World’s Best: Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Germany

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagzeitung, Frankfort, Germany

Circulation over 300,000

Judges’ Statement

A national newspaper that is international in scope, FAS has readership throughout Germany and around the Globe, competing at the highest level with elegant photography and typography that give it an authoritative look that appeals to a discerning readership looking. Bold photo crops, superb illustrations and near-perfect page production make inside pages as compelling as its section covers or even its front page — which is arguably a little busy for a Sunday weekly.

FAS layers its stories, many of them running three or four full columns, with excellent photojournalism, vibrant illustrations, and clear, direct information graphics that are laid into the body of the stories both to provide a visual break and enhance the elegantly displayed prose. For example, a story about the new gold rush ushered in by the quadrupling of prices for the precious metal is told in photos from panning on the river to the stacking of ingots, along with two simple, clear infographics.

While FAS’ classic look gives it the look and feel of some of the world’s most high-end newspapers, there is nothing stodgy about it. Excellent portrait photography, superb photo editing, brilliantly crafted illustrations, a disciplined use of its signature red and blue color pallet, plus a variety of story forms compel visitors to pay attention to every page. It also has a sense of humor and engagement with its readers. An Easter Sunday front page is a composition of submitted Easter drawings, many of them whimsical or irreverent, but highly entertaining. A full-page series of cartoon sketches depicts the looming bankruptcy of Greece and its cascading impact across Europe … think financial “Armageddon,” starring Charlie Chaplin.

FAS has been awarded honors regularly from SND, and it has shown no signs of slippage.

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.


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