Washington City Paper Feature
Washington City Paper Feature
By jasonfhatcher on Dec 10, 2008
Sakhi Gulestan stood each day at Dupont Circle in the DIstrict of Columbia and simply fed the pigeons. He also sold umbrellas and various wares to passersby. He\'d get up each morning at 5:00 a.m. and collect old bread and bagels from local restaurants to turn into crumbs for his many pet birds. To D.C. residents, Sakhi became an icon of the business district. He was always kind and friendly to the businessmen and tourists that hurried by in a blur. Originally from Afghanistan, Sakhi lived a tough life both in his former homeland and the United States. But if you were to ask anyone their thoughts on the Birdman of Dupont Circle. Most would say he was a kind and gentle soul. This editorial feature was a dedication to a small man in a big world who upon his death touched more people\'s lives than anyone realized. When I was assigned the project I wanted to be sure to handle it with care and not to step upon the power of the beautiful photos that were captured by Peter Muller. The importance of this layout is to highlight the importance of the photography itself. Part photo essay and part written narrative, this layout has always been one of my favorites. To many people this design may just look like some simple display, but a lot of thought and time actually went into its creation. And the stunning photos along with the sad but brave story it tells has made it stick with me for quite some time.
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Washington City Paper Feature
Washington City Paper Feature
By jasonfhatcher on Dec 10, 2008
The secondary spread of the Sakhi Gulestan Obituary Feature delivers the soul of the story after leading from the stunning close-up shot of Sukhi on the two pages before. These sort of hybrid photo essay layouts are quite difficult. One, the artist must manage and cascade a large amount of photography in a logical order so that it flows with the story that is being told. And two, the artist must find a way to mix horizontal and vertical photography in the determined order of the narrative but also find a way to make the puzzle of pictures interesting yet orderly. One anchoring seam within such types of layout is a constant thread of white space that needles its way between each photo and each paragraph of copy to eventually create a clean pattern of its own. From my earliest days in graphic design, way before the era of desktop publishing, I was taught to squint my eyes in order to see the boundaries of a layout. Therefore when squinting or just standing from a reasonable distance, the viewer will see a overall pattern that is appealing to the eye. And once in focus, the viewer will see the flesh of the article and story at hand. It\'s this sort of duality I balance when creating layouts heavy with important photography.
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