Category Archives: World’s Best

Thoughts from the Society for News Design president about the 29th Best of Newspaper Design

By Gayle Grin

As always, the competition was exciting, stimulating and tiring as the hard-working judges pored over more than 14,000 entries in three long days of debate and discussion. And before the judging could begin, the entries had to be sorted and categorized by a dedicated group of helpers.

It was an intriguing process. Initially I felt there was so much of the same good stuff but at the same time, I recognized that newspapers have reached a level of maturity in design and we have taught each other so much. I could see quality in design was being identified. With a lot of work to be reviewed, the judges quickly began acting as a unit recognizing the elusive excellence. The judges, with a good international mix, were a tough bunch!

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Rewolucja! Design in Eastern Europe

“Even if you don’t speak Turkish, you can understand us. Because design is universal. So is page design.”

This quote is from an ad for Zaman we’ve seen in our SNDBoston guides. If you ignore the “Turkish” part, its a great way to describe what we saw and heard in Marek Knap’s lecture on design in Eastern Europe.

Knap has been a designer since 1995 and his background lies in magazine design. He has worked on the Polish versions of magazines like Newsweek, Maxim, Marie Claire. In 2005, he introduced a redesign of Rzeczpospolita of Warsaw, Poland. In the same year, SND named it one of the World’s Best Designed Newspapers.

Even though most of us aren’t familiar with Cyrillic characters or the Polish language, I know we can all appreciate Knap’s work.

“Visual language has experienced a revolution…I think we can call it evolution.” -Marek Knap

— Ashley Zammitt, UNC-CH
SND Chapter President

See the World’s Best now

SND has just released a CD with samples of the newspapers that were honored in February as the best-designed in the world.

An international panel of judges selected Aripaev in Tallinn, Estonia; El Economista in Madrid, Spain; Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung in Frankfurt, Germany; and Politiken in Copenhagen, Denmark for the award.

The judges said the newspapers they selected “set a standard of excellence, not just by the masterful execution of their pages, but by their ability to speak with a voice”

The CD features a 67-page PDF showing front pages, section fronts and inside pages that demonstrate what the judges described as “elegance, visual virtuosity, raw energy, grit and innovation.”

To learn more or to order, visit The SND Store.

Javier Errea talks about his vision for El Economista

The Blog sat down with Javier Errea, the great host for Malofiej 15 (did we mention how good they treated us in Spain?), to talk about his work at helping to create El Economista, the Madrid financial publication that recently was judged a World’s Best-Designed Newspaper by SND.

Javier, who directs SND’s Spanish Chapter and is on the faculty at the Universidad de Navarra, worked on the project for Innovation, the international media consulting group.

Javier explained he was hired to help bring form to the start-up publication, to create difference in a marketplace where financial dailies were less visually exciting than counterparts in the sports or entertainment niche.

“We were looking for a new way to tell financial news,” he said. “But I think we did not go far enough.”

What’s that? The paper just won a major industry honor and many journalists are impressed with the results. Folks around the world are pointing to its clever approach, handsome graphics and beautiful use of type.

Like any good architect who sees what could have been, though, Javier knows what was in those original sketches and sees how the product could have been improved, and he’s promising to share that work with us for a longer piece in Update (the downloadable PDF for members).

We’re excited because we think it will be a smart exploration of the distance you travel between idea and execution, along with insight on the very good daily work that the staff at El Economista did after the paper launched.

“I think that what I proposed was, perhaps, too crazy for them to implement,” Javier said. “They could not see how to make it real every day. I fully understand those constraints, but, of course, I wish for what could have been.”

We’re anxious to know and see more. We’ll report back when Javier returns from Dubai (he heroically left the day after Malofiej ended). We plan to hook up for that longer interview, spy on some of the original ideas and have Javier walks us through his ambition for different displays of information.

Until then, we leave you with pages from the entry that got the paper its award-winning moment in the spotlight in the first place.