SND37: Medal Winners

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”37″ gal_title=”SND37 Medal Winners”]



Gold: Politico, “I want to be with the circus.”
Category: 15A Photography [Multiple Photos], Single-day photo series
Judges’ comments: “This story made me stop. There are small stories, but they build … it makes your appreciation for the story grow. The images are elegant, with moments of lightness, moments of seriousness. There’s a lesson in every photo, a lesson in photography, in journalism, in history. If this isn’t state of the art in political photography, then we don’t know what is.”

Gold: The New York Times, “Year in Review”
15D Photography [Multiple Photos] Portfolio of Work [Staff]
Judges’ comments: “How can you not get pulled into every single photo? Each one is a little gem. They elevate themes of quiet, grief and action to a beautiful aesthetic of artistry and journalism. They show duress with dignity. They captured important moments taking something routine and make it wonderful. There’s something beautiful about their printing and the way they make newsprint work for them.”

Gold: The New York Times, “The Displaced”
Category: 20 Combination Print / Digital
Judges’ comments:This entry fits every piece of the gold medal description, across all three platforms. The use of the Google Reader virtual reality/3D/360 experience was amazing, it’s breathtaking. The digital pieces along with the print allow you to feel like you’re in the conversation with the subjects. Each piece complements each other without any overlap, it can be a stand alone or a complete experience, and you won’t feel shortchanged with anything. When we think about what storytelling will become, this entry shows a new medium in a way we haven’t even begun to understand yet. And it’s not just one new medium, it takes advantage of every medium available to this publication. And The New York Times does it in their classic voice and tone. The story they chose to use this new technology with is perfect. It can be hard to care about unknown people and environments without “being” there. But this storytelling approach allows you to empathize and understand their lives, it allows the reader to be present in far-away lands in a way never available before.”

Gold: The New York Times, “Trump Balloon Cover”
Category: 12C Magazines, Cover Design
Judges’ comments:Donald Trump was the story of the latter half of 2015. This presents a perfect metaphor for what was happening in the political discourse. The obvious play on ‘hot air,’ ‘inflated ego,’ multiple clever visual puns happening at once so that you do not need words at all. It’s also a play on ‘taking off,’ for someone on the other side of the fence. There’s a confidence of purpose behind this cover. Even the placement of the illustration, with him floating off the top, is clever. I love the way it covers the logo type: Donald Trump is bigger than anything. Playful, fun, timely, tells a story, also timeless. They timed it perfectly – right at the peak of the frenzy, right when he became someone to take seriously.”

Gold: I’Unita
Category: 18Aa Overall Redesign Newspapers
Judges’ comments:Although its design is whisper quiet compared to others, it is powerful in its simplicity and restraint. It has excellent rhythm, pacing, balance and masterful use of the grid. Its airiness, use of one font family and navigational tools contribute to its elegance. It’s limited color palette is beautiful. Every design choice feels deliberate. The enlarged size gives freedom to experiment. The original was already very strong, but the redesign blows you away. All redesigns should aspire to this. If you put a black box where all of these photos were, it would still be a winner.”


Silver: National Geographic, “Stalking a Killer (Ebola)”
Category: 15A Photography [Multiple Photos], Single-day photo series
Judges’ comments:
“It feels like a visual roller-coaster ride; you never know what’s around the next corner. The ending is so strong. There’s so much visual density in these photos. The pacing is perfect, it’s chaotic and strong, then quiet, it takes you on an emotional journey. It’s a devastating story.”

Silver: Die Zeit, “The Farewell”
Category: 4E Breaking News Topics, Obituaries
Judges’ comments:
“The design has a beautiful sustained elegance all the way through. We want to know all there is to know about the person. It is engaging and inviting with an impressive volume. It shows range of time. Grids have push and pull, while photos play well with boldness of white space.”

Silver: Politiken, “Paris attacks”
Category: 5F Special News Topics, Syria/ISIS
Judges’ comments: “The approach is different and exciting, considering that it’s mostly breaking news. The pages have a bit of everything: a bold illustration, a brave cover with only a broken pencil; black boxes with no faces marking the unidentified dead; no photographs until the third page. It’s a different way to cover a news event. The end is powerful and remarkable, it makes you pause … not a lot of papers would run that much blood; it makes a bold statement.”

Silver: Omaha World Herald, Nebraska College Football “Dual Threat”
Category: 5D Special News Topics: Editor’s Choice, Sports
Judges comments: “Four months of pages in multiple editions, and to keep that cohesive is impressive. There’s a breadth of styles: illustration, photography … the body of work is outstanding. They mix whimsy with the serious approaches.”

Silver: Omaha World Herald, “The Thankful Edition”
Category: 5A Special News Topics: Editor’s Choice, Local
Judges comments: “It feels optimistic and hopeful. The tone is right, the pages all feel connected even though they’re in different times and places. The type technique is nice and consistent, it plays well against the photography — loose type to play off the heavy and busy photos. It feels like Americana, like Thanksgiving Day.”

