World's Best

Awards and Winners of SND's Annual Competitions

A salute to the winners…a toast to you from far away.

During these dark and uncertain times, people spanning the globe have relied on visual journalism and information. Images and infographics have impact in communities large and small. Excellence in news design has provided clear understanding, when there are no answers. 

Please join us as we honor our winners of  the worlds best news design contests. We praise their impact. We support the perseverance of all of our SND members to continue to tell compelling visual stories. Our craft depends on it. Democracy deserves it.


Print: The Washington Post (The Mueller Report)

This work starts with the first creative meeting when the hyper-ambitious team decided to go all in — with a tight deadline — on a story where democracy is at stake. It continues with the brave notion that this story could be told using a graphic novel approach, which undoubtedly caused consternation from several editors. But this work demonstrates the crucial role collaborative visual leadership plays in the newsroom and plants a flag for design-led storytelling.


Digital: Radio-Canada (Mobile Storytelling)

The UX is extremely clean, especially for a digital game, and doesn’t force you to play in order to continue reading or get results for each question. The attention to detail is 100% and the storytelling is super engaging. The experience brought out the personal, not only through engaging users in moral dilemmas, but also by intentionally using the vertical orientation and scrolling behaviors of mobile platforms in a really purposeful way. The graphics are masterfully animated and fully exploit the scrolling nature of mobile devices. Mobile readers don’t get a cheap version, but the entire story designed is specifically for smaller devices.


Judges considered entries that included websites, experience design, products, and overall organizations and sought to identify work that has fundamentally shifted or improved how news and information is delivered across digital platforms when naming World’s Best. They were looking for work that makes a statement to the design community through strong execution of storytelling, design, branding or product-development. They were looking for work that challenges the industry, stretches the notion of creativity and excels visually and technically.


This year’s World’s Best judges celebrated a list of 8 finalists that expand the role of design in journalism, from experience design to stagecraft and even into areas traditionally reserved for the “business side.” The finalists this year serve as industry role models for visual journalism, and beyond that, they push the boundaries of design to new dimensions. If the purpose of design is to solve problems and the purpose of journalism is to empower the public, the finalists this year increase the remit of both practices.

South China Morning Post’s Information Graphics

Bureau of Investigative Journalism

New York Magazine

Pop-Up Magazine and California Sunday Magazine

New York Times Cooking

The Guardian’s Membership Experience Design

The Washington Post

Vox’s video explainers

WORLD'S BEST - Digital


Judges coalesced early in the process around what design principles and reading experience they believed should define a candidate worthy of being named World’s Best. They were looking for a publication that took advantage of the print medium and the courage to leverage the form without apology. They wanted a newspaper firmly in control of its visual voice, confident and certain with every note. They were looking for integrity of effort and execution, asking that a newspaper relentlessly demonstrate that it pursued design excellence with every turn of the page. All pages matter, every photo, every graphic, every type application, every headline, every design element. All of it had to be spot on. Perhaps more than anything else, judges were looking for a newspaper that could tell important stories exceptionally well.


There’s amazing news design happening around the world. The 11 semi-finalists represented high standards in visual storytelling, easily separating themselves from the full field of entries. Judges saw excellent use of typography and color, design systems that provide solid footing, and a wealth of inventive visuals. The newspapers that made this cut exemplified what makes print such a durable experience. The judges deliberated for a long time to select this field and were heartened to see new forms emerging, especially those that explored ways to drive revenue expansion and strive for inclusion and community.

De Volksrant (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

The Guardian (London, United Kingdom)

Washington Post (Washington, D.C., United States)

The New York Times (New York City, United States)

Politiken (Copenhagen, Denmark)

The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Canada)

Dagens Nyheter (Stockholm, Sweden)

Het Parool (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Público (Lisbon, Portugal)

Die Zeit (Hamburg, Germany)

Politico Europe (Brussels, Belgium)


The Guardian

The Guardian is bursting with energy. Its exuberant personality comes through on nearly every page. The brand is confident, expressed consistently through type that says “The Guardian” at every turn. It is bold where it matters, fearless in investigations, direct when it needs to be. The supplements — from the youthful and colorful Guide to the more refined Review section — are a delight to experience. The inventiveness of the presentation makes you smile.

The New York Times

The Times has boldly staked out this ground: Print matters and is worthy of affection. Breadth and depth of visual storytelling was exceptional on every page of this stunningly sophisticated publication. The newspaper is not simply a place where yesterday’s digital stories go. Rather, it’s a creative place for fascinating experiences and stories, built for both explanation and contemplation. The Times showed its respect for its rich design history and brand but also pushed for experimentation and innovation (1619 project, New York Times Kids section).