SND & Kaitlyn

Being an advertising major, SND weekend was a huge learning experience for me.  I not only learned more about news design, but I also learned about myself as a designer.  I was in the “Visuals” section for the weekend and saw some of the best creative work I have ever seen.  As I would help set up each round of judging I often found myself staring at photos, illustrations or infographics that caught my eye.  It was interesting to see how different publications chose to represent certain events, such as the Boston Marathon bombing.  It became apparent how powerful an photograph can actually be and how a series of photos can tell a story just as well as a spread’s worth of words can.

I always had my favorites of each round of judging and I would always watch closely to see whether the judges put their token in the red or blue cup.  As silly as it may sound, I got so into it sometimes and felt like I was routing for my favorites as if I was at a sports game.

As I am sure alot of us felt, I was always surprised to see what I initially thought was a good design, get an “out.”  This only goes to show how high the design standards are to not only enter this competition, but to even win an Award of Excellence.  Nonetheless, I found myself paying closer attention to the details of designs and the way they, with a good story, can really enhance the reader’s reading experience.  I learned that the story/content and design need to complement each other in order to create good news design; if one is kind of weak, then the other suffers.

The medal discussion were where I really had a chance to analyze the tiniest details and elements of the newspapers and magazines. I remember one medal discussion about a photo series of the Boston Marathon bombing, where the medal discussion probably went on for a good twenty minutes.  It was the most engaging discussion I listened to, as they were discussing the angle on which the story was taken.  At first four out of the five judges wanted to keep the piece as an Award of Excellence, but when the one judge who felt it deserved a Silver explained why he felt it deserved a Silver, the other four judges decided to do the same.  The one judge pointed out how the piece took on an “unique” angle and how powerful the images were.  One by one the judges realized that the one judge had made a valid point and eventually, the photo series was awarded a Silver.


Scavenger Hunt —




Mop-heads with sunglasses.

Most compelling photo I saw



Not only is the photo incredibly strong, but the headline is witty and complements the photo well.

Bad thinking



I did not find this cover particularly creative or eye-catching.

Innovative thinking



Even though this paper was in Spanish, I still understood what the article was about by just looking at the graphic.

Judge or facilitator who traveled more than 1000 miles


Douglas Okasaki was a judge from São Paulo, Brazil and traveled all the way from Dubai to be at SND.

Favorite thing I ate


Mhm, cheesecake with berry compote.

Best magazine cover



This minimalist approach really caught my eye and I thought it was a bit funny.

Best A1



The hand-drawn A1 is unique and probably one of the only hand-drawn A1’s I saw last weekend.

Photo illustration 



Incredible black and white illustration that makes you curious as to what the story is about.

Favorite foreign language paper

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Then Times of Oman was consistently one of my favorites over the weekend.  One out of every three pieces I liked and picked up ended up being from the Times of Oman.  Not only is the design aesthetically pleasing, but the treatment of the type makes it fun to read.  The newspaper covers a wide variety of topics, which I also like about this foreign newspaper.  

Trend I noticed

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Political figures portrayed as caricatures.

Best headline



What is not to love about this cheesy, yet creative headline (and photo).

Classmate with whom I spent the most time with 


Alex, drinking her fifth coffee of the day.

Iconic SND scene



Medal discussions.

Me surrounded by discarded papers


So many discarded papers I could make a whole wardrobe out of them.