‘Father of Modern Newspaper Design’ Edmund Arnold Dies at 93


Edmund Arnold, a journalist whose ideas about design altered the appearance of newspapers, has died at age 93.

Arnold, a resident of Brandon Oaks Retirement Community for 10 years, died Feb. 2 at a hospital, his son, Bruce Arnold, said Thursday.

A native of Bay City, Mich., Arnold began his newspaper career at the Frankenmuth News. He also worked for newspapers in Saginaw and Lansing before moving to New York City in 1954 to become editor of the Linotype News, where he was able to share his design ideas.

He believed that the newspapers with narrow columns and headlines in all capital letters were boring and difficult to read, Bruce Arnold said.
Arnold worked with hundreds of newspapers on their design, and conducted workshops in every U.S. state as well as in Canada, Latin America and Europe.

Known in the field as the “father of modern newspaper design,” Arnold received the George Polk Memorial Award in 1957 for his contributions to typography.

He became a professor at Syracuse University in 1960. When he found a need for a textbook in graphic design, he wrote one that became the standard introduction to graphic art, according to his daughter, Kathleen Loomis.

In all, Arnold wrote 27 books on typography, graphic arts and organizational publications, as well as regular columns for professional journals.

He became a professor and head of the graphic arts department at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1975. He retired in 1983, but continued to work as a consultant to publications.

Arnold was named to the Journalism Halls of Fame in Michigan and Virginia, and the Society for News Design gave him a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Viola, three children and five grandchildren.

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