This month, the Navy’s elite sea, air and land special operations force — the SEALs — celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The East Coast headquarters of the U.S. Navy is located in Norfolk, Va. And the most famous SEAL team these days — SEAL Team Six — is headquarted at Dam Neck here in Virginia Beach, just a few miles from where I now sit.
So it’s not surprising that the Virginian-Pilot went all-out today with a spectacular double-page poster spread today commemorating the SEALs.
Click for a much, much larger look:
Normally, reversing copy out of a blue/black background like this is not something I’d recommend. Unless you know for sure that your presses can hold it into registration. The copy I received in my driveway today was pristine.
The poster was designed by Luis Vilches, with a little help from presentation director Paul Nelson. Meredith Kruse was the editor on the project.
The poster starts out describing the SEALs’ three-part mission. The section laid into the silhouette at right shows just how elite the SEALS are, even within the Navy itself…
And explains the rigorous, 2.5-year training period SEALS must go through before they deploy.
The meat of the page is a detailed timeline, showing highlights in the history of the SEALs.
Note the little Pilot front page, denoting when SEAL Team Six killed Osama bin Laden last May.
Down the right side of the poster is a listing of SEALs who have received the Medal of Honor. First up was Lt. j.g. Bob Kerrey, who led an important mission in Vietnam — despite being injured — and later was elected to Congress.
Across the very bottom of the page is a listing of the 73 SEALs killed since 9/11. Twenty-three were lost last year alone, by far the biggest year for SEAL fatalities.
The Pilot is also offering the spread as a poster on high-quality paper. The downside: It costs $94. Find it here.
Average daily circulation for the Pilot is 145,785.
Now, about the primary designer on this project…
A 2002 graduate of the Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain, Luis Vilches spent two years as a designer for Madridâ€™s La Gaceta de los Negocios and another year at Que before moving to the Pilot in 2005.
A few samples of his work: