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Steve Brodner
My Memorial Day
posted:
It was a happy Memorial Day for me as I was privileged to shine a light on one of the first: a ceremony held by former slaves on a site known as the Racecourse in Charleston SC in May, 1865 for The Los Angeles Times. Here are the elements of how the project evolved.
1-The research, done by myself . . . and the pitch to the Times. That almost always involves sketching. My first layout sketch, as usual, has too much information (and poor design.) 
2-Thanks to my wonderful editor Susan Brennemen, we summarized the first half to concentrate on the deeply moving story about the Racecourse. The order and design now was the challenge. 
3- In this next sketch you see the model sheet I used as a working design.
4-Then came making the elements and putting them into composition. You develop a sixth sense about how much text the design will hold. I draw the capital letters and set the type in a hand-made typeface (Brodner Bold).
5-Every day brings more decisions (usually made by trial and error) until everything works (dammit!). Finally, hours before it runs, fact checking calls, of course, with lists of all my crimes of grammar and style. These get hammered out, usually with one eye fast asleep and my bags packed for a weekend in the country.
6-The piece ran on Sunday. Photo in LA by Sarah Catania. Grateful to all involved. Remembering these unbelievably brave soldiers of the Grand Army of the Republic and the amazing free men, women and children of Charleston. And everywhere.


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