Introducing the cover of the SND34 Best of News Design book

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The masses – and by that I mean 1,125 of you – have spoken, and entry No. 24, designed by Osama Aljawish, will grace the cover of the 34th annual SND Best of News Design book. Congratulations to Mr. Aljawish and to all the artists who submitted such an incredible array of choices.

Cover No. 24 received 545 votes in the final round, good for 48 percent of the total. Cover No. 39 finished second, with 265 votes (24%); Cover 45 finished third with 127 votes (11%).

We caught up recently with Osama Aljawish, who is from Syria and is a senior designer at Al Shabiba:

How did you get started in design?
I was born and raised in Syria. I received my BA degree from Damascus University in 2003 and am currently a member of Fine Artists Association of Syria. I worked in an advertising agency in Oman for five years before I joined the publication industry as Senior Designer for Al Shabiba, the sister publication of Times of Oman. I was greatly fortunate to be part of the team that launched the redesign of Al Shabiba and had the honor to work with Dr. Mario Garcia and Adonis Durado. I received several awards from the SND Creative Competition, including a gold and a JSR (judges special recognition).

You do both design and illustration on your pages. How does this impact your process? Does it make for more impactful design?
Indeed, illustration plays a very important role in making the page looks good. When the designer himself is the one illustrating or art directing the page, he has more control in communicating and visualizing the story.

Some of the most exciting work in the SND competition in recent years has come from the Arab world. What is driving the excellence and innovation we are seeing from that part of the world?
Looking at the work across the globe from Far East to America and Europe, this fuels inspirations to us in wanting to represent the Middle East in the best way possible. I refer to the Middle East, as opposed to the Arab world in general, because in the last few years the canvas has changed in which the newsrooms are employing nationalities from different parts of the world. This is the major factor in creating a diverse and effective design workforce.

You submitted several cover design entries. Was No. 24 your favorite? If not which one was?
My favorite is entry #21. Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their support in voting for my entry. Well, this is not the first time that I entered the SND cover competition; my work in SND33 also came as one of the finalists. And my advice to others: Just keep trying until you succeed.

To see Osama Aljawish’s portfolio please visit the link