Silver: The New York Times, “California Image vs. Dry Reality”
Category: 14A Photography [Single Photos] General News
Judges’ comments: “This kind of photo has impact and actually changes the way people think about the issue of overbuilding. It’s a powerful statement that ties beautifully to the story of development and drought. The juxtaposition of the two photos showing the density of the houses with the spartan desert is an emblem for overbuilding.”

Silver: The New York Times, Sunday Review
11Ca Opinion Design (Sections)
Judges’ comments: “Very smart, thoughtful visual communication is handled consistently through all there sections. The illustrations are very powerful, and the edit of photography incredibly strong. It’s a lot of information, but none of it feels so dense that it intimidates. These are sections of ideas and thoughts, the tone is serene and it encourages reading. It stays on brand but there’s a special invitation on every page.”

Silver: La Nacion, “Special Election Coverage”
17D Infographics: Single Subject Expanded Coverage
Judges’ comments: “It’s dense, but dense in a way that makes you want to dive in. They’re just analyzing the actual text of their speeches, but it’s all there in front of you. The color coding is a great way to do that. The level of ambition is impressive. It’s a tremendous amount of analysis and work. When you think about readers, this gives them the ability to scan or dive deep. You can spend 5 minutes with it or two hours.”

Silver: The Plain Dealer,“Browns Season
9B Special Coverage – Sports
Judges’ comments: “Readers must have loved getting this section each week, despite the disappointment of their losing team. For a team that’s so bad, they have so much fun with it. The depth of work across the large entry includes graphics, illustrations and poster-sized photos to show the struggles experienced through every aspect of the games during the four-month season.”

Silver: The Buffalo News, “Taste Coverage”
9C Features Special Coverage
Judges’ comments:
“Delicious! These pages made me hungry. I love food and I want to eat all of this! The typography stays out of way and lets the photos be the stars. The thoughtfully planned pages draw the reader in with well-styled food photos that you could lift off of the page. Each page was designed with a little bit of variation, yet shows consistency.”

Silver: The Washington Post (Page Designer Individual Portfolio by Michael Johnson)
Category: 8Ea Page Design  [Portfolios] Combination
Judges’ comments: “The designer’s flair for typography and use of photography is his signature throughout the portfolio with subtle treatments creating nice little surprises. He consistently uses all caps, but with a style twist each time. It’s apparent he challenges himself to be bold, yet simple. Every detail is exactly where it needs to be.”

Silver: South China Morning Post, “What if it was your city?”
Category: 16Bb Information Graphics / non-deadline graphics, nation/world
Judges’ comments: “This is a very clear and smart concept. It’s also beautifully done. Complexity does not always equal quality. Sometimes these kinds of graphics can feel cold with no emotional connection. This was clearly designed with the reader in mind. Technically, it could be dangerous to reverse type, but it’s crisp and legible. There’s a lot of general interest, like scanning the weather page for spots around the globe … you want to see and compare cities.”

Silver: National Geographic, “Reading Trajan’s Column”
Category: 16Be Information Graphics / non-deadline graphics, features
Judges’ comments: “This uses every tool in the infographics toolbox: timeline, diagrams, illustration. It’s luscious and pulls you in, the scale is fascinating when balanced with the detail. You quickly get a sense of context. Here is an artist who’s commanding his craft, but it also carries so much information. The research and time and care that went into the page is evident; it’s different.”

Silver: Tampa Bay Times, “Music Matters”
7Ba Features Design [Pages] Arts and Entertainment
Judges’ comments:
The designer delivers a clever and smart gut-check message through the merging of two of the most symbolic gestures: the iconic rock music hand sign and the symbolic racial image of a Black man’s arms raised in the air. Simple typography and each word in the headline standing on it’s own subtly complements the message in the powerful illustration. ‘Beautiful and well done,’ said the judge holding up the rock sign. ; )”

Silver: National Geographic, Fernando Baptista
Category: 17E Information Graphics / portfolio of work (individual)
Judges’ comments: “This lifts above all the Awards of Excellences, and to think it’s just one person able to tackle all of these massive projects is overwhelming. It’s state of the art work. There is an excellence in the smallest details, there is a deft and delicate touch in how he handles the information. It’s symbiotic — his artistic skill along with his graphic skill. The way he organizes information is so good, it’s almost invisible. A huge selection and breadth of pages handled with an elevated skill. Lots of entry points. It definitely serves the readership. Any questions you could have about these topics, the graphics answer and address. It’s conservation in nature, because it has to be, but it’s deeply satisfying … there’s no better way to address these stories. The portfolio is illustrative, but there’s analysis and data-driven aspect to it.”

