Women’s World Cup Final — Preview

16 07 2011

When the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup in 1999, I was a sophomore in high school. I take that back, I had just finished my sophomore year so technically, I was a junior. Doesn’t matter. In 1999, the Daily Journal didn’t exist either. So now that we’re in this together, I decided to make something to mark the occasion. Sure, not as many people follow the female sport as they do the male, BUT that doesn’t mean it’s not big news. So, how to commemorate this occasion you ask? With an infographic of course (cue: “The Final Countdown” music). Click for a larger view.

Yeah. I know. It is nice. **Smiles** Not that my other stuff isn’t nice, it’s just that I have found that having the resources of the Editorial department, mainly access to the Reuters photo-base/archive, is awesome. That’s where the Abby Wambach picture comes into play. After that, it was on like Donkey Kong. Let me snap a photo of the original sketch, which I made on Thursday. One second please … there.

So, as you can see, my original plan was to go with something anchored on the right. But there was no dramatic U.S. Women’s photo that would work. And I kind of fell in love with the Wambach photo. So after a slight change in plans, we went to work. My favorite part of the graphic is the soccer field with the tactical stuff. I had a discussion with my Editor In Chief, Jon Mays, who happens to be a pretty big women’s soccer fan, about what we felt would be the key to the game. I took that conversation and converted into a graphic element.

After a couple hours of work, I started worrying about the space. For the most part, unless they’re full page monsters, I pretty much build these things blind (vertically). My initial thought was to go 11 inches down. But I knew that was pushing it with the way the ads are usually set up. After negotiating, I was given nine. Boo. But after showing the initial set-up to Jon and Sports Editor Nathan Mollat, they agreed that I should build it and plan to put it on the front page of Sports. And then Jon requested a banner teasing the graphic for page A1. So, from nine inches, we went to 13.5 and a Sports front. Cool. Very cool. Here’s what it looks like with the AP wire story placed at the bottom of the graphic. Clicky-click for a larger view.

Yeah. I liked it. It came together quite nicely if I say so myself. Usually, I don’t even like to say so. But today, I’ll say so. The hardest part of the graphic? Take a look at the top left — there was that dead space behind Wambach that I battled with filling for a long time. The two-star thing came to me Thursday night, fiddling around, watching Oprah interview Rob Lowe. Yup. The stars go nicely with the uniform. I’m a genius (on Friday mornings, while watching Oprah). Oh, the front page teaser/banner thing — here it is. Click for a larger view. I will say, it is a bit of a risk with the type, but I found some nice photos and I wanted them to shine through.

This was fun. Good luck to the Women’s team. I’ll be watching. Still don’t know where though.

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