World’s Best-Deigned Newspapers

The Society for News Design has selected three newspapers – including the
German papers der Freitag of Berlin and Frankfurter Allgemeine
Sonntagszeitung, and The New York Times – as the World’s Best-Designed™ in
this year’s “The Best of News Design™” Creative Competition.

Meeting at Syracuse University in New York, an international panel of
judges selected the papers from among hundreds of entries worldwide. The
judges evaluated issues published in 2009.

The 31st Edition World’s Best-Designed™ judges: J. Bruce Baumann,
formerly of the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press; Dennis Brack of The
Washington Post; Miguel Gomez of Al Nisr Publishing Group in Dubai; Lily Lu,
consultant at the L5 Communications and co-founder and Executive Director
for SND Chinese; and Margaret O’Connor, formerly of The New York Times.

What they said about each paper:
der Freitag (Berlin, Germany, circulation 12,400)
So bold, yet so simple. Page after page, this weekly delivers a steady diet
of visual surprises in a manner that is disciplined and sophisticated, not
shocking and chaotic. How does der Freitag strike this difficult balance?
Strong fundamental design architecture — solid typography, intuitive
navigation — combines with a refined approach to choosing and displaying
visual content.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (Germany, circulation: 347,000)
A remarkable mix of visual elements unfolds across the blanket-size pages
of this German broadsheet. Instead of driving stories into unbending forms,
the Sunday paper’s designers craft unique storytelling solutions based on
the demands of specific content.

The New York Times (New York City; circulation: 800,000)
A large-circulation general-interest newspaper is a tough beast to visually
tame. Every Sunday, the local edition of The New York Times has a dozen or
more sections, covering the world from Bali to the Bronx, and topics ranging
from nuclear bombs to nose jobs. A DNA of visual discipline binds sections
with distinct accents together into a paper that speaks with one voice. A
design architecture of timeless elegance provides a solid foundation upon
which to build innovative visual storytelling that weaves through the paper..

Overall, judges said they saw “a fascinating mixture of bad news with
good. The reality of distress in our business is obvious. There are many
signs of reduced resources, including smaller news holes with crowded words,
less local news, an abundance of feature stories on the front page, a
continued shortage of good photojournalism and more use of stock
illustration. An overall feeling of looking a little confused and perhaps a
bit stuck, prevails.

“But wait. The good news is that far from going away or giving up, we saw
much earnest effort towards reinvention.”

They said we are now in the age of “the thoughtful designer. Your efforts
must be as considered as they are creative. We hope these three papers can
serve as sources of inspiration.”  The international competition,
co-sponsored by SND and Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public
Communications, recognizes excellence in newspaper design, graphics and
photography. The judging takes place in two stages in February at the
Newhouse School. Entries in the overall competition numbered more than
10,000 in 19 categories.

More about the competition can be found at http://www.snd.org.

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