Lifetime achievement award: Lucie Lacava

By Gayle Grin, Toronto National Post

[Transcript from presentation made Saturday Sept. 25, 2010 in Denver]: It is our honor this evening to present the Society’s highest honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award, to one of the craft’s true luminaries: Lucie Lacava.

Young as she is, Lucie has already accomplished a lifetime of exquisite news design innovation. She has given so much to the Society. She is visually brilliant and yet so very down to earth and personable.

Lucie has developed winning news design both nationally and internationally. She has given visual personality to more than 80 publications across Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe, and the United Emirates.

As an adventurous designer, she showed us a newspaper can be elegantly designed using only two colors for Le Devoir. We learned less can become more. When she used the “L” format the Montreal’s La Presse newspaper redesign in 2003, she inspired many publications to do the same.

Very recently, in 2009, Lucie redesigned an Arab language United Emirates paper. And in contrast to that in January 2010, she launched a new design for a free weekly news and entertainment tabloid for the young demographic in New Brunswick, Canada. And she shared more recent interactive projects with us over lunch yesterday. A diverse, classy designer, Lucie brings elegance to everything she lays hands on!

She has been part of more than 100 national and international awards in her career. The Society for News Design has awarded the title “World’s Best Designed Newspaper” ten times collectively to Le Devoir, Le Soleil, and the National Post. Her most prestigious professional awards include an SND Best of Show award for Le Devoir as well as two Judge’s Special Recognition awards for Le Soleil and the National Post, in addition to numerous gold and silver medals. The National Post in Canada received a World’s Best Award 3 months after start-up and The National in Abu Dhabi was one of the top ten winners on the same year it was launched.

Lucie’s professional SND contributions include past presidency of the Society for News Design (2001), the year of 9/11. She is a founding member of the francophone chapter of SND, based in Paris. She has also served as a judge for the Society for News Design, and the Malofiej Awards in Pamplona, Spain.

Lucie was born in Italy and came to Canada when she was a child. She is fluent in four languages: Italian, French, Spanish and English; and that has helped our organization immensely whether as a judge, or as a speaker! The year Lucie was president, much of her presidential presentation was in Spanish. That fluency has also helped our cause as she lectures frequently around the world on the topics of newspaper design and typography. She has lectured at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the American Press Institute, IFRA, and as a visiting faculty member at the Universidad Catolica de Chile.

Chris Edwards told us when Lucie gave a presentation about news design in Quito, Ecuador, in April 2006, and all attendees were literally speechless when she showed example after example of great news design. She’s so humble – she showed many newspapers she did not design, and acknowledged the designer or redesign consultant every time. And when she showed some of her work, someone sitting near Chris said “Did she really design that? Wow!”
And no matter what language she speaks in, her conversation is always gentle, thoughtful, insightful and forward thinking.

Lucie is one of the most talented designers in the world. When Lucie is not designing news, she is often painting a beautiful piece of art. I could also see her become famous in any other field of design… movie sets, fashion and architecture! Lucie is an artist. She interprets news though highly developed visual sensibilities. As an artist, Lucie brings that mastery to news. And her work shines! We, in the news business, are so much richer for for all her creations!

She could also win acclaim in any other field of design… movie sets, fashion and architecture! Lucie is an artist. She interprets news though highly developed visual sensibilities. As an artist, Lucie brings that mastery to news. And her work shines! We, in the news business, are so much richer for for all her creations!

She is a special lady in every way.

For her elegance in innovation in news design, her heartfelt stewardship of the Society, and her lifetime of unmatched service, we are pleased to honor Lucie Lacava with SND’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Please join us in celebrating an extraordinary life.