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If a pig poops near a river, does anyone notice?

If a pig poops near a river, does anyone notice?

In this week’s Times, David Ramsey investigates a hog farm in Mt. Judea. The farm is close to a creek that runs into the beautiful Buffalo River. Some folks are afraid that the nastiness from the pig farm may wind up in the creek and float on down into the river.

The farmers contend that they have done everything they have been required to do by the law. They also note that they didn’t just build the pig farm overnight. They say people had to have known the farm was coming, but waited to make a stink about it.

Definitely an interesting story from both sides. I also feel like it’s sort of a quintessential Arkansas issue. Agriculture and beautiful nature are two big things in Arkansas, but sometimes they don’t mix well. And here’s the result.

Read David’s story here.

For the cover, we opted for a shot of nature, a shot of a pig and a shot of something in the Mt. Judea community. Sort of covers all the bases.

The pig is not an actual Mt. Judea pig. We weren’t allowed inside the farm to shoot photos (even though we had been told we would be allowed inside). So, this is sort of my best guess on what a Mt. Judea pig may look like. Oddly, I have a feeling it’s pretty spot on. They may not be pink, but pigs are pigs. And either way, it’s recognizable as a pig. I think folks will get it.

In other design talk, I’m glad we had some room to let the story breath a little. It was a long one, and there are times when we just sort of have to cram them in. Not so this week. Nothing just overwhelmingly stellar about the inside pages, but I liked the nice clean layout we were able to give the story. The first two spreads are below.



Another interesting design element in this week’s issue, that I didn’t have anything to do with, is the Stamp Out Smoking ads that appear throughout the issue.

You may notice the one on the cover. Well, there are 10 more pages inside full of similar ads. They basically did the print equivalent of a website homepage ad takeover. I’ve seen this more and more on websites, where one advertiser takes every ad spot on a particular page (usually the homepage) for a day. The Times has done it a few times. Definitely a way to get a bang for your advertising buck.

Below is an example of a spread the SOS ran in this week’s issue.

Screen Shot 2013-08-14 at 10.18.56 AM

I wish more advertisers were willing to do some out-of-the-box things like this. I feel like ads often get overlooked. This is one way to make sure they don’t.

By the way, they did takeover the homepage today also.

Screen Shot 2013-08-15 at 2.32.57 PM

Check out the virtual issue of the Times here to take a look at the full set of ads and, of course, some more great reporting from our staff.