Creative director’s work recognized

For the past 26 years, I have had the pleasure of working with a skilled graphic journalist. And for many of those she has been garnering not only the appreciation of you for her visual storytelling, but also her peers in the industry.

The editorial staff at The Western Producer belong to several professional associations. Two of them have North America-wide memberships from the agricultural media. When we compete inside those groups for accolades it gives us the ability to measure ourselves against the best in the industry and provides us with a sense of what kind of a job we are doing for you.

Michelle Houlden, our creative director, has won many awards over the years and 2019’s haul once again makes us proud of her efforts.

During the American Agriculture Editors’ Association meetings in Minneapolis last month, she stacked up seven more awards.

For Opening Page Design for our feature, The Fault with Salt, she took first place honours. In the category for Two-Plus Page Design, Michelle also placed first for our Faking it / The great honey robbery feature about counterfeit honey in Canada.

Another first place was awarded to her for our annual 52nd issue of the paper, it comes out at Christmas, The Innovation Issue. That was Overall Design for a special issue. It was all about technology use in agriculture.

Another win was the first place award was for Chart and Graph Material. Michelle illustrated a myth-busting set of charts, this time they were mine — so I am especially happy for her win — showing you where Americans pay more for our supply-managed products than Canadians do. It showed that dairy products and eggs often, and in some cases, such as butter, always pay more than we do here. Chicken did cost more in nearly every case. Houlden illustrated that in a front-page chart that was very easy to read.

In that category, she also placed second for Canadian farmland value-rising graphic. She took third for Overall Magazine Design and another third for Single-Page Editorial Design, for “Fake Calamari,” in which she morphed a pig into a squid in a very convincing manner, illustrating food forgeries.

Houlden’s efforts often go unrecognized here. Our professional staff produce such great works every week that sometimes great quality becomes so common that we forget to acknowledge it.

It’s nice to pause once in a while say “great stuff.”

Great stuff, Michelle.

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