From SNDS Magazine

Articles published in or information about SNDS Magazine, published by Society for News Design Scandinavia


“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:


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.


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

Look for the flowers

Editorial, SNDS Magazine no. 4, December 2015.

“There are flowers everywhere, for those who bother to look.”

– Henri Matisse (1869–1954)

In this issue of SNDS Magazine we look back at the two first days of October, when 113 people gathered in Copenhagen for the SNDS15 news design conference. The number of participants was higher than previous years, so maybe we can look forward to a growing interest in getting together with your colleagues and get inspiration for your daily work at home (see p. 8–13).

SNDSmag_4_2015_frontpageUntil now, mostly members from the four “big” Scandinavian countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – have participated in the annual conferences. In the future, we hope to see colleagues also from the countries in the North Atlantic: Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands – and not least from our new Baltic members Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Because – Scandinavia just grew bigger, as announced on the website. SNDS President Flemming Hvidtfeldt tells the story of expanding the organisation (see back page).

The SNDS board is looking for a new venue for next year’s conference, and based on the many great ideas from a questionnaire to all participants at SNDS15, we are looking forward to see a completely new concept for SNDS16. Stay tuned – check for updates on the website and if you haven’t done so already: sign up for our newsletter, also from the website.

Changes are also being made to the concept – including the pricing structure – of the “Best of Scandinavian News Design” competition. Flemming Hvidtfeldt explains the idea and the new initiatives (see p. 6–7).

Remix and collaborate
One ubiquitous discussion in the media world is the never-ending battle between print and digital. Bjarke Myrthue, CEO and founder of Blind Spot, at SNDS15 boldly claimed that: “Life is definitely over for printed newspapers,” but then added, reassuringly: “it’s not over for media professionals”.

Myrthue advocates for creating collective stories and for us to enter into a completely new mindset to survive in the new reality of remixing and collaborating.

He also said, “We’ve got to get used to the fact that content is free. The real value lies in putting the content together in a special way – and getting paid for that”.

On the other hand, also at SNDS15, Matthew Ball from the organisation Think Scotland showed us that “Print is not dead”, as his presentation was simply called.

Rasmus Kyllönen from Finnish Hufvudstadsbladet argued that: “Print will survive because people want OBJECTS” – and then he launched a Facebook page dedicated to the great art of printed news design.*

The power of print
But is legacy media – print – simply not able to embrace the new technology? Frédéric Filloux, founder and editor of MondayNote, sees newspapers as shortsighted, structurally limited, and having a “terrible attitude towards risk and failure”. They are not agile enough to adjust to the new culture and therefore, they will not survive the battle with the “digital natives”, Filloux says.**

In this issue, we’ll try to prove him wrong. We believe that legacy media and digital media both have their different places in this world. It’s not a question of replacing the old with the new, it’s a matter of taking the step to stop competing and start collaborating.

One example of a flourishing newspaper is Turun Sanomat, which in October launched a redesign – the first for 15 years. Design Editor at Turun Sanomat, SNDS Vice President Anne Laitinen, tells the story of the transformation of the proud Finnish paper (see p. 16-19).

In 2012, Europe’s biggest weekly tabloid, Bild am Sonntag, based in Berlin, Germany, brought in Brasilian born Saulo Santana as head of the design department and challenged him to improve the visual way of telling stories in the paper. Jeminah Birkner, freelance photo­grapher and visual storyteller, in a very personal interview lets Saulo Santana tell us about the process of implementing a new way of working at the traditional tabloid – with amazing visual results (see p. 22–27).

Visualization as a storytelling tool
Senior Designer at American ESPN the magazine, Paul Wallen, gives advice on “How to visualize a non-visual story” – be it digital or print. We challenged Danish illustrator Maj Ribergård to visualize Paul’s article. See the result – and take the advice – on p. 28.

A visual explosion followed the deadly ones in Paris, France, when six planned terrorist attacks stunned the French capital on Friday 13 November. We found some brilliant front pages from newspapers published the days after the attacks – examples of the power of print, although on a tragic background (see p. 14–15).

Finally, we bring you the updated list of SNDS members – and we hope that this list will grow in the future and become even more multinational than it is now. We’d love to see more flags here next year.

Lars Pryds
Editor, SNDS Magazine


Complete graphic control

Editorial, SNDS Magazine 3, September 2015

“Type design is […] the last arena where the graphic designer is still in charge of his or her own work.”

