On Referendum Day I asked folk what their favourite front pages had been from during the Scottish independence referendum, from pride in their work to ones they simply admired for design or content.
Unexpectedly, the question was thrown right back at me by Editors behind the titles.
So in the spirit of celebrating the rarely praised artists, subs and picture desks who light up our newspaper stands each morning with brilliantly drawn pages and headlines, here are the eight that – for my editorial taste at least – proved truly great.
Edinburgh Evening News: Their future, In your hands
I consider this the outstanding splash of the campaign, not least because as an evening paper, it was also one of the last. It encapsulated the mood of the day, an evocative image thrusting thoughts of family to the fore, engaging with readers on a level everyone could share.
Sunday Herald: Now is the time …. you are the generation
Creative, inclusive, community driven and cultural this demonstrated an inventive approach to not just journalism, but issuing a rallying statement of intent in print and online. As the lone newspaper supporter of Yes Scotland, it gave ‘selfie’ readers a stylish voice and a chance to become a part of the movement. Pure class.
The Herald: Scotland says No but changes UK for good
Not only did the editorial team execute swift work to bring out a special edition, they did so with the photograph that signalled the sub-text to the headline read. The image of Alex Salmond, deflated, was a precursor to what we all learned shortly after 4pm. That his war was over, he would resign, and politics would never be the same again.
Scotland on Sunday: Salmond rejects calls for Plan B on currency
It’s the photograph of Jim Murphy MP out on the stump with a voter by John Devlin that readily draws a smile across your face just looking at this composition as he wooed voters with what SoS called a ‘Charm Offensive’. It summed up what in many ways the campaign was really about, the people who make Scotland.
Daily Record: No Thanks & Yes We Can
Of all the Scottish Press, the Daily Record perhaps faced the toughest challenge of all in trying to balance the mood of a readership and staff weaned for years on a diet of unreciprocated Labour support over the years, but considering the nationalists as a real option. By doing these two special editions not only did it manage to display extraordinary fairness to each side, it ensured readers were presented with both arguments with which to make up their minds. It was, simply, genius.
Edinburgh Evening News: Scotland Votes No & End Of A Dream
My hometown paper ended the most important 24 hours in Scottish political history the way it started, with two stonking front pages bursting with imagery from the capital and a simple, thought provoking sentiment. Both were finely balanced, respectful and brilliantly executed demonstrating again a team at the very top of its game.