Visual Editor Patrick Kirchner is a self-professed “total design nerd.” His job (and his passion) is using smart design to simplify ideas, stories and information.
Kirchner designs layouts for LNP in ways that make news, photos and concepts more approachable and more understandable. Sometimes you’ll notice his work; sometimes you won’t. And that’s as it should be, he says. Part of his job is knowing when to take a risk and push the boundaries of design and when to stick with the simple and familiar.
“We want readers to notice when there’s a special event, like a new president or a big snowstorm,” Kirchner says. “You want to deliver something that’s unexpected, but also clear.”
After the November election, that meant creating a full-page photo of then President-elect Trump with bold reversed type – 124 point Gotham Condensed, for any fellow font nerds out there. For the last big snowstorm, it was an eye-catching 20-block grid that embedded the headline within a series of snow-scene photos.
In addition to LNP’s front page, Kirchner also occasionally designs Sunday’s Perspective section, and he’s been at the design helm of The Caucus, the new weekly newspaper published by LNP Media Group that acts as a watchdog of state government.
“That is a format where we can take risks,” Kirchner says of The Caucus, which is known for meaty investigative pieces. “That’s been a really fun design challenge.”
However, Kirchner realizes that the less noticeable parts of his job have just as much impact on the reader experience — such as things like knowing which news is most important, and creating a clean and uncluttered layout that allows the photos to jump off the page. “On a day-to-day basis,” Kirchner says, “good news media design is almost invisible.”
Contact Patrick Kirchner and share your thoughts: pkirchner@LNPnews.com