Bigger, stronger, faster: 32 years of SND award-winning Olympics design

Few events are guaranteed to bring out the best in visual journalism the way the Summer Olympics do. They are intrinsically visual, relatively predictable for planning purposes (the dates are set, swimming the first week, track the second), and offer dramatic storylines and personality pieces that make for great page design, infographics, photography and digital design.

With that in mind, it’s instructive to take a look back at some of the Best of News Design pages from Olympics past. The SND Best of News Design competition was launched in an Olympic year, 1980, and every fourth annual edition chronicles the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat as presented in newspapers around the globe.

This (by no means comprehensive) selection showcases the talents of some of the founders and important early builders of the Society and many incredibly skilled people who have (and continue to) take part in the profession, not to mention the growing international character of our organization.

About Stephen Komives

Previously served as Executive Director of the Society for News Design, from 2009–2019.


Regarding the Sydney 2000 games. These were not the first games in the Southern Hemisphere. You will find that Melbourne, Australia hosted in 1956. I always believe that good journalism begins with getting facts correct.

Yes, I stand corrected, thanks for the catch. Interesting point about those Melbourne Summer Games – they were held in November and December, summer Down Under. And quarantine laws in Australia forced the equestrian events to be held in Stockholm. The water polo match between Hungary and the Soviet Union, because of tensions between the countries, is the stuff of legend – it’s referred to as the Blood in the Water match. Unfortunately, all this was before SND, so no pages to show, unfortunately.

Leave a Reply