SND & Alex: What I Learned This Weekend

Last weekend spent at the SND competition opened my eyes to the world of news design.  It is not often that you are able to physically hold newspapers from all over the world, let alone see some of the best designed papers together in one room.  Although magazine submissions were usually my favorite, this experience gave me a new appreciation for newspaper.  I learned that some of the most exciting innovation is happening in newspaper, with designers taking risks with color, typography, photography, and playing with the use of white space.  A comment that I heard over and over again from the judges was whether or not a photograph or photo series was “first use”.  At first, I was confused of how that affected the quality of design.  However, I soon realized that strict competition rules do not allow submissions to be entered with photographs that were not specifically taken for a story.  It was reassuring to see the judges so concerned with remaining consistent with this rule, as it demonstrates a great sense of ethics.  Another comment I heard from multiple judges was that sometimes even great design cannot make up for the lack of relevance a photo or illustration has to the story being told.  It is equally as important to understand the content that you are designing around, as it is the actual design.

The Scavenger Hunt:

1) Humor:

These brooms with sunglasses made me laugh.

These brooms with sunglasses made me laugh.

#2 The Most Compelling Photo

The beauty of this photo was unmatched by any other color newspaper photography in the Visuals category.

The beauty of this photo was unmatched by any other color newspaper photography in the Visuals category.

#3 Bad Thinking

While I love the photograph, I do not like the choice of typeography at all.  I agree that the typeface to compliment this photograph should be big and bold, but I am not a fan of the futuristic, angular feel this type conveys.

While I love the photograph, I do not like the choice of typeography at all. I agree that the typeface to compliment this photograph should be big and bold, but I am not a fan of the futuristic, angular feel this type conveys.

#4 Innovative Thinking

The treatment of photography and type here is almost unheard of for a newspaper publication.  The New York Times did an amazing job showcasing the legacy of Howard Buffett and Warren Buffett with a single image.

The treatment of photography and type here is almost unheard of for a newspaper publication. The New York Times did an amazing job showcasing the legacy of Howard Buffett and Warren Buffett with a single image.

#5 A Judge Who Traveld 1,000+ Miles

Judge, Douglas Okasaki, traveled all the way from Dubai to be at SND!

Judge, Douglas Okasaki, traveled all the way from Dubai to be at SND!

#6 Favorite Thing I Ate

This cheesecake was the bomb.

This cheesecake was the bomb.

#7 Best Magazine Cover

This cover stood out to me the most.  Mainly because of its simplicity that does not take away from the beautiful photography.  I love the white, serif #2 in the right hand corner, and how it contrasts with the sans-serif, black caption to the left.

This cover stood out to me the most. Mainly because of its simplicity that does not take away from the beautiful photography. I love the white, serif #2 in the right hand corner, and how it contrasts with the sans-serif, black caption to the left.

#8 Best A1

The Grid stole the show for me with this untraditional A1.  I love how the entire page is treated as a cut-out, and still manages to remain readable and legible while mimicking playful doodles hand-drawings.

The Grid stole the show for me with this untraditional A1. I love how the entire page is treated as a cut-out, and still manages to remain readable and legible while mimicking playful doodles hand-drawings.

#9 Photo Illustration

I love the use of color here, and how it captures the passion and intensity behind the sport.

I love the use of color here, and how it captures the passion and intensity behind the sport.

#10 Favorite Foreign Language Paper

Regiao repeatedly kept drawing me in with their clean spreads and beautiful typography.

Regiao repeatedly kept drawing me in with their clean spreads and beautiful typography.

#11 A Trend I Noticed

A common trend I noticed across the visuals category is the use of detailed maps in the form of infographics.

A common trend I noticed across the visuals category is the use of detailed and colorful maps in the form of infographics.

#12 Best Headline

Dogs diving into water at full speed to retrieve their toy, titled "Underwater Ballet".  The irony is great.

Dogs diving into water at full speed to retrieve their toy, titled “Underwater Ballet”. The irony is great.

#13 Classmate I Spent The Most Time With

Kaitlyn =)

Kaitlyn =)

#14 Iconic SND Scene

"Uncupping"

“Uncupping”

#15 Me Surrounded by Discarded Papers

Surrounded by discarded papers

– Alex Lo Grasso

alexlograsso