From News design

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“Passion wears many hats”

From SNDS Magazine no. 4, 2015.

The SND Design Journal is back – stronger than ever

By the time you read this, SND will have published the 114th issue of the Design Journal and mailed it to its members. Except for the special How 2 issue in the summer of 2013, it’s been three years since the latest issue of the journal, so it has been a long time.

snd_designjournal_2015-1_But it was worth the wait. Subtitled The Passion Issue, all contributors focus on this driving force:

“We love it when we have it. And when it’s missing, we long for it, again. […] We look at the many facets of this powerful emotion and how it has a hold on us all,” as the editor, SND Publications Director Julie M. Elman says in the introduction.

The content was put together by Elman and SND Vice President Sara Quinn, and the printing of it made possible by a generous sponsorship from The Khaleej Times in Dubai.

Elman and Quinn asked a long line of people from the news design community to write about their passion – and reading their stories is an abundance of inspiration:

Andrea Levy shows some of her great art for The Plain Dealer’s Op-Ed pages; Paul Wallen gives advice on how to control the dark sides of passion; Michael Stoll tells us how he came to love pop-up books and infographics; Amy Webb looks into the near-future for innovations in news; and  Mario García digs out an old passion that has been stored away since his childhood: Performing on stage as ‘Mario the actor’.

The headline for this article was taken from his essay: If any, Mario García has been wearing all kinds of hats in his long career, always generously letting us know what goes on under the brim.

Finally,  I’m really excited to have been invited to join this great party myself, and even given the honour of opening the ‘Passion’ section with a collage and a short text about putting your heart into what you do.

The first part of the journal is dedicated to presenting the latest SND World’s Best-Designed Newspaper winners – and the runners-up. One spread features the World’s Best-Designed Digital winner: Facebook – a controversial choice we also wrote about in SNDS Magazine no. 2/2015.

If you are a member of SND, you will already have received this great 64 page booklet in your mailbox – if not, remember that you can sign up for a joint SND/SNDS membership at a discount price. See the SNDS website for more info:
www.snds.org/member

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The latest World’s Best Designed Newspapers and the runners-up are presented in the new Design Journal.

 

The “Passion” section opens with artwork and a text by yours truely – on putting your heart behind your work.
The “Passion” section opens with artwork and a text by yours truely – on putting your heart behind your work.

 

Terence Oliver – Associate Professor at University of North Carolina – teaches his students to fly like eagles.
Terence Oliver – Associate Professor at University of North Carolina – teaches his students to fly like eagles.

 

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The visual portfolio of Andrea Levy – illustrator/artist at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland – is a great inspiration.

The sweet smell of success

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Editor’s column from SNDS Magazine no. 2, 2015:

Do not try to win awards.
Do not try to follow fashion.
Be true to your subject and you will be far more likely to create something that is timeless.
That’s where the true art lies.
– Paul Arden*

Although you should not create just to win, nearly everybody likes to win awards. If the awards are given to you by colleagues or people you look up to within your profession, the feeling is especially great. Once again, Scandinavian newspapers can enjoy this feeling: In April, the jury behind the SND 37th Best of News Design competition named Dagens Nyheter (S) and Politiken (DK) “World’s Best-Designed™ Newspapers” – together with De Morgen (Belgium), and The Guardian (Britain).

The jury chose between 215 newspapers submitted from all over the world, and it’s worth noting that Dagens Nyheter wins this title for the third year in a row. Politiken is now a four time World’s Best winner, having previously received the title in 2006, 2011, and 2012.

We even had a Scandinavian runner-up this year: Svenska Dagbladet (S), (World’s Best in 2004) was among the 17 finalists.

So it’s fair to say that Scandinavian news­papers maintain world class quality, compared to regions with a much higher number of publications to choose from – and probably much higher budgets to draw from, too. This bodes well for the Scandinavian competition of which the winners will be announced in October.

In the digital competition, SND named only one “World’s Best-Designed™ Digital” winner – Facebook. This controversial decision was announced in April at the SNDDC seminar in Washington and evoked strong reactions from many in the business – even after the SND website published an extended statement (labelled by Roger Black on twitter as “sad excuses”) from the judges. We wanted to keep the discussion going a bit longer and asked leading news designers for their comment to the jury’s decision (see p. 18–20).

In February, I had the honour of serving once again as judge in the print categories of the Best of Scandinavian News Design competition. It’s such a privilege to get the opportunity to see hundreds of submitted entries representing a snapshot of Scandinavian newspaper design right now. A lot of good work, a fair amount of excellent work, and among them the few pieces that really stand out.

One unique voice this year was that of Finnish illustrator Klaus Welp – whose detailed drawings earned him an Honourable Mention and (on this issue’s cover) a nomination for a Silver or Gold Award. We wanted to see more of Klaus Welp’s work – and found out that the style used in the two winning entries is just one of his many distinct voices – see p. 22-29.

Also in this issue
Pål Nedregotten, Chief Innovation Officer at Amedia AS, Oslo looks into some of the myths that surround digital news – and argues that even though more and more people read news updates on social media it is still extremely important to have a dedicated, well-edited front page on your own website – not least to care for your most loyal readers. See p. 10–12.

We also look into a new design trend called “anti­cipatory design” which will also be a theme on the SNDS15 Conference in October. Kartin Hansen, Head of Digital Development at Jyllands-Posten, Denmark, explains the basics and wonders when the news media will jump on this trend wagon. See p. 14–15.

Anders Tapola, former SNDS President and Design Editor at Smålandsposten, Sweden found himself “last man standing” when his design department suddenly disappeared and was replaced by software tools and a centralised design hub. Read his thoughts about the pros and cons of this new situation on p. 16–17.

Finally, in case you haven’t noticed yet: the snds.org website has been updated with a new look and feel, so take a look. And while you’re there – don’t forget to check for updates to the SNDS15 conference in October.

Have a great summer!

Lars Pryds
Editor, SNDS Magazine

*In: “It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be”, p.90. Phaidon 2003. Paul Arden (1940–2008) was a creative director for Saatchi and Saatchi at the height of their advertising might, and an influential author of several books on advertising and motivation.

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Read the online of the mag here, or sign up here to get your personal printed copy:

Yesterday’s newspaper

A very special book landed on my doorstep yesterday, entitled “De krant van gisteren” – Dutch for “Yesterday’s newspaper”.

I will not hesitate to actually call it unique – in both form and content. It’s a book that, across 128 pages, shows us what you can do with your old newspaper, once you’ve finished reading it.

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