VIDEO: Inside the judging process in Syracuse

Just how do the judges systematically evaluate all these entries? There’s a well-thought-out process, of course. Kuan Luo from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications here at Syracuse University explains it all.

The newspapers are packaged in large envelopes to which each judge applies an identifying sticker that signals they have reviewed that entry. An initial by the sticker indicates a “yes” vote. At the bitter end, however, the judges vote by secret ballot. Only entries with a unanimous vote can be World’s Best. That’s why we never know until the end how many winners there will be.

In considering a potential World’s Best-Designed™ Newspaper, the judges are looking for, well, great design. That means they are evaluating entries on the basis of:

  • Typography
  • Navigation
  • Writing
  • Execution
  • Visual storytelling
  • Headlines
  • Voice
  • Use of resources

But focus and teamwork are essential. Watching the judges here at work has been impressive. On Sunday I’ll be asking for their impressions. How are the world’s designers faring over all in this economic climate? Are there visual differences by region? What advice would you share? I’m looking forward to hearing what they have to say.

About Lee Steele

is design editor of the Hearst Connecticut Newspapers and 2015 president of the Society for News Design.

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