2019 Best in Show and Medal Winners

For three days, judges from around the world secluded themselves in the basement of a downtown D.C. building with thousands of digital entries, coffee and a shocking amount of snacks. Judges held discussions within their groups about whether a submission was worth any medal above an Award of Excellence. A nice, polished piece might have been awarded at least an Award of Excellence, but sending it to the next level involved more than just a vote. Here are some overlapping themes that tended to present themselves in each group of discussions:

  • Restraint, control, focus: It’s true, just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. This comment came up most often while judges discussed whether to elevate a piece from an award of excellence to a bronze medal. A submission that exemplified restraint was The Marshal Project’s bronze medal winner for story page design. One judge said that it was “clean and careful and they were really thoughtful of where to put focus.”
  • Transitions: If a submission went above an Award of Excellence, it needed to have smooth, controlled transitions. Once a piece became jarring or didn’t flow well, there wasn’t much discussion. A bronze medal winner that judges thought used innovative transitions was the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Best of the Decade, which won for story page design. They noted that while there was a horizontal scroll, the piece’s learning curve was fast, and the numbers and color choice made the story linear.
  • Use of technology: This was a phrase straight from the competition’s descriptions of each medal, but its meaning varied based on the type of submission. Judges awarded pieces that used more advanced technology with at least a bronze. They factored in the complexity of a story or dataset, and whether that context made the technology worth a higher award. Globo’s piece on Simone Biles was awarded a silver medal in story page design and a gold medal in use of animation because of the publication’s ability to capture the complexities in the gymnast’s movements. Judges said that it was “groundbreaking” and “a prime example of 3D model animating.”
  • The categories: Some submissions were given a lower award in one category and a higher award in another. A great example was the New York Times piece on Notre Dame that was awarded a bronze medal for story page design, but a gold medal in the infographics category. What solidified its gold medal status was specifically its innovation in infographics. One graphics judge said, “I can see from here on out that this is the standard for how you cover the news.”

Below are the Best in Show and medal winners from the 2019 competition. Unanimously winning entries were eligible for bronze, silver, and gold medals. These entries push the boundaries of design and technology and represent the cutting edge of the news design industry.

Best in Show for Mobile Storytelling

First Place: “Self-driving cars: Who to save, who to sacrifice” from Radio-Canada
Judges’ statement: 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. 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 scrolly nature of mobile devices. Mobile readers don’t get a cheap version, but the entire story designed is specifically for smaller devices.
Runner-up: “The UFC’s 22 Hall of Fame moments” from ESPN
Judges’ statement: It had to tackle design challenges on mobile like a double layered nav and continually playing audio, and It pulls off the interesting and intricate navigation perfectly on the phone. This shines on the small screen.

Gold Medal

3B. Information Graphics – International

The New York Times – Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew. This is how it was saved.

JUDGES SAID:

“I can see from here on out that this is the standard for how you cover the news.”
“The level of granular detail… it’s a really polished execution.”
“It is pretty much perfect.”

4C. Use of Audio in Digital Storytelling/Infographics/Social Media

The New York Times – What Do Rally Playlists Say About the Candidates?

JUDGES SAID:

“I easily spent the most time with this one. I just kept listening.”
“I had a sense of place and of person. I felt like I was there.”
“I think it’s groundbreaking. I can’t really think of anything else for it to be better.”

4E. Use of Animation

Globo – Os Movimentos de Simone Biles (The Movements of Simone Biles)

JUDGES SAID:

“I think it’s ground breaking. The complexities. There are so many different levels.”
“I think this one is a prime example of 3D model animating.”
“She has such complex movement, and they capture it. It’s very well done.”

Silver Medal

2E. Business/Finance, Technology, Transportation

The Wall Street Journal – How to Profit in Space: A Visual Guide

JUDGES SAID:

I thought it was interestingly presented in a way I hadn’t seen before.”
It had a stunning presentation.”

