2013 Giants Opening Day —

2 04 2013

The World Champion San Francisco Giants opened up their 2013 season with a 4-0 loss to the Dodgers. I hate the Dodgers. Anyways, AT&T Park opened its gates for those of us willing to play hookie on Monday and come watch the game on the jumbotron. I went. It was awesome. A reported 15,000 people were there — it’s a number I don’t totally believe. But still, it was great to be out at the ballpark.

But before all that could be done, there was the San Francisco Giants 2013 Opening Day guide to stress over. And boy, did I stress. Mostly, because, it was very-much a last minute deal. And the savior in all this was my friend, April Vallero. Here, check out the cover (click for a larger view):

Opening Day Cover

I had discussed with April about helping me with the section this year after seeing some of her sketches on Facebook. I really liked the style — it’s simple, but done with great style. And it’s definitely not anything we’ve done with the Daily Journal Sports section before. I don’t think she’ll mind me showing you some of her other awesome work.

April Vallero

I called her on Thursday afternoon and gave her this idea, something to the degree of, “it’s the Giants against the big, bad, money feeding monster that is the Dodgers.”

To say that April and I were on the same page visually would be an understatement. Shortly after our chat, she sent over some sketches … and I knew we had something cooking for sure. All smiles. I swear it.

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After seeing how much ass the cover would kick, I got to saving space for Monday’s edition of the Journal, and figuring out what I could build to complement what would be a kick ass cover. I always think and say I’m the kind of page designer that likes to challenge myself to try different things and build better infographics. But, the truth is, TIME is a bitch. It kills a lot of great ideas because the details in these things take TIME. And TIME we did not have. We literally worked around the clock and come out with this (click for a larger view):

Opening Day double

First, the size. It’s a 10 column (20 inches) by 10 inch graphic that I didn’t want to build as a full-on double truck for the sakes of extra work from having to move advertisements around. In the Daily Journal, this graphic split right down the middle — and it was built as two separate pages. It just turns out that, when combined, it looks pretty cool as one solid piece.

Second, some of these elements are recycled from previous guides. The calendars are a must. Readers love those. The jerseys are from last year’s guide, only with an off-white color to them this year to switch things up a bit. The cutout of AT&T Park returns.

But, third(ly), I did a handful of new things. I brought the field out for the Giants portion of the graphic. Once I did that, I added the “rankings •••••” bar under the mug shots. I thought it was an interesting way of saying a lot about a player without a single word. I stayed with that ••••• theme for the teams in both the NL and AL Wests. And then I took it a step further with “Defending World Series” bit. Being that it was pretty much my first time trying to do that, I liked the outcome.

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