA LI: That’s Weinberg sophomore Danny O’Grady. He’s the creative director of The Daily. O’Grady and two design editors are in charge of putting together the eight- to 16-page newspaper twice a week.

[sound of typing and mouse clicks]

DANNY O’GRADY: My favorite part? It’s when you get really like locked in, it’s like really fun, ‘cause you’re just solving all these issues as they come up and you just feel really good about yourself because you’re fitting everything in a really good way.

[music fade in]

ANITA LI: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Anita Li. This is The Weekly: a podcast that takes you beyond the headlines. This week, we’re looking at the people that put the “paper” in “newspaper”: our design team.

[music fade out]

ANITA LI: Medill sophomore Bettina Sánchez Córdova is one of the design team’s co-editors. She fell in love with visual storytelling working for her high school magazine.

BETTINA SÁNCHEZ CÓRDOVA: I feel like you can say a lot without actually having to include words, but I also think for The Daily design desk, if it’s not visually appealing you won’t have people read what’s on the page, and we have great reporters telling amazing stories, but if no one’s picking up the print paper, then they’re never gonna read it.

[sound of newspaper pages flipping]

ANITA LI: The journey begins at 6 p.m. every Sunday and Wednesday –– the night before the paper is published. First, the editorial board determines the stories going on each page. Then, after the stories go through their usual rounds of edits, the design team puts them into Adobe InDesign, the application The Daily uses to design its newspaper pages.

Waiting for the stories to come through, though, can mean some pretty late nights.

ANITA LI: What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed?

DANNY O’GRADY: Three-thirty. We just made a lot of mistakes. We lost a bunch of our progress so we had to redo some pages. It was like twice the length of a normal paper because we had to do an ASG spread and a Gameday spread. It was famously like, probably like the worst print paper we’ve done this design regime, but we got through it and now we’re doing better. And it was also one of the first nights of the quarter so we also weren’t that experienced yet.

ANITA LI: Despite the trials and tribulations, Weinberg junior and design staffer Jamie Kim says it’s a supportive environment.

JAMIE KIM: It’s not just you alone at your computer and you have to figure it all out by yourself. Design is really a team effort, and I think it’s great because I’ve been able to turn to other people on the team for advice and ask them questions, and I think I’ve learned so much from being a part of design, and so I think design is really a collaborative effort.

ANITA LI: With one final look from the Editor in Chief, the paper is rolling off the presses.

[music fade in]

ANITA LI: From The Daily Northwestern, I’m Anita Li. Thanks for listening to another episode of The Weekly. This episode was reported and produced by me. The audio editor of The Daily Northwestern is Anita Li, the digital managing editors are Ashley Lee and Micah Sandy, and the editor in chief is Avani Kalra. Make sure to subscribe to The Daily Northwestern’s podcasts on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or SoundCloud to hear more episodes like this.
[music fade out]

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @lifeisfab02

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