2F. Environment, Health & Science

Science – Setting the table: A brief visual history of the periodic table

JUDGES SAID:

It’s very clean, it works very well. I thought it was very interesting to see the history of the Periodic Table.”
It’s something that I never thought I’d need to see, but now that I’ve seen it, I’m really into it.

2G. Story Page Design – Sports

Globo – Os Movimentos de Simone Biles (Simone Biles’ Movements)

JUDGES SAID:

It definitely has that ‘wow’ factor. At first at the cover, I wasn’t expecting what I was about to see, but once I started scrolling, I was engaged. Even in mobile it was legible.”
It’s very innovative. It’s creative. It’s unique.”

ESPN – The Ticket Challenge

JUDGES SAID:

It’s very clean. It felt to me like a museum exhibit.”
I found myself engaged the entire time.

ESPN – The UFC’s 22 Hall of Fame Moments

JUDGES SAID:

The UX is good, the color palette is nice, it’s mobile-friendly. It’s also for everybody. I think the sports events are pretty diverse. It’s relatable.”
It just delivers. I kind of wish they made a version for concerts. It’s how useful I think it is.

2H. Story Page Design – Arts, Entertainment, Food, Travel & Lifestyle

Reuters – MARVELOUS

JUDGES SAID:

Sometimes adding data viz in illustrations doesn’t fit together, but it works well. You get a little bit of data, a little bit of text, a little bit of technology.”
Aesthetically, it goes into the data super heavy. It makes it easy to consume. It has some complexities to it.

2I. Story Page Design – Gender/Identity & Social Issues

ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) – The Amazon Race

JUDGES SAID:

It’s one of those things that crosses the visual storytelling into product. It’s not like anything else I’ve seen all day. It took a lot of time to put together, and it keeps you engaged… I also learned a lesson and I think it’s super innovative.”
You can feel the frustration. You can feel the empathy.

2J. Public Interest/Editor’s Choice

The New York Times – The Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Augmented Reality

JUDGES SAID:

“I felt like watching it was like being there on the moon with them.”
“This is scrollytelling at it’s best.”

The New York Times – The Internet Is Overrun With Images of Child Sexual Abuse. What Went Wrong?

JUDGES SAID:

It’s a horrifying subject and sensitive subject, and it’s presented without being repulsive. It presents a repulsive dataset pretty well.”
I think because the subject is incredibly sensitive and hard to do, and the landing is incredibly powerful.

3B. Information Graphics – International

The New York Times – Notre-Dame’s Toxic Fallout

JUDGES SAID:

It ticks a lot of boxes, the delivery of it is really polished. It’s all very advanced. Just overall very well executed.
At this point, you were seeing a ton of Notre Dame coverage, so you really needed to do something that was above and beyond, not only story-wise, but visual-wise. It made the connections throughout the piece that kept you in it.

The New York Times – Brumadinho Dam Collapse: A Tidal Wave of Mud

JUDGES SAID:

I really like the science graphics, how it happened. I think the photos are terrifying and just very powerful. I really like the map showing you the course of the mudslide.
I felt such emotion going through this piece. There’s a lot of dimension in terms of what I got out of this.

3E. Information Graphics – Business/Finance, Technology & Transportation

The New York Times – One Nation, Tracked: An Investigation into the Smartphone Tracking Industry from Times Opinion

JUDGES SAID:

It must have been a massive amount of data and a massive amount of processing. They made it look like these dots on a map matter to me, which is hard to do.
It’s a story that probably has some advantages being told from the opinion desk than the news desk. It’s a ton of data. Sometimes when you see a lot of dots on the map, you can’t place yourself in it, but I did. I think they did a wonderful job in breaking data down.

4A. Use of Original/Commissioned Illustration

TASS Russian News Agency – Poltava, Carl! How one battle changed the face of Europe

JUDGES SAID:

I think the intro is ground breaking.
The transition is pretty slick.

TASS Russian News Agency – The Bestiary: Russia’s 10 Epic Monsters

JUDGES SAID:

When we were scrolling down, we were all wowed by that train. Those little subtleties add to the piece.
I think the illustrations really compliment the piece. It tells the story of the mythical creatures really well.

