Let’s make 2017 a productive year for design. To help, the Society for News Design has a special gift for you: A distinct calendar highlighting the most important events during the year, featuring world-renowned illustrators.
The secret for outstanding work? The planning, of course! When designers and art directors have enough time, they can produce interactive projects or special infographics. Think ahead on the important dates, events, anniversaries and commemorations for the year.
Some tips for successful planning:
1) Choose a few projects to invest in, according to what you can deliver. Taking on too much can compromise the quality of the final result.
2) Sketch. A simple drawing can save you time.
3) Share tasks. Spread the work among people with the best talent available in your department.
4) Follow up. Check in constantly on projects to avoid surprises at the end. It will also help you to meet the final deadline.
5) Evaluate each step along the way. Ask the opinions of key people involved in the project. A fresh perspective can be a lifesaver.
Each design department team has their own style and process. Sharing your experiences within the design department can improve workflow in future.
“Planning is a beautiful word seldom heard in a newsroom. In such a fast-paced deadline driven environment, true good planning is a luxury, almost an extravagance” said Nuri Ducassi, creative director at The Toronto Star.
The Washington Post, a top winner in the SND competitions provides a great example to the advantages of a good planning work.
“For The Washington Post design team, involvement in the earliest stages of project conception and event planning has been a crucial part of our success,” says Greg Manifold, design director at The Washington Post.
SND CALENDAR 2017 – Free download
The SND2017 Calendar can help you to plan for the year ahead. Download it. Print it and share with your designers and editors.
“SND wants to help designers to improve the quality of their work; this calendar can be a good source for best designs planning and of course, it is also a great opportunity to highlight the incredible talented illustrators from SND community,” says Douglas Okasaki, SND 2017 president.
The calendar showcases the illustrators’ works from different parts of the world. The Society for News Design is thankful for their contribution and collaboration in this project.
Watch for a second version of the calendar, which will showcase the fabulous photography. Want to see your best picture in the calendar? Send it to us for consideration.
Creative and Design directors share thoughts on pre-planning projects:
NURI DUCASSI, The Toronto Star creative director
Planning is a beautiful word seldom heard in a newsroom. In such a fast-paced, deadline driven environment, true good planning is a luxury, almost an extravagance. But, it does happens when it comes to the larger projects. These projects usually have an editor in charge, he/she is the coordinator and filter. As creative director for print I work directly with the project editor. That keeps it simple and efficient. The project editor explains the concept only after he had a number of meetings with writers and other editors to collect their ideas, which sometimes includes visual ones. Then I become the filter for the branding, design and illustration. I evaluate the information and make visual recommendations. Because of my training as a journalist I can also proposed headlines and the way the story should be constructed within the design. This process could start between a month and two weeks before the launch on the average.
Special coverage such as elections and Olympics involve very sophisticated branding. I lead the charge asking the section editors to provide words for the essential page furniture to be designed. I develop the look and feel for print – that is my top priority. Then I begin to prototype the key pages mostly covers and open pages inside the section. We could start between two weeks and one month ahead of the event. As we get closer, the prototypes evolve in some cases as in the U.S. elections as close as the day before. The key thing is to be nimble and quick. Never get trapped in the concept of a long planning period before you do the work; it will paralyze you.
GREG MANIFOLD, Design Director, The Washington Post
For The Post’s Design team, involvement in the earliest stages of project conception and event planning has been a crucial part of our success. To design across a range of platforms, we need to understand the elements that compose a project so we can participate in shaping the story package from the reporting phase. This time also gives us a better understanding of what makes a project special and allows us time to make it special. Planning usually starts months out, with the project impacting a small amount of our designer’s time and growing in time commitment as the deadline nears. We help maintain a list of these types of stories and events for the newsroom, and rely on strong ties with our other visual teams – photo, graphics and video – who need this same planning phase.
A big THANK YOU for the incredible contribution from illustrators that donate their illustrations for this calendar
NINO JOSE HEREDIA