9/11 Newspaper headlines:
design and typography

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

Newspaper headline Boston Globe 9/11 2001

The Boston Globe, Boston, MA “New day of infamy”

Newspaper headline The Des Moines Register 9/11 2001

The Des Moines Register, Des Moines, IA “TERROR”

Newspaper headline Florida Times-Union 9/11 2001

The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville, FL “TERROR”

Newspaper headline The Herald-Times september 11 2001

The Herald-Times, Bloomington, IN “ATTACK”

Newspaper headline The Indianapolis Star 9/11 2001

The Indianapolis Star, IN “TERROR”

Newspaper headline The San Francisco Chronicle 9/11 2001

The San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA “U.S. UNDER ATTACK”

Newspaper headline The Seattle Times 9/11 2001

The Seattle Times, Seatle, WA “TERROR”

Newspaper headline The Washington Post 9/11 2001

The Washington Post, Washington, DC “Terror Hits Pentagon, World Trade Center”

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!”

Until the late 1940s newspapers were the primary method of delivering the news. In addition to normal daily papers Extra’s were published when something big happened. These were sold on the street by newsboys.

Today (as well as in 2001) radio, television and internet have become the primary methods of delivering the news. Extra’s are only printed in case of major unexpected events. 9/11 was such a major news event. The first jet flew into the Twin Towers at 8:46 a.m, which gave newspapers enough time to issue Extra’s.

9/11 Newspaper headlines

The images above are from newspaper Extra’s published on september 11, 2001, the images below from september 12. It’s an experiment. I was just curious how each newspaper brought the news that day. How big their headlines were in comparison to the size of the pages. How objective the content would be.

I expected to find huge headlines that would cover the entire page. Instead, most newspaper decided to use large images to tell the story. Their headlines are not very descriptive though. Most newspapers assumed readers already knew what the story was about, hence the “TERROR” and “ATTACK” headlines.

The Wall Street Journal did a better job at informing their readers. The newspaper published their first 6-column-wide headline since the attack on Pearl Harbor, which read:“TERRORISTS DESTROY WORLD TRADE CENTER, HIT PENTAGON IN RAID WITH HIJACKED JETS.”

The Examiner was critized for using “BASTARDS!” on their front page.
Ten years later other newspapers did the same thing, when covering the news of Bin Laden’s death, like the Daily News: “ROT IN HELL!” and the New York Post:
“GOT HIM! Vengeance at last! US nails the bastard”

Related: “Is this really necessary? Or is this New York Daily News cover just a ploy to get a few more customers?” Steve Heller discusses the New York Daily News “screamer” headline that, according to him “is guaranteed to telegraph and instill terror:” “9/11 TERROR THREAT – N.Y.C. & D.C. in cross hairs of ‘car bomb plot’”

Newspaper headline The Baltimore Sun 9/12 2001

The Sun, Baltimore, MD “DEVASTATION”

Newspaper headline The Boston Globe 9/12 2001

The Boston Globe, Boston, MA “New day of infamy”

Newspaper headline The Charlotte Observer 9/12 2001

The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, N.C. “ATTACK ON AMERICA”

Newspaper headline Chicago Tribune 9/12 2001

Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL “‘Our nation saw evil’”

Newspaper headline Daily News 9/12 2001

Daily News, New York, NY “IT’S WAR”

Newspaper headline The Dallas Morning News 9/12 2001

The Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX “War at home”

Newspaper headline The Dayton Daily News 9/12 2001

Dayton Daily News, Dayton, OH “U.S. UNDER ATTACK”

Newspaper headline The Denver Post 9/12 2001

The Denver Post, Denver, CO “Darkest hour”

Newspaper headline Detroit Free Press 9/12 2001

Detroit Free Press, Detroit, MI “AMERICA’S DARKEST DAY”

Newspaper headline Hartford Courant 9/12 2001

Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT “ACT OF WAR”

Newspaper headline The Herald-Dispatch 9/12 2001

The Herald-Dispatch, Huntington, WV “TERROR’S TOLL”

Newspaper headline Idaho Statesman 9/12 2001

Idaho Statesman, Boise, ID “ATTACKED”

Newspaper headline The Indianapolis Star 9/12 2001

The Indianapolis Star, IN “TERROR”

Newspaper headline Los Angeles Times 9/12 2001


Newspaper headline The Miami Herald 9/12 2001

The Miami Herald, Miami, FL “‘EVIL ACTS’”

Newspaper headline The New York Post 9/12 2001

The New York Post, New York, NY “ACT OF WAR”

Newspaper headline Richmond Times-Dispatch 9/12 2001

Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, VA “AMERICA’S DARKEST DAY”

Newspaper headline The San Diego Union-Tribune 9/12 2001

The San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego, CA “NATION IN ANGUISH”

Newspaper headline San Francisco Examiner 9/12 2001

San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco, CA “BASTARDS!”

Newspaper headline The Wall Street Journal 9/12 2001


Newspaper headline The Washington Post 9/12 2001

The Washington Post, Washington, DC “Terrorists Hijack 4 Airliners, Destroy World Trade Center, Hit Pentagon; Hundreds Dead”

  1. Jonathan says:

    P R O P A G A N D A !

  2. Andrew says:

    Great post – I like the isolation of the masthead and headline from the other visual material on these pages. The ratio of type sizes is fairly telling.