DR – The tattoos of the King – recreated

JUDGES SAID:

“It’s super detailed.”
“They did a fantastic job with the model.”

South China Morning Post – How Bruce Lee and street fighting in Hong Kong helped create MMA.

JUDGES SAID:

I think it’s almost near perfect, especially for the story it’s telling.
I feel like usually what illustration does to a story is it helps elevate a story. But in this case, I see this piece as the illustration is an integral part of the piece.

4B. Use of Video in Digital Storytelling/Infographics/Social Media

The New York Times – 18 Questions. 21 Candidates. Here’s What They Said.

JUDGES SAID:

I think it’s a perfect example of video helping to enhance the storytelling.
I think it’s another piece from them that’s political and easy to consume.

Reuters – Mass movement

JUDGES SAID:

This was kind of hypnotic. I just kept watching. How you can see 200,000 people move in a time-lapse.
It’s a great way to visualize a massive number instead of putting text of 200,000 people. You just see it, and that’s what makes it so powerful.

4D. Use of Photography or Photo Story

La Nación – En fotos: las Lionas, el equipo de hockey inclusivo (In photos: The Lions, the inclusive hockey team)

JUDGES SAID:

There’s something so genuine about it and makes me so emotional.
It’s a very strong photo story, you don’t even need captions and you know what’s going on.

4E. Use of Animation

McClatchy – Explaining PTSD

JUDGES SAID:

I want to see the outcome. That cleverness, you want to see til the end of the story.
It could have been a short animation to a Pixar movie.

McClatchy & ProPublica – ‘I felt like a dog.’ On suicide watch for days in a California jail

JUDGES SAID:

You don’t see many examples that are so simple. It’s taking place in one room, you get the claustrophobia.
When you put it on full screen, with headphones on, you’re really immersed into that world. It’s a really rare experience.

Zhejiang daily press group – A freshman came to the 43rd World Heritage Conference

JUDGES SAID:

I think this is a very well put together piece. As far as storytelling goes, this is not news, but this is the type of features I’d like to see more.
It’s very conversational, and also educational. They really push their limits.

4F. Use of Augmented/Virtual Reality

USA TODAY – Can you step in for a US goalkeeper? Test your skill saving penalty kicks

JUDGES SAID:

It’s like playing Nintendo Wii, for them to bring this medium in is pretty groundbreaking and deserve to be recognized.
It’s cool to show off to people.

4H. Use of Data

The New York Times – Twelve Million Phones, One Dataset, Zero Privacy

JUDGES SAID:

It’s such a monumental, important piece of reporting that we haven’t seen elsewhere before.
This is extremely private data, and they still gave it an anonymous yet personal take.

4I. Social Media Design

The Lily – @TheJessicasAreTurning30

JUDGES SAID:

There’s so many fascinating bits to this, and it seems that they took a lot of care to package this so that it’s cohesive.
The pacing was exactly right, the design is awesome.

5D. Climate

Upstatement – Climate Science, Risk & Solutions

JUDGES SAID:

I read it as a very very fun engaging textbook on climate change.
The design is very accessible and engaging.

7. Experimental Design

ESPN – Assemble Your All-Star Crew

JUDGES SAID:

Brilliant idea, execution, very well done.
The fun part is that you can’t wait to see what’s happening.

The New York Times – The Apollo 11 Moon Landing in Augmented Reality

JUDGES SAID:

The fact that they went in great detail to match the camera angle is great.
Love the animation, it is very smooth.

8. Portfolio

Art Direction (Organization)

Quartz

JUDGES SAID:

“I think it’s a diverse portfolio, it’s nicely done, it’s very polished. The art works for every story.

Story Page Design (Organization)

The New York Times

JUDGES SAID:

We see a lot of the animations, but this [gun] is one of the more successful ones.

