#SND36 & ME_Sgambati

REFLECTION

Attending the 36th annual competition for the Society for News Design’s “Best of News Design” has given me a very deep appreciation for the news industry as someone who otherwise aspires to work in magazine. News design may not be as flashy or forward as magazine design typically is, but it is still incredibly designed–sometimes even more because of parameters set by the industry or audience. It takes a great set of skills to be a designer, but I think it’s a personal triumph for those who can exercise said skills, reign in their own personal tastes, and deliver good content in a short amount of time. I can admit that after this experience I will no longer take for granted the luxury of designing for a niche audience I identify with or being able to constantly deal with content that interests me.

Having access to both physical clips and verbal critiques provided a powerful learning experience. One would not have been as effective without the other. It was incredible to see the volume of entries sent in as the clips evolve from being contest submissions to cultural artifacts of news design. But even the non-winning clips had interesting ideas to offer. Watching the judging process was a healthy reminder of how to step back and critique work. Clips were judged with a harder and more critical eye at every pass. It can be easy to eliminate poorly designed entries, but judging the winning pieces were quite difficult, and it’s all relative to the amount and quality of other submissions. It can be a troubling process though if the judges aren’t a collection of diverse thinkers.

What I found most enlightening were the conversations I had with other industry professionals about the nature of careers in news and magazine design. The cliché “if you are good at everything, you are a master of nothing” can be deceiving to young people looking to break into the profession. If there is one opinion of mine I had reaffirmed by this experience it is that you must be open to and versed in the general areas of your field. You must try to develop some semblance of skill in both writing and editing, be open to editorial as well as art, and try to have a working knowledge of the business that drives your industry. Work hard to develop and refine the skills that make you stand out, but be sure to have a general knowledge of the rest.

 

 

SCAVENGER HUNT

 

1. Humor

fig. 1 // finding humor in something otherwise tragic

fig. 1 // finding humor in something otherwise tragic

 

2. Compelling Photo

fig. 2 // the most compelling eyes I've seen

fig. 2 // the most compelling eyes I’ve seen

 

3. Bad Thinking

fig. 3 // this concept takes the subject matter far too literally

fig. 3 // this concept takes the subject matter far too literally

 

4. Innovative Thinking

fig. 4 // all the elements aligned

fig. 4 // all the elements aligned

 

5. International Judge

fig. 5 // Matt Curtis, Art Director of The Sunday Times Magazine from London England

fig. 5 // The resting Matt Curtis, Art Director of The Sunday Times Magazine from London, England

 

6. Favorite Food

fig. 6 // food courtesy of Pascalle's Italian Bistro

fig. 6 // food and photo courtesy of Pascalle’s Italian Bistro

 

7. Best Cover or A1

fig. 7 // I identified with serafina's aesthetic

fig. 7 // I identified with serafina’s aesthetic

 

8. Wild Card

fig. 8 // this news paper used a border... and pulled it off

fig. 8 // this news paper used a border… and pulled it off

 

9. Compelling Photo Illustration

fig. 13 // compelling photo illustration

fig. 13 // compelling photo illustration

 

10. Foreign Language Paper

fig. 10 // EM2

fig. 10 // El Mundo Spanish News

 

11. Trend

fig. 11 // geometry

fig. 11 // geometry

 

12. Compelling Headline

fig. 12 // I'm not

fig. 12 // I’m not

 

13. Classmates & New Friends

fig. 13 // Madisen, Sydney, and Jess

 

14. Iconic SND Scene

fig. 14 // SND members and facilitators engage with online audience

fig. 14 // SND members and facilitators engage with online audience

 

15. Getting Dirty

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fig. 15 // getting down and dirty with the newsprint

 

joesgambati