World’s Best: The Grid

The Grid, Toronto

Cir. 25,000 – 74,999 (Non-Daily)

Judges’ Statement

“Good shit is happening — lots and lots and lots of it.” So say the editors of The Grid in their mission statement about Toronto. And so says the jury about The Grid itself.

The more time you spend with this guerrilla guide, the more “good shit” shows up. The engaged writing, smart editing and heavy research is done in a young, sophisticated voice and executed while obviously having great fun. The design is minimalistic and the cool, restrained and exclusive fonts are Tiempo for body copy, and the logo face and display fonts are Fakt.

What really makes this publication a different visual experience for the reader are the many tiny informative graphic details throughout the pages. It must be extremely time-consuming doing these pages, but it works so well for the reader. Specific keywords are highlighted with yellow; small locator maps show where to find the spot mentioned in the presentation; on one page appears a visual guide on how to dress “Dad-rock” style, supplemented with the ruthless caption “Facial hair is not necessary, but always appreciated.” Another fine detail is the hand-drawn portraits on the bylines. All these details could make the paper a mess — but it’s not. The overall look is perfectly consistent and clean.

The Grid also surprises with sparse but great inside photography on full spreads. Our favorite was the fantastic photo of a line at a hotdog stand — and the photo goes on through four straight pages. This is a wonderful surprise for the reader.

This publication really catches you and it will not let you go. Any big city with respect for itself should get a “good shit” guerrilla guide like this. Right now.

The Judges:

Bill Gaspard, China Daily, Beijing
Scott Goldman, The Indianapolis Star and IndyStar.com
Søren Nyeland, Politiken
Rhonda Prast, Missouri School of Journalism
Bob Unger, The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Mass.