Art Direction (Individual)

Megan McCrink, Politico

JUDGES SAID:

I can tell the style of the person that art directed it, more than the different artist.
It’s a bold, moody style. Like a person who wears all black.

Amanda Soto, The Washington Post

JUDGES SAID:

I like the art direction overall. I feel like she proves she can be wacky… but she can be very very elegant.
I’ve rarely seen people who can do both [art direction for photography and art direction for illustration] at such a high level.

Combination (Individual)

Jan Diehm, The Pudding

JUDGES SAID:

I really like what this body of work stands for. I like what it’s pushing.
They break some rules, and I think we’re all jealous of the sense of freedom these pieces give us.

Story Page Design (Individual)

Rebecca Pazos, The Straits Times

JUDGES SAID:

When I look at this piece, I know immediately that this person has a taste, and I like that.
Very diverse, which is a big plus.

Alyssa Karla Mungcal, The Straits Times

JUDGES SAID:

Design is solid, fun, and makes you want to engage.
Narrative is a wow, clean, all the details work well together.

Bronze Medal

2A. Story Page Design – Breaking News

Helsingin Sanomat – Kaaos luokkahuoneessa (Chaos in the Classroom)

JUDGES SAID:

Something that sets this apart from other types of storytelling that tells similar events is that there’s a way that they use interactive modeling with Google Earth verses in previous projects it was more flat and one dimensional.”

2B. Story Page Design – International

The New York Times – Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew. This is how it was saved.

JUDGES SAID:

I think the 3D modeling part shows very incredible reporting. The visual helped me through the whole story.”

2C. Story Page Design – National

The New York Times – To Stop Border Crossings, the U.S. Made the Journey Deadlier

JUDGES SAID:

It looks like it could be a template, but there are little tiny things like animation that take me out of that.”

The Washington Post – What Remains of Bears Ears

JUDGES SAID:

“All of the visual components work together. In terms of tech, it’s the first time I’ve seen anyone use Mapbox for a project like this.”

The Marshall Project – Detained: How the United States created the largest immigrant detention system in the world.

JUDGES SAID:

Just the design of it is striking, and the animation is really well done.”

Zeit Online – East-West Exodus: The Millions Who Left

JUDGES SAID:

It’s a nice palette. The way they show the flow of where people moved overtime and the makeup of the area over time… they didn’t have to make it look this nice. We’ve seen presentations like this, but I feel like this is very special.”

Politico – The Lo-Fi Voices That Speak for America

JUDGES SAID:

I think that the idea and content is interesting. Typically when audio is put in a story is an ambient audio or a track that’s put there. This is treated as an audio-first story that I haven’t seen out of an audio-first place.”

2E. Business/Finance, Technology, Transportation

Radio-Canada – Self-driving cars: Who to save, who to sacrifice?

JUDGES SAID:

I think it really illustrated some different points about the issues with self-driving cars. I really liked the trolley dilemma… It was interesting ethically and philosophically.”

Spiegel Online – Fly Me To The Moon

JUDGES SAID:

This is better than many of the moon landing-related things that I’ve seen.”

The Wall Street Journal – Boeing 737 MAX: A Tale of Two Crashes

JUDGES SAID:

It was a highly technical thing. It did a really good job explaining in an attractive matter. It’s really polished.”

The New York Times – How Apple’s Apps Topped Rivals in the App Store It Controls

JUDGES SAID:

I really like the simplicity of it. It was extremely effective. I was really jealous of it the first time it came out, it was really clever and well executed.”

Bloomberg – The Tesla Model 3 Survey

JUDGES SAID:

I think people are crazy about reviews, so you don’t even have to be a Tesla owner. It’s just looking at what Musk has promised, and unkept promises.”

2F. Environment, Health & Science

The Straits Times –Trash or treasure: Can you tell what can and cannot be recycled?

JUDGES SAID:

The way that they break down the different pieces and identify them. I think it’s a good piece, it has the aesthetic appeal there.”

