The 25 most moving 9/11/11 front pages use type, color, photos, illustration to evoke memories

September 12, 2011
Category: Newsletters

Just when I had started to give up on the staying power of Sunday papers, on Sept. 11, 2011, their front pages unsettled and resettled me. From Alabama to Hawaii, they evoked powerful, mixed emotions — desperation and determination; hatred and hope. These newspapers reminded America of who we were on Sept. 11, 2001, who we are today, and who we ache to become.

By using type, color, photos and illustration, these 25 front pages convey the power of deliberative design. By using tower imagery, illustration, flags and iconic photos, they carry the power of the moment.

All front pages appear courtesy of the Newseum; some have been cropped to remove ads.

Front pages that used tower imagery

The Daily News in Los Angeles, Calif. used a photos of the twin towers before Sept. 11, 2001. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., used red white and blue to symbolize patriotism 10 years later. (Courtesy: Newseum)
This Westchester County, N.Y., newspaper used a mirror image and reverse color to reflect the anniversary. (Courtesy: Newseum)
Based in Lisbon, Portugal, Público showed a break in the buildings, reminiscent of the planes slashing them on Sept. 11, 2001. (Courtesy: Newseum) [CORRECTION: This caption originally misidentified the location of Público.]
The Greensboro, N.C., News & Record used candles to evoke the memory of the towers. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Seattle Times photographed a sculpture created by a local artist in 2002, with medallions showing the victims’ names. (Courtesy: Newseum)
This Brownsville, Texas paper commemorated victims’ names with a shadow of the towers darkening the cover. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat & Chronicle was one of several papers that used readers’ words to form the towers. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Idaho Statesman used memories to form the towers. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Sioux City (Iowa) Journal used word clouds to form the towers. (Courtesy: Newseum)
This N.C. paper used two columns to form the towers. (Courtesy: Newseum)

Front pages that used illustrations

The Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal used minimal text and illustration to honor the 10th anniversary of the attacks. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Courier News in Bridgewater, N.J. — along with the Asbury Park Press and several Jersey papers — used an illustration of the memorial pools at the World Trade Center site. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The silhouette published on the front page of this Brazilian newspaper captures the emptiness left behind by the attacks in Lower Manhattan. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Virginian-Pilot used lines to connect the past and the present, the before and the after. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Des Moines Register superimposed the burning towers on a tearful eye. (Courtesy: Newseum)

Front pages that used flags

This Anniston, Ala., newspaper was one of many to use the American flag. In this front page, the bars nestle the towers. (Courtesy: Newseum)
This Honolulu, Hawaii front page showed respect through crossed hands holding a flag. (Courtesy: Newseum)
In Hot Springs, Ark., the front page shows a field of flags created by a high school.  (Courtesy: Newseum)
One of the largest American flags to fly above Ground Zero made a stop in Portsmouth, N.H., where it was symbolically stitched together. (Courtesy: Newseum)

Front pages that used iconic photography

This Fairbanks, Alaska newspaper featured a photo from Sept. 11, just after both planes had crashed into the World Trade Center towers. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Toronto Star in Canada partnered with The New York Times for its coverage, using a photo from Sept. 11 of people covered with debris. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The Chicago Sun-Times was one of the few papers to turn its front page black. (Courtesy: Newseum)
This photo on the front page of the Memphis, Tenn. paper was taken in 2001 by a New Jersey photojournalist at Ground Zero, who still hears from firefighters about it. (Courtesy: Newseum)
This Fall River, Mass., paper used a photo that also appeared on other front pages, taken on a previous anniversary of the attacks. (Courtesy: Newseum)
The new 1 World Trade Center building is made patriotic, lit with our national colors. (Courtesy: Newseum)

For a decade’s worth of front pages from Sept. 11, through the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to Osama bin Laden’s death, click here.

CORRECTION:A previous version of this story included a caption for Público that misidentified the newspaper’s location.


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