We know, of course, that Gordon Smith is in Normandy for the D-Day 70th anniversary commemorations. But the picture is full of possibilities - until we look at the inset picture showing the tearful face of a 90-year-old man remembering lost colleagues.
The headline, picture and restrained text show the Mail at its best.
This morning every paper but the Star found a home for the D-Day veterans on the front page. The Mail struck exactly the right tone. The Telegraph, too, showed dignity. It decided not to afford itself the luxury of the entire front page, but it kept the puffs simple and gave its picture and text room to breathe.
Only the Star ignored the occasion altogether, preferring a more conventional style of beachwear for its cover. The Sun and the Express both got in a right muddle as a direct result of the determination to incorporate the D-Day pictures in the usual puff-heavy Friday format. It was understandable with the Sun as it had a good exclusive that was followed up everywhere. There was no excuse for the Express. If you've read one migrants-rip-us-off splash, you've pretty well read them all. The pages are a mess and need tearing up and starting again.
As former colleagues know to their exasperation and despair, SubScribe was a great one for tinkering with pages after they'd gone to press. And so today I've had a bit of fun cutting and pasting these three fronts . You may well think the originals are best...or maybe not...
How would it be if we got rid of the Klaxons pictures, and made Jonah and Gwynnie smaller? If we also lose the blue bubbles it all becomes calmer. Finally, if we put the whole shebang on top of the titlepiece, there is nothing to interfere with the main picture. Or maybe we think it's right that the veterans salute Jonah Hill?
But why stop there? The Times is a tabloid (sorry, compact), the whole paper goes on display at the newsagent's, so who says the puff needs to be at the top? A curtailed version at the bottom gives the page more of an air of solemnity, telling the reader that this is something out of the ordinary, while still selling the property supplement. And if we wanted to balance the page, we could move the main picture across a column.
All of which proves three things:
1: there are many ways to skin a cat
2: that it's vital to think of what the rest of the front is saying when designing a puff
3: you are never too old for a session of cutting and sticking.