South China Morning Post – Why your smartphone is causing you ‘text neck’ syndrome

JUDGES SAID:

I think it’s a very cool piece. The proper usage of both illustration and photography and graphics, and they managed to maintain the theme throughout. I feel that it’s super polished and smooth.”

The Washington Post – How to dress for space

JUDGES SAID:

It’s showcasing what they can do with photogrammetry. It’s really cool to see these astronaut spacesuits in 3D.”

2G. Story Page Design – Sports

South China Morning Post – How Bruce Lee and street fighting in Hong Kong helped create MMA

JUDGES SAID:

The illustrations are the heart of the piece. The line art and cross-hatching is nice.”

ESPN – The UFC’s Must-See Moves

JUDGES SAID:

I was engaged looking at this. It took me a solid three minutes to go through this.”

The Washington Post – Unlike Mike

JUDGES SAID:

I was pretty engaged. The chart was simple, but I felt fascinated by it. I just kept scrolling. It was fun to see the comparison with LeBron and with the past greats.”

2H. Story Page Design – Arts, Entertainment, Food, Travel & Lifestyle

DR – The tattoos of the King – recreated

JUDGES SAID:

I like how when you scroll, it operates as a camera. All of the little animations add to the whole experience. It’s not just the camera moves, but every once in a while the character will flex.”

Reuters – Lightsaber duels

JUDGES SAID:

The long scroll is easy, but it also moves around so the technology is there, it’s a little more complex… It’s doubling down on the visual storytelling.”

The New York Times – Hudson Yards Is Manhattan’s Biggest, Newest, Slickest Gated Community. Is This the Neighborhood New York Deserves?

JUDGES SAID:

I think in this case, the 3D model helps you see what is otherwise hard to see. The level of execution is pretty high. The flow is right, it’s moving all the time, so it helps me move through the story. I really like the video and how you can control the flow and the pace of it.”

The New York Times – 65 Block Parties, 5 Boroughs, 20 Photographers: See What They Found

JUDGES SAID:

The imagery and the videos are so compelling, just going through it I’m getting a story.”

South China Morning Post – How Bruce Lee and street fighting in Hong Kong helped create MMA

JUDGES SAID:

The illustrations are the heart of the piece… It was fun, I enjoyed it. Didn’t have many bells and whistles, but it was still aesthetically pleasing.”

Star Tribune – Best of the Decade in Arts

JUDGES SAID:

It’s super fun and pretty innovative, what I like about this piece it’s the interaction.”

2I. Story Page Design – Gender/Identity & Social Issues

The Washington Post – Prison

JUDGES SAID:

It’s easy to consume, and I got caught up in the content.”

The Age & The Sydney Morning Herald – Invisible Crime: Are we failing victims of sexual violence?

JUDGES SAID:

I just enjoyed the execution of the data. I like how they break it down. They don’t show you all of the information at once. They break it down step-by-step.”

3A. Information Graphics – Breaking News

Bloomberg – Where Boeing’s 737 Max Planes Go When They’re Grounded

JUDGES SAID:

We’ve seen this type of work before, but this was a story that hadn’t been told because it was the 737 planes that continued to fly… I thought that it was a cool execution of a story that hadn’t been told by anyone else.”

Los Angeles Times – California wildfires map

JUDGES SAID:

I just felt like that would be an amazing tool to have… I could see myself constantly checking that thing. It’s a good piece of work, technically.”

South China Morning Post – How Hong Kong airport protests ended in chaos

JUDGES SAID:

It was certainly a visual story being told, and it’s so hard to get an idea for this kind of event when you live across the globe, but I felt that all of my questions were answered with the next image.”

3B. Infographics – International

The New York Times – The British-Irish Dialect Quiz

JUDGES SAID:

It really works. Even though it’s relatively straight forward in its delivery, the map is very well done. It’s interesting to see.”

The New York Times – A Bird’s-Eye View of How Protesters Have Flooded Hong Kong Streets

JUDGES SAID:

I can see how much work was put into this, and it looks very simple. It looks very easy. It’s very linear. It’s very static. It gives very subtle cues along the way. It’s very exquisite. It’s very breathtaking.”

