Posted May 10, 2016

Bringing newsprint to life

Kevin Sprouls, TYL ’77, is responsible for introducing the iconic illustrations that adorn the pages of The Wall Street Journal.

Video Production: Gina Benigno
When Kevin Sprouls, TYL ’77, began drawing faces for The Wall Street Journal in 1979, he also changed the face of the entire publication: Decades later, the portrait illustrations he pioneered remain a hallmark of the newspaper.

Sprouls introduced his detailed drawing style—using dots and lines to resemble an engraving, reminiscent of a stock certificate—shortly after his graduation from Temple. The illustration approach replaced the pencil sketches that the Journal previously used, at a time when the newspaper’s only other art was that in advertisements.

Sprouls credits a connection made at Temple with helping him land a job at the Journal’s parent company, Dow Jones & Co. Through that position he met editors at the newspaper and worked his way onto the staff as an illustrator.

He remained at the paper until 1987, ultimately rising to the position of assistant art director before leaving to embark on a successful freelance career.

In a world without Temple, morning reads wouldn’t look the same.

Learn more about the impact of Temple alumni.