World’s Best winners in print and digital honored at SND41 opening reception

Ana Gueller, right, art director at La Nación of Argentina, accepts one of the awards for World’s Best Designed Newspaper from Society for News Design President Paige Connor in Chicago on April 4, 2019. (Photo by Alli Rowe)

CHICAGO — The Society for News Design on Thursday announced three World’s Best-Designed™ Newspapers — La Nación (Argentina), The Sunday Times (United Kingdom) and The New York Times (United States) — and one World’s Best-Designed™ winner from the digital design competition — Reuters — at the opening reception of its 41st annual workshop, which convened at the Chicago Cultural Center.

World’s Best-Designed™ Newspapers: Judges’ statement

Judges: Steve Dorsey (Gatehouse Media), Javier Errea (Errea Comunicación), Bill Gaspard (China Daily), Suzette Moyer (The Washington Post) and Shazna Nessa (Wall Street Journal)

Finalists: La Nación (Argentina), Politico Europe (Belgium), Die Zeit (Germany), La Repubblica (Italy), El Comercio (Italy), The Guardian (United Kingdom), The Sunday Times (United Kingdom), Memphis Business Journal (United States), The New York Times (United States) and The Villages Daily Sun (United States). 

Our first task at hand was to define a shared vision and framework for reviewing all the entries in this category. We agreed that we would look for consistency, surprise, substance, variety, great journalism, excellent design — and very importantly — we would consider the extent to which a publication focused on the needs of its readers and community.

We were adamant that we weren’t just looking at aesthetics, but at the wonderful symphony of journalism that is created by combining text, design, photography, graphics and illustration.

We had the privilege of reviewing more than 100 entries from all over the world. One thing was clear to us during this process — despite the headwinds in our industry the work we saw was vibrant, thoughtful and deeply committed to design and visual journalism. In some cases, we were delighted by innovations that created new standards for print design.

From thereon we used different techniques and much discussion to move through the process of whittling down to our final selection. This was difficult. Sad groans were audible when a publication was taken off the table, as was mirth and applause when a publication made it through to the next round.   

We paid close attention to publications that challenged and inspired our industry to reach for new solutions. An example of this is The Villages Daily Sun, which is dedicated to serving a small community with a very local flavor. Another example is Politico Europe, which successfully transformed a maze of wonky politics into a lush and inviting experience using bold illustrations and photography.

This process was not an easy task. While we shared many different opinions it was important to us that all final selections were unanimous. In the end, we are delighted to have a robust group of finalists that span different types of organizations globally, from local to national, as well as niche audiences. 

Lastly, we regret that many publications that entered SND’s Creative Competition did not submit an entry in this mandatory and free category. We urge future entrants to raise their hands and be represented. We also took note of the organizations that took time and care to strategically enter the very best combination of work and samples allowed by the rules. We applaud their effort.

La Nación

From the judges: La Nación’s design is simple, quiet, inviting and respectful, with a focus on news pages over splashy features. Its design is fueled by the neatness and sophistication of the presentations, from the surprising use of humorous illustrations, photography, detailed fact boxes and masterful control of white space.

The Sunday Times

From the judges: This energetic newspaper runs straight into your bloodstream with a loudness that is exciting and vibrant. The design is driven by large typography, photography, and bold double trucks. The Graphik Condensed/Extra Condensed all caps headlines are deftly integrated with visuals throughout the publication.

The New York Times

From the judges: The New York Times is brighter and more daring than before. What once was a collection of strong individual pieces has transformed into a unified powerhouse of rich offerings. The staff continues its dedication to photography and doubles down with consistently smart illustrations and graphics.

World’s Best-Designed™ Digital: Judges’ statement

Judges: Jason Chui (Globe and Mail), Hannah Fairfield (The New York Times), Simon Scarr (Reuters) and Shazna Nessa (Wall Street Journal)

Finalists: The Globe and Mail (Canada), The Lily (United States), The Marshall Project (United States), The New York Times (United States), The Pudding (United States), Reuters (United States)

This year we saw more publications employ audience-first thinking and narrow their coverage and presentation approach to serve the reader/user first. These deep dives on particular topics, story forms, and coverage areas by outfits like Axios, The Lily, Pudding, The Intercept and The Marshall Project illustrate how audience insight can guide presentation and ultimately produce a more unified creative voice.

There was also a growth in visuals as a primary source in reporting in the video and interactive longreads space. The work in visual forensics by The New York Times and Reuters reveal how diving deeper into everything visual can not only support reporting, but propel it and form the backbone of the journalism. The work these organizations did with CCTV, social media, 3D graphics recreation, satellite imagery, and ballistics trajectory elevate the work of visual journalists around the world and stand as an example of the endless potential of our industry.

Longform storytelling driven by compelling photography, new approaches in cartography, subtle animation, and a keen eye on editing by all the finalists made them stand apart in the industry. Publications like The Globe and Mail and Reuters showed incredible range and ability in their storytelling, but also how precise editing (through form and function) yielded experience of incredible finesse.

The finalists this year serve as industry role models for their use of technology, their disciplined visual editing, and gorgeous visual presentations. The continued growth in new visual forms of newsgathering will continue to challenge us all, as well uber-focused, audience-driven publications and stories.


From the judges: Consistent interactive story formats and deep graphics-based stories are the backbone of Reuters’s disciplined presentation and visual storytelling. Superb editing (particularly in photojournalism and graphics) paired with creative news gathering (use of social media, satellite imagery, and 3D rendering) elevated their designs. Reuters’s use of visual reporting to report, tell and advance stories is an approach to journalism more of us can emulate and call our own.

More from Reuters:
• Project Greenland
• Tracking China’s Muslim gulag
• A window into Delhi’s deadly pollution
Indonesia plane crash
Destruction in Palu
Australia drought
• 10 years on – Notes from the 2018 financial crisis
• Massacre in Myanmar How Myanmar forces burned, looted and killed in a remote village:
The day they took our men

• Tip of the Spear The shock troops who expelled the Rohingya from Myanmar:
• Sharing the crackdown

About Jon Wile

SND 2017 Charlotte Workshop Chair; SND Design Director and Vice President/Content for American City Business Journals


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