• Snd33main-460x359

    The winners

  • Excelweb-cov-266x460

    Excelsior

  • Excelweb-1-460x398

    Excelsior

  • Excelweb-2-258x460

    Excelsior

  • Npweb-1-224x460

    National Post

  • Npweb-2-217x460

    National Post

  • Npweb-cov-222x460

    National Post

  • Faweb-cov-330x460

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

  • Faweb-1-325x460

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

  • Paper

    The Grid

  • Gridweb-1-368x460

    The Grid

  • Gridweb-2-360x460

    The Grid

  • Polweb-cov-315x460

    Politken

  • Polweb-1-460x323

    Politken

  • Polweb-2-319x460

    Politken

Graphic Design

The 33rd World's Best News Design Awards

Posted by Rob Alderson,

With the newspaper industry struggling with the mammoth task of redefining its role in the modern media landscape, many are still tolling the bell to announce its demise. But amid all the chatter of business models, digital-first content and salvation by apps, discussion about how papers actually look can get swept under the carpet. Thankfully the Society of News Design holds an annual awards programme to recognise the very best work out there and last week announced the winners – see who they are and why they won here…

Excelsior (Mexico City, Mexico)

The judges were impressed by this paper’s “sophisticated typography, bold color palette and overall visual energy” and the way the hectic pace of Mexican life was captured in its pages.

“This is a paper with a lot going on — lots of stories, sidebars and breakouts along with lots of photographs and graphics. It’s who they are. That they’re able to bring order to this potential chaos without dulling their edge is a testament to the care they take on every page…It grabs you and doesn’t let you go from the first page until the last.

They were also impress with the way Excelsior “ably adjusts the volume as the content demands” and said: “There is a small, but smart personality shift in each of the sections. It’s an acknowledgment of the change in content but done skillfully enough without making the paper as a whole feel disjointed.”

National Post (Toronto, Canada)

The Post, according to the judges, “lures its readers in with a sultry beauty, and then captivates them with an authoritative attitude” and is remarkable for its “excellence in, and devotion to, true visual storytelling.”

“The base structure of the Post is well-defined and delivers a stunning, unique look, starting with the vertical nameplate on Page 1 and continuing with the horizontal “workspace” at the top of each inside page. This space’s diversity, with the bold use of horizontal images, breakout information or strong quotes — adds a dynamic start to every page in the book.”

And this attention to detail dovetails with its instinctive feel for its readers: “This is a paper that knows when to whisper, and knows when to shout. It chooses its words, pictures, graphics and illustrations with care. "

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (Frankfurt, Germany)

It’s not the first time the FAS has been recognised in these awards and the old German master apparently shows no sign of relinquishing its status as one of the best around.

It is praised for its “elegant photography and typography that give it an authoritative look that appeals to a discerning readership. Bold photo crops, superb illustrations and near-perfect page production make inside pages as compelling as its section covers or even its front page.

“FAS layers its stories, many of them running three or four full columns, with excellent photojournalism, vibrant illustrations, and clear, direct information graphics that are laid into the body of the stories both to provide a visual break and enhance the elegantly displayed prose.

It pulls off the trick of managing to stay high-end and dynamic, thanks to: “Excellent portrait photography, superb photo editing, brilliantly crafted illustrations, a disciplined use of its signature red and blue color pallet, plus a variety of story forms compel visitors to pay attention to every page.”

The Grid (Toronto, Canada)

The Grid is the pugnacious upstart crashing in with its big bold style and guerilla slogan: “Good sh*t is happening – lots and lots of it,” and it’s no nonsense approach has swept the judges along too – they say the paper’s slogan could apply to itself as much as the city it covers.

“The design is minimalistic and the cool, restrained and exclusive fonts are Tiempo for body copy, and the logo face and display fonts are Fakt. What really makes this publication a different visual experience for the reader are the many tiny informative graphic details throughout the pages. It must be extremely time-consuming doing these pages, but it works so well for the reader. Specific keywords are highlighted with yellow; small locator maps show where to find the spot mentioned in the presentation.

“The Grid also surprises with sparse but great inside photography on full spreads. Our favorite was the fantastic photo of a line at a hotdog stand — and the photo goes on through four straight pages. This is a wonderful surprise for the reader.

“This publication really catches you and it will not let you go. Any big city with respect for itself should get a “good sh*t” guerrilla guide like this. Right now.”

Politiken (Copenhagen, Germany)

Although at 127 years old Politiken is a venerable old publication, a re-design in December to “appeal to readers in a fresh and modern way with the goals of improved navigation and usability” was hailed by teh judges a s a great success.

“Each front page has an atypical visual approach or solution – from documentary photojournalism to caricature. Great attention has been given to type decisions, even down to the smallest details.

“Extra white space above and below headlines, body text and leading choices for optimum readability indicate the reader experience comes first.  The simplicity of the byline styles and columnist sigs adds to the paper’s elegant visage.”
Particularly impressive was the combination of a lively visual syntax that doesn’t descend into confusion.

The judges said: “Pages are full of multiple entry points and provocative illustrative work. Color is used to step readers through stories and columns.

“Politiken is a model for the power of visual consistency throughout a newspaper.”

Ra

Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.

Most Recent: Graphic Design View Archive

  1. List

    Belgian graphic designer Broos Stoffels has it all; great poster designs, great typefaces, great Dance Organ-powered drawing machine for the creation of custom vinyl sleeves – no really! The young designer is a former student of Sint Lucas in Ghent, a institution with proven design pedigree, and has spent the last few years honing his practical and conceptual skills into a fantastically coherent body of work.

