I was in the Feature Team of the 35th SND “Best of Newspaper Design™” Creative Competition, where gathered the best designs of covers and pages in feature sections of newspapers and their inside magazines. The entries were submitted from all over the world, in different languages and different styles.
Most pages I saw here were so creative, and I seldom see them often in my daily life. In a way, those entries represent the best ones in the world (but I also saw some terrible designs). Well-organized is just the basic request. How to be creative and even innovative is more important. I felt amazed when seeing some pages – how this idea comes into their mind!
When the judges were making decisions and putting chips into blue or red cups, I was observing and judging those entries on my own as well. We shared similar thoughts sometimes, but it also happened that they voted on a entry I appreciated so much “0-5 out.” That could be the most “scaring” thing, because it seems that I have a bad taste of news design? Or maybe those entries are still good, just not good enough to further competition?
Infography becomes more and more popular in feature pages now, but not all of them are clear and necessary. There were a bunch of entries including inforgraphy about Superman, Ironman and Oscar, ranging from dating back their history to analyzing their fighting power and ability.
Several Chinese newspapers participated in the feature section this year, and I sometimes became the translator for the judges, explaining what’s on the page. I was glad to see that some of the pages were selected as work of excellence. However, judges seems to more easily attracted by Eastern elements, such as Chinese style paintings and patterns, even though some of which are really just ordinary and a little boring in my eyes as a Chinese.
I enjoyed hearing the medal discussions. Knowing how they think of a good design and what it lacks is so helpful and interesting. They concerned about how well the visual design works with contents, and whether the page is easy to read. They also disliked things that they have seen so many times (maybe that’s why they clean out those pages I liked).
It was a good opportunity for me to see what’s in and what’s out in the news design world, and how to appreciate the design as well as how to improve it. The only thing I regretted was that I ate too much.
THE SCAVENGER HUNT