SND & Sophia: What I learned

During my time in SND, I was able to somewhat understand a designer’s point of view when it comes to newspapers and magazines. Starting with an almost 5-hour long conference on Friday, February 12, I was able to understand the process that some designers like Michael Whitley and Joe Hutchinson go through to design some of the most influential and well-known covers and editions of the Los Angeles Times and the Rolling Stones, respectively. The advice and the explanation of their process gave an insight as to what I, as a writer and a reporter, should watch out for and understand in their process.

Even though the temperatures that weekend made it difficult to reach SND, the warmth of the designers involved in the judging process of pieces from all over the world made it worth while. Meeting influential designers and understanding their logic behind what makes a graphic, a design, a photography, or a whole set of designs within one edition opened my eyes as to what I should watch out for as a designer. I learned what makes a page attractive to the eye: doing things out of the norm but not so much that it looks unattractive, less is definitely more, elegance and clarity are key, good photography and illustrations are better than a rushed Photohsop job.

I was able to help in the Long Form section, the News section, and the Visuals section. I listened to the discussions where the judges picked medals and awards for each section. The judges in Features enjoyed out of the norm pieces where elegance was present and simplicity was preferred. The judges in Long Forms enjoyed consistency and a natural line of thought when it came to the winners. News design was more picky and because many of the pieces being judged were similar, the judges also took in consideration the effort that the designer had to go through to get the piece done.