The recent Best of the West journalism contest honored several alt-weeklies, including the Houston Press, Phoenix New Times, SF Weekly and Denver's Westword, which each picked up first-place honors.
The Society of Publication Designers takes a look at the work being done at the Observer by art director Alexander Flores, who says he does almost all of the cover work himself. The SPD highlights a collection of Flores' covers that are quite diverse; the art director says that's intentional. "I try look at the paper as a collective volume; I try to not design similar-looking covers in tone, color palette, style, etc. in consecutive weeks," he says. "I want to make sure that the readers notice the new issue on the stand and pick that one up too, instead of not, because from 10 feet away it looks like last week's issue which they already grabbed."