SND34 judges pick World’s Best-Designed™ Newspapers


In the 34th annual The Best of News Design™ Creative Competition, the Society for News Design has named five newspapers, representing four countries, the World’s Best-Designed™ Newspaper.

They are:

Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, Sweden

Die Zeit, Hamburg, Germany

The Grid, Toronto, Canada

Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark

Welt am Sonntag, Berlin, Germany

In announcing the winners today, the judges released this statement:

What distinguishes a World’s Best-Designed™ Newspaper? A culture of careful editing of all content that puts the reader first — through stringent attention to detail.

Too many designers are not driven by the content in front of them; they’re just moving elements around pages. In the best-designed publications, that connection jumps off the page.

Quite frankly, it was easy to weed out publications in the first round of judging. So many papers couldn’t nail the fundamentals of typography, grid, white space, hierarchy, etc. — the basics we’ve been talking about for 35 years as a Society.

That’s not to say that there weren’t many excellent entries. Everything that made it past the first round was solid, but it takes more than being solid. It requires diligent and nuanced execution — and tons of personality.

It’s disheartening to see so many American newspapers that, after decades of discussion and education, still pay little or no attention to inside pages. Publications that spend a great amount of time finessing their covers but treat their inside pages like vessels to fill with commodity news until they’re full to the top are missing the point and the opportunity to be relevant.

Another disturbing trend: the lack of illustration and especially information graphics in so many newspapers. These are the tools that newspapers can use to distinguish their content from the pack and add context and understanding to their report.

Several fascinating innovations popped up such as new micro format papers (Diario DF, Mexico City) and the use of technology like augmented reality to enhance printed pages (Reporte Indigo, Monterrey, Mexico). Many Asian papers are starting to use Western design methods but are still maturing (Qianjiang Evening News, Hangzhou, China). Latin American newspapers burst with energy but some lack focus. In the Middle East, the quality of printing and production is impressive; we look forward to the evolution of their individual personalities.

In the five publications we selected, details elevated them from their peers. In these papers, every page counts. These staffs perform an extra layer of editing to refine and strengthen the final product.

Ultimately, these winning newspapers have been brainstormed, edited and curated for readers. They add analysis and context and serve to connect readers to their larger community.

Paul Blickle
Steve Dorsey
Alexandro Medrano
Denise M. Reagan
Juan Velasco

About Lee Steele

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

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