SND 2013 annual workshop and exhibition headed for Louisville

The Society for News Design will hold its 2013 annual workshop and exhibition in Louisville, KY.

The Louisville Design Studio will serve as hosts for the workshop, in conjunction with the Louisville Courier-Journal, with support from the Gannett Company and its other four design studios, according to the formal bid from Arnold Garson, President & Publisher of the Louisville Courier-Journal and The proposal was accepted by a majority vote of SND’s board.

In Louisville’s proposal, Garson outlined the highlights of:

“Before getting into other details, let us introduce you to Louisville. It’s more than just a Midwest/Southeast location with a name that’s difficult and funny to pronounce!

“We’re home to Churchill Downs, arguably the most famous thoroughbred racetrack in the world and home of the Kentucky Derby. We hope to take you there.

“Our downtown, located on the banks of the spectacular Ohio River, boasts world-class convention space, theater productions, galleries and museums. Special attractions include two world-famous sports museum destinations, the Muhammad Ali Center and the Louisville Slugger Museum.

“Love food? Louisville has the most independent restaurants per capita in the United States.

“Our town is full of nightlife. You can find a swarm of barstools or dance floors within blocks of our hotels, and the city stays up late (bars stay open until 4 a.m.). Did we mention Bourbon was born in our state?

“One potential venue, The Galt House hotel, has 1,300 rooms and hosts some of the nation’s largest conventions outside of Las Vegas.

“While all of those things make us a perfect spot to host the workshop, geography is the city’s greatest asset. More than 50 percent of the U.S. population can drive to Louisville in less than a day. Acclaimed journalism institutions including Indiana University, Ball State, Missouri, Michigan State, Ohio University, Western Kentucky and Northwestern are located less than six hours from Louisville. We can attract a huge portion of SND’s base membership, and easily entertain them while they’re here.

“We … can promise the time and resources necessary from our staff here in Gannett’s Louisville Design Studio. Soon, our design staff will be at least five times the size of an average host-site paper, and we will appoint a dedicated team to take lead on organizing the conference. Between the Louisville studio and Gannett’s four other studios, we have access to unprecedented human resources and industry contacts. Our energy will be unmatched. By 2013, the five Design Studios will employ hundreds of designers, and we’re brainstorming new and inventive ways to connect these journalists to the Fall Workshop.

“We are absolutely thrilled to host the annual SND Workshop here in Louisville,” said Ryan Hildebrandt, creative director for Gannett’s Louisville design studio. “The Louisville Studio, combined with the other Gannett Design Studios, promise to bring a level of energy and resources to this conference rarely seen. Saddle up, SND, because we’re going to take you on a great ride.”

“We’re thrilled to be returning to Louisville, on the silver anniversary of our first visit there in 1988,” said Stephen Komives, SND executive director. “Of course, a lot of the people who will be attending this workshop were not born then. And actually, they’re the ones we were thinking of most when considering the site – Louisville is within driving distance for most of the U.S. population and especially close for some of our most active student chapters. It’s a great site and it’ll be a great workshop.”

Jonathon Berlin, SND president (2012) said: “Years and years ago Knight Ridder had a program where the company ‘shared’ designers for big news events around the country. A few lucky folks would get the chance each year to go to Louisville to cover the Kentucky Derby for the nearby Herald-Leader. The Derby is not just a horse race, but really, a national cultural event. Those folks always came back to the newsroom jazzed, inspired. It was such an interesting aesthetic. News mixed with culture. New mixed with old. Pure energy and a natural sort of beauty.”

Those are some of the themes that will play out as we plan our 2013 workshop in Louisville, a site with a deep history, a thriving culture and a one of Gannett’s design studios. The team in Louisville and Gannett will bring SND and visual journalism a taste of the inspiration that their city has provided for so long.

It’s a beautiful and central part of the United States, fun to visit and easy to get to for U.S. and international members. We are very excited to bring SND to Louisville in 2013.”


  • To learn more about Louisville visit
  • To learn more about Gannett’s Design Studio’s visit their Facebook page
  • To learn more about The Louisville Design Studio’s visit their Facebook page
  • About Steve Dorsey

    @Gannett VP innovation. Boards: @INMAorg, @SND. He was the 2011 president of the Society; 2015 Lifetime Award recipient. Dad to Fiona; partner to @paprgrl76. Relocated Detroiter. Tigers fan. Designer. Editor. SU grad.

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