Silver: The New York Times
Category: 17F Infographics Portfolio of Work, staff
Judges’ comments: “This graphics staff is about content and research and data, all elements serve a purpose. This portfolio has a depth of reporting that no one else can touch. Their scale and volume matches their tone and legacy. It’s harder to have impact in these restrained spaces, but there’s an understated elegance here. It reflects a sense of authority and credibility, educational and rich. There’s a comfort level with the depth of reporting, but each one tells a story. There’s a calm authority.”

Silver: Washington Post, “Thousands dead, few prosecuted”
20 Combo print / digital
Judges’ comments:
“This is an incredible use of data. It doesn’t just have the print shelf life, it can live on indefinitely online. The beauty is in that the print and digital complement but don’t overlap. Digital plays well on mobile and desktop. There’s a wonderful pacing to it. It finds pieces to tell individually.”

Silver: VG Helg, “The deadly fight in the Barents Sea”
20 Combo print / digital
Judges’ comments:
“I like the styling of the maps and photography. The use of the watch is clever, the way it follows the story. The pages have an action in them that makes you feel as if you’re there. It’s really different. The cartography is awesome and works well style-wise. You can feel his pain and fright in all the images. The design tells a story, even without the words, you can feel and understand what the pages are telling you.”

Silver: San Francisco Chronicle, “We do” gay marriage decision
3Aa News Page Design
Judges’ comments:
“This was the news moment, captured in a traditional way for A1. They got all the details right on what is an extremely local but national story. It affects everyone, but it affects them and their community in a special way. The headline, the photo … it was all just right. It feels audience appropriate, it’s not overly celebratory but at the same time acknowledging the progress of the news.”

Silver: The Independent, “Syrian refugee crisis”
3Ae News Page Design
Judges’ comments:
“Understated headline, just letting the photo tell the story. It’s journalistically brave. This is a human event that’s happening, and you have to see it. This was the best approach to this event, they did it just right. This works as package, the headline and text all works together with the image. They’re leaving a place where risking death is worth it, it’s so dangerous but they have to try. And this captures all that emotion.”

Silver: The Independent, “Charlie Hebdo middle finger”
3Ae News Page Design
Judges’ comments:
“Lots of papers ran images and cartoons, but this is the only page we saw that made one big statement with no text. They’re taunting the terrorists, giving a fuck you to people who killed mass amounts of people — using the language and fear and crudeness that the terrorists use.”

Silver: Omaha World Herald, “Nebraska college football”
Category: 10Bc Special Sections: Multiple Sections, Sports, with ads
Judges’ comments:The spadea technique was surprising, but then there were other approaches and surprises to the half-and-half storyline, discovery, finding another side. It builds on itself day after day. You don’t know what’s coming, it has a great throughline. It’s impressive as you go through this how inventive it is. It wasn’t even a two week plan, it was a two month plan. Not just the ideas, the execution lives up to that as well. They airiness of it all carries through, even to the agate pages. Sophisticated touches throughout, some grid work that tucks space throughout. It also has a sense of humor, the text is very well written.”

Silver: The New York Times, “US Open”
Category: 10Ac Special Sections: Single Sections, Sports
Judges’ comments:Every page feels designed and loved. Even if you’re not a tennis fan, it sucks you in. All the interesting different moments of her career are there. Pieces are busy but surrounded by space needed to make it feel organized — the preview, present, future. The photos were played very well, it worked nice with the cropping and photo selection too. The pinch of space around the photos is nice to give you a breath. Tons of thought put into the details.”

Silver: The New York Times Sunday Review, “Year in Pictures”
Category: 10Aa Special Sections: Single Sections, News
Judges’ comments:The photos were shocking and touching, but it’s the design that gives it space to breathe. The balance, pacing, bits of interest, it’s all so simple but so well done. There are typographic touches that separate but aren’t loud. The photo placement changes and is surprising, but you’re never lost, it feels so natural. There’s a rhythm that feels like it’s meant to be. The elements are so deliberate and considerate, especially considering it’s basically a large timeline.”

Silver: The Plain Dealer, “Rock Hall Preview”
Category: 13Fb Illustration, Portrait/Caricature, black and white
Judges’ comments:The illustrator did an amazing job of capturing each face with a level of detail, yet the absence of detail. Each character is immediately recognizable. The volume of drawings making up the complete illustration is impressive. You want to spend time and dig into the collection. The illustration makes the reader play a “Where’s Waldo” game of finding the new Hall of Fame inductees.”

Silver: The New York Times Magazine, “Feed Frenzy: The unique 21st-century misery of the online shaming victim”
Category: 13i Multiple Illustrations
Judges’ comments:The concept is incredibly pure and accessible and you get it right away. Twitter birds are flat, but these photo illustrations took a tricky subject and added perspective. Despite the simplicity of the drawings, there is a lot of emotion in them. There’s a great wallpaper graphicness to the main image. You don’t even need headlines on this one. The illustrator used real birds!”

