SND&Lauren: What I Learned This Weekend

SND&Lauren: What I leaned this weekend


I have learned that news design is complicated. I have learned that a lot goes into judging papers that I never would have thought about. The simple spaces between the words, if a headline is too far up, if a picture should have been more to the right, are all things that these judges think about. I tend to look at the big picture while they look at small details.

Regarding myself, I learned that I have much to learn about news design. I also learned that I may be a bit too optimistic at times when it comes to the future of the newspaper industry. Conversing with another judge, he said that he thought this was a dying business and eventually we won’t have things like SND anymore. I can’t say I blame him, but I always figured that print newspapers would find a way to persevere. We would still have news, of course, but he said that it would all be online. This may happen. It may be true. I don’t really mind if it is. I prefer magazines anyway. However, if it is all online then I guess that means paper design will cease to exist and designers will have to be coders and web designers.

Other conversations I had with judges were about my topic of presentation: Color. I learned a lot about color and color palettes and how most places do not have a designated color palette but just an understanding that it is certain colors.

Since I  was in the news section, a lot of comments I heard were about how well the design was put together considering the news was breaking and they had no time to do it. Sometimes the judges would say, “Well, this news isn’t really breaking so no wonder it looks good, while this paper has real breaking news so they did a good job for the amount of time they had.” So, I learned the content really defines the design in some way.

A lot of entries were misplaced in their categories, too. A lot of times judges would say that a certain entry didn’t belong or that the publication was “pushing it” when it came to being entered.

I find that designers are extremely nice and willing to help. They are all pretty informal and all have a sense of humor. They are relaxed and passionate about what they do. If I were to be a designer, I would fit in well with this bunch.

A lot of the designers I observed I would never dream of being able to do A lot of the eliminated designs I was confused about because I thought they were really good, certainly better than anything I could attempt. I also thought a lot of the designs just looked the same. I didn’t know what made one design better than another. There is only so much you can do when news is breaking and many of the entries just looked like typical papers. I didn’t think any were particularly “great” designs and some of them I thought I could even do. I would say that was the only thing that surprised me, that I felt like I could do some of them.

Nothing scared me here. It was all very typical and what I expected. Some designs and cartoons made me laugh and, of course, some designers. I was listening to some designers talk about their interns and how they all came scantily clad to work. They referred to these as “skin-terns.”

Overall, I definitely learned more about design. The conversations that were had when discussing were the most helpful because when you are just wandering around looking at everything, it doesn’t really do much unless it is put into context. That being said. Those discussions were rarely had when it came to everything else. Maybe 10 percent of this whole experience were valuable discussions, everything else was laying out papers and sorting chips.

It was all worth it for the cheesecake, though.

1: photo 1 Funny caricature of Chavez

2: photo 2 Awesome polar bear photo

3:photo 3 Bad design. All those close words, I honestly don’t know what they’re thinking.

4: photo 4 Innovative thinking. I love the 3D rendering.

5: photo 5 Douglas. From Brazil. Lives in Dubai.

6:photo-17 The cheesecake.

7: photo 1-2 Best mag cover because I really liked the type and color.

8: photo-18 Politco. Because of the photo and clean design.

9:  photo 3-2 Nat Post for best photo illustration.

10: photo 4-2 Favorite foreign language paper because of the photo and the type.

11: photo 5-2 I noticed circular shapes were a trend.

12: photo 1-4 Best headline because it rhymes.

13: photo 3-3 Classmate whom I spent the most time: Samar

14: photo 4-3 Iconic SND scene: a quiet, dull room.

15: photo 2-3 And finally, me, surrounded by discarded papers.

Lauren Boudreau


  1. It sure sounds like you learned a lot, Lauren. And I especially like that you were able to connect and enjoy the designers. … I think news design will be around for a long, long time, whether in pixels or print. We certainly have a chance to prolong its life by putting out smart and engaging designs, though. … I loved the cheesecake, too!

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