2020 World’s Best Designer

Gabriel Gianordoli, graphics/multimedia editor for The New York Times, was selected by a panel of 21 judges as the World’s Best Designer in the Society for News Design’s 42nd edition creative competition, the Best of Digital News Design. SND has awarded websites, apps, overall experiences and organizations the World’s Best-Designed™ Digital News Experience distinction since 2010, but this was the first year that a designer was recognized for a portfolio of work.

Other finalists for World’s Best Designer included Harry Stevens, graphics reporter for The Washington Post, Samuel Granados, senior graphics editor for Reuters, and Celina Fang, senior multimedia editor for The Marshall Project.


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Judges noted that “everything Gianordoli has a hand in is clearly better for it. The attention to detail — in particular with their use of animation and motion, that never feels over the top or too much — is what pushes this portfolio to the front of the pack.”

They also cited his command of type, color, information design and user experience as “the work of a master craftsperson” and said his work stood out for its layering of animation, data and technical proficiency, with an accomplished eye able to tackle both macro views and micro. The impressive breadth of his portfolio was described as thoughtful and purposeful.

“Gianordoli’s work covered key 2020 touchpoints — masks, Black Lives Matter, mail-in voting—and more with unmatched visual creativity,” said one judge. “Each piece fits the seriousness of its subject in a weighty year, yet he and his colleagues made fresh aesthetic choices that stand out.” 

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Gianordoli was praised for masterful use of interactive techniques that augment, rather than distract, from the storytelling as well as playing with space and pacing in nearly every piece: The horizontal art gallery walk of  “African-American Art; the dimensional planes showing each actor’s distinct roles in “25 Greatest Actors; the collage-like approach to “Black Lives Matter.” Photography is used in a dynamic way that elevates stories appropriately without gimmickry. 

“Gianordoli’s command of the third dimension points to where digital design is heading — and we won’t need virtual reality goggles to experience it.”