Tagged Design

Working on my Lightning Talk for SNDSF – the annual workshop in Society for News Design in San Francisco, on 7-9 April 2016. My five minute speed-talk will present the best of Scandinavian Nnews design from the past ten years – under the headline: “10 good reasons why priint will not die”. Photo: Lars Pryds

My San Francisco lightning talk

Working on my Lightning Talk for SNDSF – the annual workshop in Society for News Design in San Francisco, on 7-9 April 2016. My five minute speed-talk will present the best of Scandinavian Nnews design from the past ten years – under the headline: “10 good reasons why priint will not die”. Photo: Lars Pryds
Finishing the Keynote presentation file for my lightning talk at SNDSF. And yes, you guessed it: “FAEN” is Norwegian for “FUCK”. Well, more or less …


Next week, I’ll be in San Francisco, with Nina Maja, checking out the great city – wearing flowers in our hair (maybe).

But first, for three days, we’ll attend SNDSF – the annual workshop in Society for News Design – with more than 50 speakers from organizations like Facebook, New York Times, BuzzFeed, Fusion, Washington Post and ProPublica, covering a wide range of topics like data visualization, design thinking, user experience, development, illustration, art direction and video.

And hey, even I am in the program – albeit only for five minutes:

On Saturday, I’ll be giving a “Lightning Talk” presentation, true pecha kucha style: 20 slides, 15 seconds for each slide! Wauw! It’ll be a blast! It’ll be my five minutes of fame – or a disaster. Whichever – it’ll be great fun.

I’ll show my personal favorites among winners from the last ten years in the Best of Scandinavian News Design competition – making the point that there are (at least) “10 good reasons why print will not die“. So, see you Saturday in San Francisco, maybe?



It’s all worthwhile


Editor’s column from SNDS Magazine 1, 2016

There’s a starman
waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
Cause he knows
it’s all worthwhile

– David Bowie: “Starman” (1972)

In the first week of March, I had the pleasure once again of spending days in Legoland, attending the judging of entries in this year’s Scandinavian news design competition. Among my duties was to help with photographing all the print winners for the annual catalogue.

The jury looks at only the real original printed pages “as they were delivered to your readers”, as the competition guidelines demand. Preparing the pages for photograping, therefore, is a painstakingly analogue process, which involves a lot of work finding the pages to include in the book (large article series in, say, the feature category can amount to 20 spreads or more which is impossible to fit in), fixing the pages on cardboard by means of a lot Spray Mount – and removing the pages again to keep for reference, when the jury has to make the final decision.

This is not a one-man job. Long time member of the competition committee Søren Stidsholt Nielsen (see photo left, with me) and our photographer Lars Aarø also inhale their sweet share of Spray Mount during a whole day, and it’s really not all that healthy – it definitely makes you feel all sticky inside.

But it’s all worthwhile. We laugh a lot, comment on the judges’ choices all the time, look for lovely legs and beautiful girls in the winning pages (this year, there were not that many), but above all we get to see a lot of great design. This is, of course, also a treat for the judges – and they see even more, because they also look at pages that do NOT win.

One print jury member, graphic designer Rina Kjeldgaard said: “I’ll be looking at my own work now with a completely new set of eyes. And I have a better understanding of which of my own newspaper’s pages are winners, and which aren’t. All from watching so many great pages.”

The same goes for the digital jury – although they need no Spray Mount to make screendumps of the winners. Looking through hundreds of design solutions is a great inspiration.

On pages 6–11, we bring you a glimpse from the judging process in Billund, in photos as well as in comments from the jury members on what they observed during their hard work.

Also in this issue
So it really is all worthwhile, as David Bowie sang in “Starman” back in 1972. The British rock ’n’ roll legend died in January – and for once, it was a cultural event (although a sad one, for us Bowie fans) that made newspapers all over the world clear their front pages. We asked design consultants Maj Ribergård and Ole Munk to rate (using black stars, of course) some of the magnificent visual tributes to the musical pioneer and mega star. See them in the back of the magazine, on pages 26–30.

But – before you reach the magazine’s final pages, we have done our best to collect a nice bouquet of interesting stuff for you. We hope you will enjoy a mix of stories from the real world of print and online news publishing, including the redesign of the Finnish newspaper HBL and a Dutch startup for online only journalism, as well as thoughts about the future of the internet and impressions from a print designer in a digital competition. And much more … in other words, things for the eyes and for the mind.

On a final note in this column we ask you to mark the dates 13–14 October 2016 in your calendar, as these are the days when the next SNDS conference will take place, and it will be in – ta-da – Malmö! The SNDS conference visited Malmö once before, back in 2002. Now, after four consecutive years in Copenhagen, we’re looking so much forward to be back in the cosy international centre of Southern Sweden.

We sincerely hope to see you all there. Until then – stay cool and creative and make it all worthwhile.

Lars Pryds
Editor, SNDS Magazine



“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.

Læs more

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). Læs more

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 conference.snds.org – 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, designobserver.com 07.06.2015
**In: Univers Strikes Back, 2007. Quoted from Graphic Design Theory : Readings From the Field. Princeton Architectural Press, 2009.