Silver: The Boston Globe, “Splitting Image”
Category: 13Ba Single Illustration, Sports, Color
Judges’ comments: “The simple, yet clever illustration is a great departure from using a photo. Two different likenesses form one complete concept revealing aspects of the player’s character. Using the angel and devil in this symmetry elevated a predictable idea to a higher level.”

Silver: Politico Magazine, “I want to be with the circus”
Category: 12Ea Magazines Story Design News
Judges’ comments: “This is a home run for the magazine’s audience. There’s strong character throughout the photo edit to help the reader navigate clearly through every single page. More is better here. They captured moments that help you see huge figures in their most mortal state. There was consideration for legibility of what it tells you about each photo.”

Silver: National Geographic, “Stalking a Killer (Ebola)”
Category: 12Ea Magazines, Story Design, News
Judges’ comments:
“This entry is all about the power of the photography and how it emotionally moves you. This level of restraint is how you do it, so as not to create distractions from the story. The clean organized grid keeps the design dialed down. It’s crazy beautiful.”

Silver: The Independent, Kevin Bayliss portfolio
Category: 8Db Page Design [Portfolios] Magazine
Judges’ comments: “The reader is aware of the idea and the frenetic activity that went into the work, but it doesn’t get in the way. The identity is strong and stays strong, despite the six different approaches. There’s a real wit to the covers. This work shows great restraint.”

Silver: Guardian Film magazine
Category: 12B Magazine, Special Section
Judges’ comments: “This is a magazine you find yourself reading backward and forward, over and over. They exercise restraint to but also boldness, consistency but then moments of whimsy. Excellence across the board, in how they handle type, placement of photos, everything. They have a great handle on typography and use that restraint to allow the visuals to do the lifting. The excitement is in the content itself – the design(er) is smart enough to recognize that.”

Silver: Guardian Fashion Magazine
Category: 12B Magazine, Special Section
Judges’ comments:
“This is daring. It’s impossible to get bored at any point. There are surprises to be had everywhere. The cropping of photography is amazing and innovative. The attention to detail, and the mix of illustration with photography elevates this work. Also, it feels like The Guardian, there are smart, subtle visual echoes back to the organizational identity.”

Silver: Pitchfork Review
Category: 12A Magazines, Overall Design
Judges’ comments: “It doesn’t just break rules, it sets its own rules. This is a thoroughly modern take, with an incredibly impressive range of design techniques: illustration, photography, color, paper stock, typography, it is across-the-board engaging. It has an underground feel to it, but by your rich cousin who has access to great resources. It’s experimental, refreshing, liberating: a perfect coffee table book, not just a magazine. It’s so frenetic and slightly ADD, but from page to page it all belongs together: that’s very difficult task to achieve. As you flip through you realize it is a design experience.”

Silver: Galileu
Category: 18Ab Magazine Redesign
Judges’ comments: “It has a ton of voice from cover to cover. It is presented in a way of being surprising without being overwhelming. Every single page looks they put more thought into it. The pullout posters are full of energy. They have a real excitement about their world and look for ways to make the smallest story pop out with added information or quick visuals.”

Judges Special Recognition

JSR for affirming their commitment to photography: Bild, “Why Bild has No Photos”
19 Miscellaneous
Judges’ comments: After encountering criticism from readers over the publication of the corpse of a Syrian refugee boy, this newspaper responded with an entire issue without photos. It’s a great idea that they went all in on. We live in a time when a lot of publications let reader opinion guide what they do. Instead of backing away, Bild reasserted the idea that we lose a lot of information when we do not show things. They carried the concept down to even the smallest pictures in the section, including in the TV listings. They did not take shortcuts on the execution, as the reader sees the photo spaces blocked out, and captions included throughout. ‘Bild’ means ‘photograph’: it’s the perfect publication to illustrate this idea.

JSR for innovation in community engagement: ​Minneapolis Star Tribune, “Variety: Under Ground”
Category: 19 Miscellaneous (longform team)
Judges’ comments: “The idea and concept takes the design up a level, it’s publishing in a whole different way. When thinking about additional revenue streams, this is a good way to repurpose content to build brand loyalty and readership with literary content that (frankly) isn’t theirs. It’s forward-looking, and has so much user-generated content for print and the e-book that engages the community. And recognizing a local author with a local story is a fantastic way to understand the paper’s heritage and readership. The process and interaction with this project is amazing, they could make someone’s career with this. The commitment to running 106 installments is something a lot of papers couldn’t or wouldn’t do, it’s a brave move.”


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About Sara Quinn

is principle of Sara Quinn Media, the R.M Seaton Chair for Professional Journalism at Kansas State University, and immediate past president of SND.

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