– Adrian Shaughnessy*

There was an uproar in the Danish media world – among graphic designers especially – when Egmont Publishing in August decided to outsource a series of layout tasks to a company as far away as Vietnam, cutting down in-house staff and pushing 13 designers out of their jobs. Upscale lifestyle magazine Euroman’s Editor-in-Chief resigned in protest and its leading Art Director was fired as a result of the decision. Social media exploded.

SNDSmag_3_2015_150dpiDeciding where to have your pages designed involves the question of control, and one way of keeping control over long-distance work is by using templates. The most ‘important’ Euroman pages will still be designed at home, close to editors and writers, whereas the Vietnam-produced pages will rely heavily on templates.

“The challenge for designers – a group that increasingly includes thoughtful users as well as professional typographers – is to disable the stylistic limitations of templates”, Ellen and Julia Lupton wrote back in 2007**.

While the consensus among designers in the present debate seems to be that in-house designers are expected to do just that: thoughtfully break the stylistic limit­ations and create art – there is fear that Vietnamese designers on a budget will break the templates to create disasters.

We already know that Danish Art Directors are able to produce great work, but if the result of the outsourcing will be disastrous remains to be seen when the first issues of the ‘new’ Euroman hit the newsstands.

Type control
The unemployed designers now have to look elsewhere to work with the craft they love. Some may start their own company – they can turn to page 30 and our review of a new book that will guide their way.

Others may engage in type design – an area where, according to the opening quote above, it is actually possible to have if not complete then at least a high degree of control over your work.

In an article on Design Observer, London-based graphic designer and writer Adrian Shaughnessy asks the question, “How many typefaces is too many typefaces?” His answer is that there probably is no limit, one of the reasons being that young designers turn to type design as one of the last arenas of free expression – away from the “templated graphic environments where everything is already designed” and from the “slavish adherence to business strategies that limit creative thinking”.

Designing type is also about dealing strictly with form, it “feels like the exercise of a craft. It feels like proper old-fashioned ‘making’, at a time when huge areas of graphic design practice have become increasingly robotic”.

No templates, no interference from picky clients. Maybe that’s what urged three Danish designers to create a font for the City of Copenhagen – without actual­ly having the City (or anyone else) as a client. The result was a font free for all to download (see p. 4).

Wearable screens
The Apple Watch, on the other hand, is no doubt the result of serious strategic thinking. Owning 75% of the smart watch market, Apple Watch is the place to be for news businesses in the future. Kim Bjørn, designer and co-founder of Cre8o, looks at some of the news apps that have already appeared on the wearable screen, including his own design for Ekstra Bladet (see p. 24–27).

Cooperation is key
Visuals were not always an integrated part of telling a news story – but cooperation between colleagues with different skills has become an important part of the whole picture. As Maj Ribergård’s interview with a classic-journalist-turned-visual-storyteller shows, journalists can gain a lot from incorporating visuals and graphic tools in the planning of articles (see p. 28–29).

Cooperation is also the subject for SNDS President Flemming Hvidtfeldt’s column on our back page. He reminds us that SNDS is part of the global organisation SND – which gives members the potential to reach far beyond the Scandinavian countries.

This international focus is also reflected in the line-up at the big event of the year in SNDS:

SNDS15 News Design Conference
We’re proud to devote the majority of this magazine to presenting the final program for two inspiring days in
Copenhagen. And there is still time to take a quick decision not to miss out: Check out the speakers and the program on page 6–18, then register online on – or fill in the form on page 19-20.

See you in Copenhagen on 1–2 October!

Lars Pryds
Editor, SNDS Magazine

*In: Typographic Tipping Point, 07.06.2015
**In: Univers Strikes Back, 2007. Quoted from Graphic Design Theory : Readings From the Field. Princeton Architectural Press, 2009.

The sweet smell of success


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 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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SNDS Magazine 1, 2015 is out

The first SNDS Magazine of the year is on its way to the printer. Take a look in this web version at all the great content we have put together for you. The cover story is a very personal story by John Bark and a project by him and his colleague Charli Kasselbäck, in the cold north part of Sweden. There’s also a presentation of the first speakers at the SNDS15 conference – oh, and we’ve redesigned the magazine – a needed facelift after nine years in the same look, more or less. Hope you like it!