Best of Sports Design 2012: Call for Entries

SND34’s print competition has come and gone, and the digital judging is this weekend. So naturally, it’s time to turn our attention to a completely different sort of competition: the return of the Best of Sports Design.

We last heard from BOSD right here, in 2009, after we sifted through nearly 600 entries in 15 categories. After two years’ hiatus, it’s back, and will stick around for the foreseeable future. The call for entries is rather simple, so let’s get to it. If you’d like to skip past the how’s and who’s, scroll down to “how to enter” for instructions and categories.

The Best of Sports Design 2012

What is it? A worldwide competition run by the folks behind SportsDesigner, aimed at finding and showcasing the best work in sports design from 2012.

How it works: You’ll enter (see below). Entries will be collected and audited in each category. A team of five judges (plus a conflict judge) will rank their favorites in each category. The rankings will be averaged. The top 7 percent (roughly) in each category will be awarded Best of Sports Design for 2012. Then, right here on this site, we — as in all of us — will vote on our favorite winners in each category, anointing an Editors’ Choice for 2012.

Does it cost anything? It’s free. It costs me the months of February and March if you’re into economics.

Who judges? We will assemble a roster of about 35 judges from around the world, representing a cross-section of sports design. We’ll have students, sports editors, photographers, art directors, managing editors and SND officials, among others.

Would you like to judge? We always have more judging requests than slots to fill, but if you’d like to be considered, please email [email protected] with your information.

How to enter: Send your entries (or nominate the work of others) to [email protected]. Include the name of the publication, name(s) of those involved with the entry and the entry itself, in one of the formats below.

Entry formats: You can send entries in PDF or JPEG format. (Please make sure the JPEG is large enough to be read on a screen). You can attach them to your email or you can link to them. Popular choices for links include Flickr, Coroflot and the newest incarnation of NewsPageDesigner. Links are technically the easiest on me, but we can make just about anything work.

Eligible work: Work published between January 1 and December 31, 2012 is all that is acceptable, with two exceptions* noted below in the Multiple Page Categories.

Entry deadline: Noon CST Friday, March 8, 2013




Live game covers: Submit a cover primarily devoted to coverage of a live game or event.

Breaking news covers: Submit a cover primarily devoted to coverage of a breaking sports event other than a live game. (Examples: Obituaries, news of a hiring/firing, a steroid scandal)

Enterprise/feature centerpieces: Submit a cover primarily devoted to sports enterprise, features or follow stories from a breaking news or live game. (Second-day follow covers from games or events would go here).

Special section covers: Submit a cover of a special section (a non-regularly-appearing section).

Inside pages/live or breaking: Submit an inside page or pages (a doubletruck or an inside project that spills onto a second, third or more pages counts as a single entry in this category) designed live on deadline from a game or breaking sports news event.

Inside pages/enterprise or special section: Submit an inside page or pages (a doubletruck or an inside project that spills onto a second, third or more pages counts as a single entry in this category) from special sections or enterprise projects.

Photo page/poster: Submit a single page (a doubletruck counts as a single page) devoted to photography. This can be a classic “photo” page or a full page poster.

Sports illustration: Submit a page (cover or inside) that showcases illustration and art directing.

Only submit entries from one single day in these categories.

Live game cover story: Submit the cover and related inside pages from coverage of any live game or sporting event in 2012.

Enterprise/special section cover story: Submit the cover and related inside pages from enterprise projects, special sections or breaking news.

Submit entries from more than one day of coverage in these categories. See the note* on acceptable dates at the end.

Special coverage/series or project: Submit multiple days of coverage on a single topic in this category. This would be the place to enter ongoing series or multiple days of coverage following a breaking news event.

Special coverage/event or team: Submit multiple days of coverage of a sports event or a team in this category. This would be the place to enter Olympics coverage, coverage of, say, the Vikings’ football season or all four days of Masters coverage.

* Note on acceptable dates in these two categories: The coverage in these categories must showcase planning and execution from 2012. However, in cases where a season spilled over into 2013 (NFL, college football and NHL, to name a few), a portion of relevant, on-topic pages from 2013 are acceptable here).


Sports project: Submit a single day or multiple days of coverage of a single topic. This can be web, mobile or tablet, with the caveat that all judges must be able to access and view the entry easily.

Multimedia graphic: Submit a single sports infographic published digitally in 2012.



At the end of the competition, we will name the 2012 Sports Designer of the Year. We will consider the following:

• Body of work in 2012• Impact on their publication as a visual leader
• What others have to say
• Performance in other BOSD categories

You can be eligible for SDOY in two ways: One, the panel choosing SDOY can nominate you. If your work won a sports portfolio award from SND in 2012, you can rest assured the panel will be reaching out to you asking for pages from the winning portfolios as well as any other relevant work.

Second, you can nominate yourself or others. It’s important to note that previous SDOY winners HAVE come from these nominations. Send your work (please send at least a six-page portfolio showcasing a range of work from 2012, but preferably more than six) or the work of the person you are nominating. If you are nominating someone else, please send along a paragraph or two about why you think this person is deserving of the award.

Previous SDOY winners:
2006: Vince Chiaramonte, Buffalo News
2007: Wayne Kamidoi, New York Times
2008: Derek Simmons, Los Angeles Times
2009: Tim Parks, Omaha World-Herald

A group of sports design insiders has also chosen a historic list of SDOY winners retroactively, dating back to 1995. If you follow the SportsDesigner social network feeds in the coming days, this list will be shared.

About Josh Crutchmer

is design and graphics editor at The Plain Dealer.

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