3C. Information Graphics – National

The New York Times – How Two Big Earthquakes Triggered 16,000 More in Southern California

JUDGES SAID:

I think there are really nice design choices throughout, with the bubbles coming in at the beginning. The maps are gorgeous in the background. It’s definitely high-quality and I think they made all of the right choices in this.”

The New York Times – Buildings Can Be Designed to Withstand Earthquakes. Why Doesn’t the U.S. Build More of Them?

JUDGES SAID:

“The models paired with diagrams showing stability is very smart. Lots of nice small details make it enjoyable to go through.”

The New York Times – Cities Start to Question an American Ideal: A House With a Yard on Every Lot

JUDGES SAID:

I feel like the data that informs this is pretty straight forward, but the execution is nice. I don’t think that this is a light lift. I like the overviews and the details. I think the readers can choose to dig in as much as they want.”

The New York Times – How Trump Reshaped the Presidency in Over 11,000 Tweets

JUDGES SAID:

I think there’s value in this and the framing is nice. There are those bells and whistles, there are values in the scale. I really really wanted to keep reading. I wanted to keep scrolling. It’s something that pulled me through.”

3E. Information Graphics – Business/Finance, Technology & Transportation

The New York Times – How Apple’s Apps Topped Rivals in the App Store It Controls

JUDGES SAID:

The way that it started with the phone was a really strong open. It places something that most people are familiar with right at the top.”

The Wall Street Journal – Boeing 737 MAX: Tale of Two Crashes

JUDGES SAID:

There was a lot of this type of work right around when the 737 stuff happened, and I remember when this came out thinking that this was the best that I saw.”

3F. Environment, Health & Science

The Washington Post – Mapping America’s wicked weather and deadly disasters

JUDGES SAID:

It was the art direction, it was the design that made the maps shine. It doesn’t fall flat on the narrative, the story.”

The New York Times – A Closer Look at the Polar Vortex’s Dangerously Cold Winds

JUDGES SAID:

I love these short data pieces. I feel like these are a foil to some of the longer ones that have everything but the kitchen sink.”

The New York Times – See How the World’s Most Polluted Air Compares With Your City’s

JUDGES SAID:

I feel like you so many charts and maps and bar charts and this took it off the page for me, which is real. I really appreciated the physical, even if it was slightly unrealistic.”

Reuters – The race to save the river Ganges

JUDGES SAID:

The subtle color change as you move down the drain is great because it got muddy.”

National Geographic – The Atlas of Moons

JUDGES SAID:

I feel like there must have been a ton of work that went into this, and it’s very well done.”

3J. Public interest/Editor’s Choice

The New York Times – How to Track President Trump

JUDGES SAID:

The really close zoom on the buildings makes it feel so personal and creepy to me.”

4A. Use of Original/Commissioned Illustration

ESPN – How Dabo Built Clemson into a Monster

JUDGES SAID:

I enjoy the animations. They’re simple, but they do add a lot to the illustration.”

ESPN – The Ticket Challenge

JUDGES SAID:

The illustration just compliments the quiz, makes it not as bland. It just serves its purpose, in the right proportion.”

Reuters – Understanding Brexit: Events that led the UK to a Brexit impasse

Notes for this medal discussion were not recorded.

The Intercept – Criminalizing Compassion: The Unraveling of the Conspiracy Case Against No More Deaths Volunteer Scott Warren

JUDGES SAID:

Definitely love the style, it’s beautiful, it ties into the piece, it tells the story.”

National Geographic – Along the Mekong

JUDGES SAID:

I really enjoyed the illustrations. It was kind of a mix of different styles.”

4B. Use of Video in Digital Storytelling/Infographics/Social Media

The Boston Globe – Seeing Red

JUDGES SAID:

The pacing was enough to draw your interest.”

