The Society for News Design (SND) on Tuesday named the latest five newspapers to receive its top distinction of "World's Best-Designed" in its annual design awards contest.
The five winners for 2011 are:
Excelsior, Mexico City, Mexico, (Daily)
National Post, Toronto, ON, Canada (Daily)
Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (Non-Daily)
The Grid, Toronto, ON, Canada (Non-Daily)
Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark (Daily)
Three of this year's winners have earned this honour at least once in the past. In fact, this is the fifth time Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung has been named the "World's Best-Designed," with previous awards coming in 2009, 2007, 2006 and 2002. National Post was previously named in 2000 and 1998, and Politiken won in 2006.
In all, the award has been given 140 times since 1994 when it was first added to the SND's annual awards. Since 1999, only a handful of winners have been named each year and in 2010, only a single winner was announced in this category: Portugal's i.
The "Overall Judge's Statement" that accompanied the notice about the winners noted that "The formula for excellence will always be less about format and typography than about the unreserved commitment to the community of readers that newspapers serve and clarity about the nature and interests of those readers. What is a perfect look for an audience in Beijing or Oslo will not likely be perfect for an audience in Buenos Aires or Charlotte. A newspaper must find the voice that speaks clearly to its unique audience of readers, and the best newspapers will always do so."
"That's what all of these World's Best newspapers share - a certainty about who their audiences are and a bold, sure-footed approach to reaching them. All have a unique voice. All are superb. All share a commitment to print that other newspapers should emulate. They never waste a page, never waste their readers' time. These newspapers look healthy, well-staffed and richly resourced - even if they are not. It was inspiring to see international journalists who still believe in excellence in print."
A gallery of pages from the winning papers is available here.
The five judges for this year were:
Bill Gaspard, China Daily, Beijing
Scott Goldman, The Indianapolis Star and IndyStar.com, USA
Rhonda Prast, Missouri School of Journalism, USA
Søren Nyeland, Politiken, Copenhagen, Denmark
Bob Unger, The Standard-Times, New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA
Source: Society for News Design