2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards: Susan Mango Curtis and Tim Harrower

It’s with great pleasure that we introduce the Society for News Design Lifetime Achievement Award honorees for 2019: Susan Mango Curtis and Tim Harrower. Our honorees have had decades of great influence on countless students of visual storytelling all over the world.

Susan Mango Curtis is an associate professor at Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University (NU). Since 1997 she has taught students to effectively report, create, edit and design visuals to tell the news in both digital and print. An award-winning Adobe Education Leader, she was an early adopter of digital publishing on smartphones and tablets. She is also a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists’ visual task force, and she has represented SND and NABJ at Unity conference four times, putting together the visual journalism workshops.

She has applied her expertise in strategic planning and product management to champion visual thinking and immersive storytelling. She is a design consultant for publications and organizations in the US and other countries, and is frequently invited to lecture at various universities and media events.

“Mango’s news design class was a hit from the start among graduate students,” said Cristóbal Edwards, a professor of visual journalism at Catholic University of Chile and current secretary/treasurer of SND, who attended the first class she gave at Medill. “She led us enthusiastically through the infinite possibilities to tell the news with charts, maps and photos. She invited us to be part of the SND student group at NWU and showed us the best of news design around the world. I was hooked.”

She was president of SND in 2004, and was the driving force behind the Society’s first Code of Ethical Standards in Design, which visual journalists around the world have  adopted as a professional canon. “Susan Mango Curtis is a special leader in SND history,” said Matt Mansfield, founder and partner at MG Strategy & Design, and chair of SND’s upcoming workshop in Chicago. “Mango’s reliable voice can always be counted on for guidance and inspiration. She’s an essential part of what makes working with SND so memorable.”

Prior to her academic work, she was assistant managing editor for the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal, and a member of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize gold medal in 1994 for a series titled “The Question of Color.”

Tim Harrower has been an editor, designer and columnist at newspapers large (The Oregonian), mid-sized (The Rochester Times-Union) and small (the Times weeklies in Beaverton, Ore.). He became a journalist in the ’80s after his first career choice — rock ’n’ roll super legend — fizzled out.

Harrower’s first book, “The Newspaper Designer’s Handbook,” has been a fixture in newsrooms and classrooms around the world, translated into Russian, Chinese and Polish. His follow-up, “Inside Reporting,” is America’s most popular news writing textbook.

He’s hosted countless journalism workshops, from high school to top professionals, consulted on redesigns, noodled around with multimedia, composed music and operated a dog-and-frog ranch deep in the Oregon woods with wife, Robin.

“A generation of designers used Tim’s handbook as a roadmap through the quickly evolving world of Quark- and InDesign-based news design,” said Tracy Collins, director of the USA TODAY Network Design Studio. “It was unintimidating, at times hilarious, practical and filled with brilliant tips — all of the things that someone new to the craft needed to relax and find their way, while it tried its hardest to keep them from going astray. It was true to Tim, and Tim has always been true to the messages he delivered to so many.”

Harrower has been a generous, long-time donor and supporter of the Society and its missions.

Curtis and Harrower will receive their awards in person at the Opening Party of the 40th Anniversary Workshop of the Society for News Design, April 4-6. The ceremony will be at 6 p.m. Thursday April 4 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Please join us at SND-Chicago to celebrate their contributions to the Society and to the world of journalism. We’ll also recognize the World’s Best-Designed digital and print winners at this special opening event, sponsored by American City Business Journals and Tribune Design & Production Studio. You do not have to be registered for the Annual Workshop to attend the Opening Party at the Chicago Cultural Center. If you are, however, your ticket price is included in your registration. Individual tickets to the party can be purchased for $75 here.


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