A photo of Eric Falquero.
Eric Falquero, Photo by Street Sense Media.

I began working as a graphic design intern at Street Sense in June 2010. I worked mostly on marketing materials, especially rebranding the organization. Roughly two weeks before leaving Street Sense to finish the last semester of my degree, we began working on a new layout for this publication.  

I say “we” because this layout was by no means a one-man effort. The former executive director, Abby Strunk, showed me many examples of other street newspapers and gave me a lot of direction, especially with our new logo. She also helped organize a focus group for the logo and layout efforts.  

Volunteers Mandy Toomey, Tracey Ching and Mike Plunkett’s opinions, suggestions and ideas were vital for the final outcome that you see before you.  

Mike Plunkett, a news/features designer at The Washington Post, was especially instrumental in finalizing the design and ensuring all the elements were addressed.  

He continued to look over the design and make suggestions and his own changes. I also worked with editors Mary Otto and Lisa Gillespie to get their insights.  

The entire organization was very patient as I continued to work during the school year.  

This layout offers a cleaner, more organized format with larger type. The hope is that the larger and less-cluttered design will be more accessible, even to those with vision troubles. It will also be easier to navigate by all readers.  

This has been accomplished mainly by building in more space between page elements and through the use of sans-serif type faces, which allows more space around the characters.  

A table of contents was added and the community service index was redesigned to provide more ease of access. Lastly, space for facts related to stories, information on how to get involved and plugs for online-only stories have been added to give readers options of how to become further connected with the mission and vision of Street Sense 

This was an amazing opportunity for me and I hope my work will greatly improve the delivery of the paper’s content, as well as attract more customers for the vendors. I cannot thank everyone involved in the process enough for their help and support. 

Eric Falquero will begin working as a graphic designer in the D.C. Metro area in January 2011.