Honoring creativity that sells papers in Middle East

For the first time in the Middle East an exhibition will highlight the work behind the pages that make up a daily newspaper. Award-winning examples of news design from the Gulf will be exhibited at The American University of Sharjah in the College of Architecture, Art and Design gallery. The displays are selected from The Best of News Design Creative Competition and the award winners are featured in the 32nd annual book, The Best of News Design.

Over the past decade, Gulf-based newspapers have gained increasing recognition in the areas of news graphics and information design. For the first time, SND president Steve Dorsey, will be visiting the UAE for the Sharjah exhibition, where he will also speak about the evolution of design in UAE newspapers.

Gulf News will present some of the best-designed pages published last year.

Dr. Mario Garcia, from Garcia Media and the consultant responsible for the first Gulf News redesign, said: “Right now, with so much emphasis placed on digital media, I can see how an exhibit that makes newspapers the protagonist is a very good idea. Many people know newspapers as household items, like they do a chair, a table or a fork. Not much attention is paid to them.”

“An exhibit that presents all the nuances that constitute what goes into the design of a newspaper will be great. And, the fact that it will profile the terrific work by so many of the newspapers of the Middle East will make it even a more desirable type of event,” Garcia said.

“For the newspapers in the region that are still not up to speed in terms of design, the exhibit will be an eye opener to all the possibilities.”

Lucie Lacava, responsible for the redesign of The National and Al Ittihad in Abu Dhabi said: “Newspapers in the Middle East have reasons to celebrate the extraordinary work from the region.”

“This exhibition brings to light the importance of visual journalism in the storytelling process. From page design, to photography, illustration and info-graphics, in just a couple of years these papers managed to reach the highest standards of visual excellence, an accomplishment which often takes decades to reach elsewhere,” she said.

“These newspapers not only raised the quality and design craftsmanship of their pages to international standard, but have surpassed it in many ways. This body of work will serve as inspiration to many others, because there is always room for improvement.”

According to Lacava: “The challenge now is not only to maintain this lead and level of creativity, but to also apply it to other platforms, since newspapers can no longer rely on the print version alone. But in doing so they must remember to maintain and enforce their loyalty to the brand, as they evolve into other mediums.”

The CAAD exhibit will feature award-winning work from the region, including Gulf News, The National, Al Bayan, and the Times of Oman.

The exhibit opens on November 20 at 5 p.m. in the CAAD gallery. The opening will feature a round-table discussion in the CAAD auditorium on the state of news design in the region. “What is most impressive is the degree to which newspapers in the region have plainly made intelligent, innovative design core to their missions,” said Stephen Komives, SND’s executive director.

“It is not seen as a luxury but a central value. And it is not confined to a single paper or country, but continuing to spread throughout the region.”


What: Best of News Design from the Mideast
Where: The American University of Sharjah
When: The exhibit opens Sunday, 20 November at 5:00 in the CAAD gallery. Sunday’s opening will feature a round table discussion in the CAAD auditorium on the state of news design in the MENA region.

Participants will include:
Steve Dorsey, President, Society of News Design
Douglas Okasaki, SND Regional Director, region 20- ME and Africa
Miguel Gomez, Art Director, Gulf News
Laura Koot, Managing Editor, The National
Adonis Durado, Design Director, Times of Oman
Luis Chumpitaz, Information Graphics Director, Al Bayan

For questions or more information contact: [email protected]

Exhibit dates are 20 November – 1 December at AUS in the CAAD gallery. The round table discussion will take place at 5 p.m. in the CAAD auditorium.

About Douglas Okasaki

is 2018 Past President of the Society for News Design

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