  2. List

    If you aren’t familiar with The Casual Optimist blog about publishing and book culture then it’s well worth checking out (I’ll wait). Anyway last week its anonymous author shared these amazing posters created by the leading German graphic designer Gunter Rambow for the S. Fischer Verlag publishing house back in the 1970s. What’s interesting is that some of them tiptoe right up to the edge of being gimmicky, but always stay the right side of the line thanks to Gunter’s unerring image-making brilliance. I really can’t get enough of these.

  3. List

    When a studio does everything it can to get to the very root of a client’s working philosophy, it often leads to the most interesting and effective identity design. This is definitely true of Toronto-based studio Blok Design’s work for Dallas film production company Lucky 21. Created to mark the company’s new venture – “taking on the highly competitive LA market” – the identity takes into account the brand’s character, which the studio describes as “full of humour and fiercely passionate” to create a set of visuals that fall close to home.

  4. List-2

    Illustrator and longtime mate of ours Michael Willis is straying away from illustration and into something altogether more design-focussed. The elements at the heart of his images are the same; placing retro and contemporary influences side-by-side to create something so contemporary that it feels ahead of its time. He’s been working recently with Mood NYC, providing photographic manipulation and graphic treatment for their look book as well as helping create an overarching aesthetic for the brand, one which evades the recurring trends and repetitive styles that seem to permeate many designers’ portfolios.

  5. List

    Three years ago Milan studio Leftloft were commissioned to help iconic Italian football club Inter Milan with a ticket sales push, but the relationship developed into something much more comprehensive. Here art director Francesco Cavalli tells us how they came to lead an extensive rebranding of the whole club, from a new crest and a bespoke serif typeface to an exhaustive style guide for use across print and digital.

  6. List

    As of 6.30pm last night Airbnb looks a little classier. Having spent the past seven years growing a vast community of country-hopping collaborators, the world’s largest online accommodation marketplace has decided it’s time for a change. Gone is the awkward, dated logo that still reminds me of a bad ice cream parlour, likewise the cold, clinical blue that serves as the accent colour for all San Franciscan startups; and in its place is something entirely more exciting.

  7. List

    Massimo Vignelli was one of the most important graphic designers of his generation and his death in May affected the creative community very strongly and very immediately. The tributes poured in (some of which we included in our piece here) but for some the response to his passing would take a little longer to formulate. So it was with Colorado-based studio Berger & Föhr, who began this set of tribute posters when they first learned of his illness.

  8. List

    In our first feature on Shillington College we looked at why its founder was compelled to create a new kind of graphic design education to better prepare graduates for the working world. But how does the college pursue this aim in practical everyday terms, achieving what can take several years into other institutions in a matter of mere months? To find out we asked the people who make it happen– the teachers themselves. So we quizzed US director Holly Karlsson, Melbourne lecturer Carlos Chavez, Manchester lecturer Jeffrey Bowman and senior London lecturer Corrie Anderson. Here’s what they had to say…

  9. List

    Dutch illustrator and designer Eline Van Dam (Zeloot to her clients) belongs to the same circle of pals as Viktor Hachmang and Jordy van den Nieuwendijk, which goes some way to explaining why her work is so god damn beautiful. Although she’s about as versatile as image-makers come – her portfolio covers a variety of styles ranging from the niche to the commercial – it’s her posters that really stand out for their 1970s-inspired phychedelic iconography and bold, experimental use of colour; any colour she can get her hands on! Now we just need to work out what we can commission her for.

  10. List-2

    There are a couple of key points that underpin all really solid identities which, if one is removed, causes all the others to come tumbling down like marbles in a disastrous game of Kerplunk! It needs to be thorough, clear and communicative, it needs to be just as effective when pasted onto a giant billboard as it does on a tiny flyer, and it needs to contain elements which are applicable across the board including stationery, signage and printed collateral. I can just imagine Post Projects happily ticking all three of these golden rules off on a billboard upon finishing this identity for the 13th annual New Forms Festival, a festival celebrating arts, science and grassroots organisations across Canada and the rest of the world which took place last year.

  11. List

    Furniture company Fioroni had the wise idea to turn to Swiss design consultancy CCRZ when it came to designing their logo, catalogue and website, and they must be mighty glad they did. Their products channel a “contemporary reinterpretation of the Alpine constructional tradition, combined with carefully crafted details and a clever use of solid wood and industrial plywood.”

  12. Main1

    Franz Kafka, Vladimir Nabokov, Nick Hornby, T.S Elliot, Richard Dawkins, Ian Banks and Martin Amis – what ties them all together (aside from their stratospheric levels of success in the literary world)? Well for one thing they’ve all had the good fortune to have the mighty Jamie Keenan, London-based designer and book fetishist, lend his skills to their covers. Jamie’s designed more beautiful covers for works of fiction and non-fiction than I’m capable of wrapping my head around, including my absolute favourite cover for Lolita – a novel that has sent numerous designers into panic spirals when tasked with its reinvention.

  13. List

    Having just won magazine of the year at the SPD awards it’s probably of little surprise that New York is a magazine with serious design pedigree. They turn out bi-weekly editions of fantastic journalism all packaged in a manner that makes the content leap from the page, practically forcing you to engage with it. Karishma Sheth is responsible for a large part of that leaping, working full-time on feature and supplement design to create layouts that remain illuminating and exciting week on week. Prior to New York Karishma worked for Doyle Partners and Pentagram, so she’s already racked up some pretty solid design credits. For our money though, it’s her editorial work that really stands out, particularly this witty digest of the Big Apple’s must-see artworks. Very nice indeed!