The Messenger

This is where my path toward design started in earnest and I have two women to thank: Ms. Bennett, she taught math and loved the potential of computers, and Mrs. McKinney, the English teacher who oversaw the school newspaper. It was my senior year of high school. 1990.

They were able to get a grant to buy a single Macintosh, a copy of QuarkXPress and a laser printer. It was housed in a converted janitor’s closet outside the gymnasium.

The school still produced the paper through traditional screen printing methods using rubylith masking to allow for the fancy two-color potential. We pushed those boundaries beyond rectangles and threw hits of red in layouts whenever possible.

My co-editor was Heather. We split the title to diffuse responsibility and distribute the blame when we broached a hot topic—which we attempted to do Every. Single. Issue… We tackled animal rights, climate change, sexual health and emerging information on AIDS, and we made note as editors when school policy did not support the student body. (We were called into Principal Frye’s office more than once.)

We poured our hearts into every issue and every detail. (Sometimes because we were serving detention, that’s another story.)

I fell in love with MacPaint. The Crimes of the Heart cover shows my experimentation with custom type.

I’d zoom way in and make checkerboard patterns pixel by pixel to achieve tonal scales and push our two inks for spot illustrations.

Our stories spanned the gamut from trying to vapid—but we kept at it. Mrs. McKinney held our feet and standards to the fire while Judy Bennett delighted in solving the technical challenges as we pushed the machine and ourselves.

When you find good teachers? Your life changes forever.

High School Newspaper covers from the 1990's
A few covers that showcase a bit of illustration and fancy text wrapping in 1990.

We loved our music teacher and choral director, Mr. Kick. I was so nervous when this issue came out with a caricature of his trademarked raised brow. I like to think he liked this rendition, but he would never let on.

The Messenger newspaper cover page
More fancy text wrapping.
B-52's Cosmic Thing review
The B-52’s review by Heather on page 16.
An article about vegetarians

Ill close out with this SPRING BREAK spread, chock full of halftones and questionable typography.

Spring Break high school paper article