Helsingin Sanomat – Kielletty Metsä (Forbidden Forest)

JUDGES SAID:

It’s like an Avenger movie… It’s very dramatic… and it’s very pretty.”

The New York Times – How to Get a Selfie With Elizabeth Warren in 8 Steps

JUDGES SAID:

I think the video is crucial. The way they broke it down, the pacing is right.”

The New York Times – The Glorious Return of Funk

JUDGES SAID:

The visuals, the storytelling and how they use data inside the video is very elevated, and aesthetically it’s beautiful.”

The New York Times – ‘Old Town Road’: See How Memes and Controversy Took Lil Nas X to the Top of the Charts

JUDGES SAID:

I like how they kind of stuck with the vertical video format because the song got really popular through Tik Tok… so I thought that it was really clever.”

South China Morning Post – Why your smartphone is causing you ‘text neck’ syndrome

JUDGES SAID:

I do quite enjoy the video annotation they do.”

The Washington Post – Gone in a Generation

JUDGES SAID:

I spent a lot of time with this one, just with the videos themselves.”

4C. Use of Audio in Digital Storytelling/Infographics/Social Media

The Washington Post – Aretha: Her story was in her songs

JUDGES SAID:

It’s a very polished piece. The placement of the quotes, the pacing, the full-bleed cover. I think everything works very well. It’s just an elegant piece.”

Metrópoles – 59 anos de muito som (59 years of great sound)

JUDGES SAID:

I like the transitions. I think the technology’s there.”

ESPN – The UFC’s 22 Hall of Fame Moments

JUDGES SAID:

I enjoyed it, and I also liked how as you scroll, it doesn’t actually stop. So you and scroll and you can go to the end of the timeline as it’s playing.”

The New York Times – Before & After ‘The B-52’s’

JUDGES SAID:

The design, the user experience is very intuitive. It was interesting, comparing all of the previous artists that influenced the B-52’s.”

4D. Use of Photography or Photo Story

National Geographic – Lithium is powering today’s technology—at what price?

JUDGES SAID:

“The fact that they were combining still photography with very subtle video work, you would almost glance at a video and think that’s a photo but something is moving, so it’s a nice combo without overdoing it visually.”

The New York Times – Hong Kong: A City Divided

JUDGES SAID:

Linear is super smart, especially how they piece everything together.”

4E. Use of Animation

ESPN – Take our challenge to learn ticket-shopping secrets for Final Four, other major events

JUDGES SAID:

The movements are not super dramatic, but I feel like they really add to the piece.”

The Paper – Understand in Three Minutes: What Is the Problem with Medicine

JUDGES SAID:

It’s just really good execution. I know isometric animation is really popular, but I don’t mind seeing it. It’s done really well.”

The Washington Post – What does copyright infringement sound like? 

JUDGES SAID:

The style is different. I think the animations really work, it tells the story. A lot of the story wouldn’t be told if the animations weren’t there.”

4G. Use of Maps

Los Angeles Times – California wildfires map

JUDGES SAID:

I think it checks a lot of boxes and is very functional.”

The New York Times – How to Track President Trump

JUDGES SAID:

It’s one of those stories that would not be here without the maps. You would not have the sense of tracking and the sense that Trump could be followed. So I think the maps really make the story for me.”

ProPublica – In a Notoriously Polluted Area of the Country, Massive New Chemical Plants Are Still Moving in

JUDGES SAID:

I really like the shading in it because it feels toxic. The air feels heavy in it. It’s a very very beautiful map. When you zoom in it really chokes you up.”

The Washington Post – Mapping America’s wicked weather and deadly disasters

JUDGES SAID:

I feel that this has an artist’s touch on it, and it still has data on it.”

4H. Use of Data

The New York Times – How Unpredictable Is Your Subway Commute? We’ll Show You

JUDGES SAID:

I think this is a tool that hit the average New Yorker and allowed them to be like, ‘I see myself in this data.'”

4I. Social Media Design

ProPublica – New Video Shows Border Patrol’s Account of Child’s Death Was Not True 

JUDGES SAID:

I thought it was very moving and compelling.”

