Weekendavisen and de Volkskrant named World’s Best Designed 

After three days of discussion, judges in the Society for News Design’s 42nd Best of Print News Design competition selected two winners as the World’s Best Designed. 


From the judges

Print is not legacy, but avant-garde: The newspapers who are the 2020 World’s Best recognize that the ubiquity of online content can make print a niche product, special and revolutionary. Publications in this group understood how to use design in exciting, creative and authoritative ways, making the print product indispensable.


Weekendavisen

This Danish weekly is thoughtful, refined and filled with a subtle sense of humor in its visual details throughout. Started in 1749, redesigned for a relaunch in 2020 with expanded culture coverage, Weekendavisen illuminates with its smart blend of legacy and modernity. This newspaper is daring, ambitious and often playful in its approach to covering a full range of global topics. A mastery of the basic principles of news design undergirds the jazz riffs in Weekendavisen—the exaggerated quote marks, the tiny icons and spot illustrations populating the pages to clever effect, the switchups in color and defining folios—all elegantly build both framework and identity. There’s sophistication in the photo editing, a wide variety at play across news, portraiture, conceptual and collaged images. A variety of typography is used to boldly define sections, highlight conversations, and gracefully define navigation. Illustration includes a full range of styles—adeptly mixing the modern with the classic, the unexpected with the ironic. The images and graphic touches in Weekendadvisen do not dominate, but provide an alternate story that enhances a richly textured reading experience. To all this, Weekendavisen adds tightly edited headlines and a discipline on story length to create a complicit conversation with the reader. Balanced and well-crafted, it’s a wonderful newspaper.

de Volkskrant

The Dutch daily de Volkskrant surprises at nearly every turn of the page. Its bold front pages and section covers are inventive and invite readers inside for an excellent visual chronicle of reportage with highly creative use of illustration, photography and graphic details. The compact pages are used to full effect, with a confident balance of space, typography, image and data to create highly dynamic layouts throughout. The paper achieves brightly contrasting rhythms that boldly define sections and the story types within them. The skillful photo editing and art direction work to bring contrast to its pages with careful attention to detail. Typographic texture balances with consciously defined white space. Brand-defining use of icons, quote marks, and spot illos are used throughout the publication, sharpening personality and adding to a cohesive visual voice. Graphics are used sparingly but purposefully—as is color, which lends the publication a crispness and clarity. This is a publication that has abandoned the traditional packaging by subject. Instead, the mix seems created for readers who also scroll feeds: An in depth look at an upcoming election on Saint Maarten, the Dutch constituent country in the Caribbean, is followed immediately by a display of art photographs of children. A feature on racial justice protests yields to a spread featuring a large chicken in illustration. Coronavirus is represented as a pincushion cactus, beautiful and treacherous. The paper uses photographic series to bring honesty and intimacy to stories about the challenges its readers face amid the pandemic. The pages of de Volkskrant show what truly collaborative teams can achieve when editorial and creative direction work together in unison. It’s an exhilarating experience to dive into a publication that manages to provide such finely balanced cohesion with continual surprise—and make it look so effortless.


The judges for this year’s World’s Best Designed Newspaper were:

  • Simon Khalil Global Creative Director at Arab News
  • Jesica Rizzo, Head of Photography at La Nación
  • Ann Gerhart, Senior Editor for visual enterprise at the Washington Post
  • Kelly Doe, Director for Brand Identity at the New York Times
  • Javier Zarracina, Graphics Director at USA Today

The 42nd competition ended with the jury of 27 judges awarding one judges’ special recognition, five gold medals, 59 silver medals and nearly 900 awards of excellence. No Best in Show was awarded. 

Read more about the five newspapers that were named finalists for World’s Best Designed Newspaper here.

Winners in the other categories have been notified and a database of all of the SND42 results can be found here.

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