World’s Best: Excelsior

Excelsior, Mexico City


Circ. 75,000 – 174,999

Judges’ Statement

While this is the first time they have won World’s Best, when the pages of a redesigned Excelsior showed up on the SND judging tables in 2007, the previously little-known daily sparked great excitement in seasoned judges and assistants who thought they’d seen it all. It was the talk of the competition as much for the scope of its astounding visual transformation as for the dynamic individual pages and spreads that were being judged.

In the ensuing five years, the paper has kept up and refined its sophisticated typography, bold color palette and overall visual energy. That energy once again captivated this World’s Best judging team.

This is a paper with a lot going on — lots of stories, sidebars and breakouts along with lots of photographs and graphics. It’s who they are. That they’re able to bring order to this potential chaos without dulling their edge is a testament to the care they take on every page.

At the same time there is a small, but smart personality shift in each of the sections. It’s an acknowledgment of the change in content but done skillfully enough without making the paper as a whole feel disjointed.

The aptly named sports section — Adrenaline — is presented with all the energy of actually being in the stands at a Mexican soccer game. The features section — heavy on entertainment — is as colorful and dramatic as its subject matter. The designers do a terrific job everyday, often with little more than the paper’s solid architecture, exquisite typography and some well-chosen handout photos.

While we saw many papers that did a great job with sports and features, we saw few that maintain that visual momentum in the business and local sections. Excelsior does. Along with its Global section, some of the best covers and inside pages in the paper graced those sections.

Even with its dynamic presentation, Excelsior as a whole ably adjusts the volume as the content demands, from the high amp sports and feature sections to the relative quiet of its elegant, exceptionally beautiful editorial pages. They do this through artful — and sometimes substantial — shifts in the grid, typography, color palette and graphic details.

Excelsior is a paper that directly translates the color, energy and passion of their region onto the pages of their newspaper. It grabs you and doesn’t let you go from the first page until the last.

The Judges:

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

About Lee Steele

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


Felicidades al equipo grafico de Excelsior, el tiempo le ha hecho justicia al ser un lider visual y periodistico para la region.

¿Realmente ven bien ese diseño con el tema de Freida Pinto?
¿Formas cuadradas rotas por una f? Por más que lo veo, creo que no existe armonía de formas.
Pero en fin, quizas tengo malos conceptos de diseño.

En todo caso, felicidades por el título conseguido.

MUCHISIMAS FELICIDADES!!! Este es el mejor reconocimiento a la constancia y a un equipo que trabaja verdaderamente como tal y que empeña el corazón en lo que hace. Un abrazo fuerte para todos!

Congratulations to Alex Medrano, Marco Román, Ernesto Alcántara and all the wonderful team of professionals from Excelsior!!!!!! All you guys are totally AWESOME!!!!!!! A ponerse sombrero todos!!!! 😉

Congratulations to Alex Medrano and the whole Excelsior team. This is great work. By leveraging template methodology, Exclesior’s small staff has been able to focus on creating real visual content. The result, a world-class newspaper.

Un verdadero y merecido premio a un gran trabajo en equipo!,cuando lo editorial en tiende la verdadera razon del área gráfica! muchas felicides Alex Medrano y su gran equipo! saludos desde El Salvador.

Merecido reconocimiento estimado amigo Pedro Díaz – es a quien conozco de esta gran equipo. Hace algún tiempo charlamos sobre el buen trabajo de diseño y contenidos de la web de Excélsior, he aquí los resultados. En horabuena, felicidades.

¡Felicidades Alex! Este es un reconocimiento a tu trabajo y el del equipo editorial de Excélsior, que tomaron un modelo de diseño innovador, lo crecieron y ahora lo mantienen en la punta de la vanguardia.

No es casualidad o suerte. La serie de reconocimientos en diseño recibidos por Excélsior es producto de un esfuerzo cotidiano, preciso y de amor a la casa editrial. México es uno de los países más avanzados en esta especialidad y el gran talento humano que hay en Excélsior así lo refrenda.
Amigos de Excélsior: muchas felicidades y nuestra admiración y respteo… sigan en esa ruta de triunfo…
Maestro José Luis Rojas, director del Instituto en Investigaciones en Diseño Editorial Avanzado. México.

A mi gusto demasiados “inspirados” en el periódico “Reforma”. Echen una ojeada a el estilo gráfico de el Excélsior antes y después de la aparición de “Reforma” (“El Norte”) y emitan una sincera opinión.

Is it just me or the headline reading «Se entrampa (…)» hasn’t got an even leading?
It could be just the choice of a typeface with a so low x-height, but it seems an error. And an awful one too.


En efecto, algo pasó con ese interlineado. No supieron resolver el choque entre el ascenso y descenso de la “p” y “d” respectivamente.
Sin embargo, no olvidemos que los editores también juegan un papel importante en el asunto de las cabezas y uno como diseñador puede verse limitado al controlar la cantidad de caracteres que tendrá una cabeza.

Definitely so, Bad Designer. Perhaps, in that single case, someone in the newsroom could – rather, should – have changed the text.
I still think that Didot/Bodoni-esque typefaces are very difficult to manage in a daily newspaper environment. I suppose we can get the same feeling – as in elegant, upmarket, authoritative, even aristocratic – with other typefaces.

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Me gustaría saber que tipografía fue utilizada para el cuerpo del texto y cabezas ¿alguien sabe como se llama?

Need name of typeface, somebody know it?

that both peoples should be separated – agree and proceed to remove all Muslims and mosques, remember the horrific destruction of the Magen Dovid synagogue, with that dreadful Orla Guerin virtually weeping saying it was understandable behaviour. I understand many Muslims are peaceful but they have 57 states already, and it will be a Jewish state, Judah=praiserof HaShem not praiser of curse, as Alah translates to.With no internal terrorism or complaining, Israel can be a proper Jewish state, oh, and dismantle the Wakf Kate b

Love seeing that Smile! You all continue to be in our prayers. My kids are praying for her every chance they get. I love their sweet hearts and the concern that they are showing her and you guys.

Ahh, que fofa!!! Super tks!!! amei. sobre o cabelo, ele estava bizaarro e eu mesmo prendi haha, improvisei! quero muito achar alguma foto do Look de sexta, to procurando! Bjs

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