The Telegraph – Will it Kill Me?

JUDGES SAID:

I think they went to that extra effort to actually make a show… it wasn’t just someone putting graphics together in a room… It was relatable and engaging.”

5A. Breaking News

Adresseavisen – Jakten på Max (The Hunt for Max)

JUDGES SAID:

“It felt like the art was integrated into the rest of the story. This is one of those cases where I feel like the visuals were pretty well innovative and integrated.”

The Los Angeles Times – California wildfires map

JUDGES SAID:

I remember using this one and looking at the wildfires. It was really cool, because it kept updating itself.”

5B. The Mueller Report/Impeachment

The Washington Post – The Mueller Report Illustrated

JUDGES SAID:

I think the way they integrated the sounds and visuals was very tight and everything felt very natural and organic.”

5J. Public Interest/Editor’s Choice

Reuters – Hong Kong protests

JUDGES SAID:

I feel that there were many pieces to this package and they all seem to go together… overall it’s pretty consistent and the level in which they’re presenting it across the package.”

6E. Best mobile app

The New York Times (iOS, Android)

JUDGES SAID:

They do what they do really well and they refine it.”

6G. Best new or redesigned product, site or app

Zetland (iOS, Android)

JUDGES SAID:

I can’t even understand what it says, and I had a brilliant time playing around with it.”

6H. Best storytelling, multimedia or interactive tools for journalists or readers

The New York Times – Oak

JUDGES SAID:

It seemed like it would be a neat tool to have in the newsroom, and newsroom tools are so important.”

7. Experimental Design

Pew Research Center – How does a computer ‘see’ gender?

JUDGES SAID:

It is very interesting, definitely makes me think about men versus women. It makes me want more information.”

South China Morning Post – China Tech City

JUDGES SAID:

I like it a lot, it reminds me of SimCity 2000 or the opening of Silicon Valley. Really well done and the fact that you can move around, click on the building, it’s like a video game. I spent a lot of time on this.”

8. Portfolio

Combination (Organization)

National Geographic magazine

JUDGES SAID:

Our team looks at them for inspiration. The sort of level and detail and execution, are worlds beyond what a normal newsroom does. They pour untold resources into each one, a level of precision that other people would think to do.”

The Pudding

JUDGES SAID:

“The politics of it aren’t changing the world but it is inspiring newsrooms everywhere… borrow ideas that they can use and apply to the visualization of other topics.”

Information Graphics (Organization)

Bloomberg

JUDGES SAID:

We’re asking people to do stuff that we haven’t seen before and go beyond traditional charts… there are some definite pieces that rise above.”

The New York Times

JUDGES SAID:

If I think back to what I remember from the year, several of these pieces are absolutely included in that.”

The Washington Post

JUDGES SAID:

It felt like there was a big focus on the audience and the readers themselves, and how people would interact with these pieces.”

Story Page Design (Organization)

ESPN

JUDGES SAID:

One or two pages are really strong.”

The Paper

JUDGES SAID:

It’s strong, they are trying to do their own thing, unlike the other.”

The Washington Post

JUDGES SAID:

Post pays a lot of attention to details and is very meticulous about this kind of thing.”

Art Direction (Individual)

Emily Scherer, FiveThirtyEight

JUDGES SAID:

When I think of FiveThirtyEight, I don’t immediately associate them with art direction… This is my first time being exposed to the type of art direction that they do. It’s clean, it’s to the point. They’re not really over-thinking it.”

Heather Donahue, ESPN

JUDGES SAID:

It feels like ESPN’s work has been constantly pushing it, there’s a lot of effort that can be seen.”

Story Page Design (Individual)

Courtney Kan, The Washington Post

JUDGES SAID:

I personally have been involved in Apple news, and making one isn’t easy. When I opened up the Apple news story for this, it wasn’t much different from the desktop version which surprised me. It was an eye opener to me that you could do such a thing in apple news.”