Before my senior year, I knew close to nothing about design – particularly newsmagazine design. The senior class in the media program at my school last year was amazing at literally everything. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always easy for them to get straight to work and make time to teach myself and others how to do the same when they left at the end of the year.

That being said, this year has been a learning process for me. There were things I got right the first time, things I got okay and things I needed two or three shots at to perfect. I’ve looked a lot to other professional pieces of work for inspiration, which has made me a more creative person and allowed for a lot of the spreads in our publication, the Eagle Eye, to turn out beautifully.

EP!C! Photos

The EP!C! Photos section of our newsmagazine is one great example of my development as a designer.

Published: Eagle Eye. Volume 15, Issue 1. Pages 4 & 5. October 2015.

The first issue, I didn’t consider content enough when putting the page together – I thought only about the photos, not the story behind them.

Published: Eagle Eye. Volume 15, Issue 2. Pages 4 & 5. November 2015.

Next issue, taking that into account, I changed things up a bit and allowed room for a caption box. The issue that prevailed with this particular design, in my opinion, was the way the triangles (which I incorporated to tie the newsmagazine and the yearbook together) degraded the quality of some of the photos.

Published: Eagle Eye. Volume 15, Issue 3. Pages 4 & 5. December 2015.

My third go-around designing the EP!C! Photos pages, I feel like I nailed it down pretty well. The spread was created to fit the photos, not the other way around, and the column caption box was placed in a way that it separated the photos from being too overwhelming. The box around the main photo allowed for the subject of the photos to pop, drawing in the reader’s eye.


A lot of my feature designs have been pulled from ideas snagged out of professional publications such as The Competitor, 5280 and TIME. 

Published: Eagle Eye. Volume 15, Issue 4. Page 23. February 2015.

Leading up to the fourth issue of the Eagle Eye, we had been using only longer features that I felt that majority of our audience didn’t take too much interest in reading. For the “We Are Caring” issue of the newsmagazine, I thought it would be best suited to ask people about their cause and they work that they do in shorter, question-and-answer style features.

This design was largely inspired by 5280’s interview issue. The biggest difference is that this feature utilized a lot more visuals than most of 5280’s did.


Designing for opinions and editorials is a prime example of when I've had to ensure the design was created specifically to fit the content after it was gathered.

Published: Eagle Eye. Volume 15, Issue 3. Pages 10 & 11. December 2015.

The first thing I considered when I set out to design this page was the visual and emotional appeal it could hold.

On the left, with the soldier silhouette and American flag backdrop, Christian Holton wrote an opinion peace on why Syrian refugees should not be granted access into the United States. To match the tone and message, the soldier is presented standing guard in front of the American flag, which is waving in the background.

On the right is my piece on why we should allow Syrian refugees into the country. I added the doves to the barbed wire and the presumable father-daughter duo walking away to show the inaccuracy of America’s claim to be a land of freedom.

Published: Eagle Eye. Volume 15, Issue 4. Pages 10 & 11. February 2015.

I created our spread on gun rights by considering the extremity both of our arguments carried to some. 

By altering the font and background color, it presented how we each tried to make the complex situation a black-and-white issue. 

Cover Design

I’m a strong believer in keeping it simple. I’m also all about putting an actual person on the cover. This cover from the Wish Week issue of the Eagle Eye was a photo we got of our wish kid, Marlee. Marlee was also the main feature of the newsmagazine. The title text is the color pulled from Marlee’s lips (weird as that may sound) and the fonts are the same as the ones used throughout the rest of the issue.

Published: Eagle Eye. Volume 15, Issue 4. Page 1. February 2015.

The basic template for the newsmagazine covers has remained the same since the second issue when I laid it out. The only thing different each and every issue is picking the photo or the graphic and placing the rest of the content where it best fits. This photo naturally framed Marlee’s face, so not much had to be done on the design side of things except making sure everything stayed out of the way of the photo.