Saturday, 7 March 2015

The world's 17 best-looking newspapers?

It’s that time of year again when the world’s best designed newspapers are chosen by a panel of five judges in Syracuse, New York. This year they have drawn up a shortlist of 17 with the final five to be announced at a gala evening at The Newseum in April where the world’s best designed apps and websites will also be announced. I have long-followed the Society for Newspaper Design’s competition, applauding the recognition it gives to talented newspaper designers from around the world. This year the list is full of the usual suspects. All bar one of last year’s top five are included in the 17. They are Dagens Nyheter (Sweden), The Grid (Canada), Welt am Sonntag (Germany) and The Guardian. Only Germany’s Die Zeit is missing. Four of those, along with Denmark’s Politiken, were winners in 2013 and a couple of winners from 2012, Canada’s National Post and Mexico’s Excelsior, are back in favour. The judges, of course, say that is because 'the best have a way of rising to the top regardless of who is doing the tasting'.
They are probably right. But I fear it is all becoming a little predictable. Many on the shortlist are lavish feature pages - almost magazines in newsprint - with barely an advert in sight. They look splendid of course, and I appreciate the design is about the art of the page, but is there not room for some tabloid (dare I say it) red-top grittiness? I was also slightly disappointed that the recent resurgence in Asian newspaper design (particularly from The Times of Oman, South China Morning Post, the Gulf News) has not seen any of them burst into the top 17.
The Times of Oman did however, deservedly, receive a judges' Special Recognition, award for indefatigable creativity in its World Cup coverage for this:

All of that said, there are some cracking pages on the shortlist. Top marks to SND for organising it and congratulations to The Guardian for reaching the top 17. Looking at the shortlist, it must have an excellent chance of being in the top five again. Anyway, make your own mind up. Here's the top 17.

Dagens Nyheter (Sweden)

Die Welt (Germany)

De Volkskrant (Netherlands)

De Morgen (Belgium)

Excelsior (Mexico)

Folha de São Paulo (Brazil)

The Guardian (UK)

Informação (Portugal)

La Nacion (Argentina)

 Los Angeles Times (US)

The National Post (Canada)

New York Times (US)

Politiken (Denmark)

Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden)

The Grid (Canada)

The Washington Post (US)

Welt am Sonntag (Germany)

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