There’s a starman
waiting in the sky
He’s told us not to blow it
Cause he knows
it’s all worthwhile
– David Bowie: “Starman” (1972)
In the first week of March, I had the pleasure once again of spending days in Legoland, attending the judging of entries in this year’s Scandinavian news design competition. Among my duties was to help with photographing all the print winners for the annual catalogue.
The jury looks at only the real original printed pages “as they were delivered to your readers”, as the competition guidelines demand. Preparing the pages for photograping, therefore, is a painstakingly analogue process, which involves a lot of work finding the pages to include in the book (large article series in, say, the feature category can amount to 20 spreads or more which is impossible to fit in), fixing the pages on cardboard by means of a lot Spray Mount – and removing the pages again to keep for reference, when the jury has to make the final decision.
This is not a one-man job. Long time member of the competition committee Søren Stidsholt Nielsen (see photo left, with me) and our photographer Lars Aarø also inhale their sweet share of Spray Mount during a whole day, and it’s really not all that healthy – it definitely makes you feel all sticky inside.
But it’s all worthwhile. We laugh a lot, comment on the judges’ choices all the time, look for lovely legs and beautiful girls in the winning pages (this year, there were not that many), but above all we get to see a lot of great design. This is, of course, also a treat for the judges – and they see even more, because they also look at pages that do NOT win.
One print jury member, graphic designer Rina Kjeldgaard said: “I’ll be looking at my own work now with a completely new set of eyes. And I have a better understanding of which of my own newspaper’s pages are winners, and which aren’t. All from watching so many great pages.”
The same goes for the digital jury – although they need no Spray Mount to make screendumps of the winners. Looking through hundreds of design solutions is a great inspiration.
On pages 6–11, we bring you a glimpse from the judging process in Billund, in photos as well as in comments from the jury members on what they observed during their hard work.
Also in this issue
So it really is all worthwhile, as David Bowie sang in “Starman” back in 1972. The British rock ’n’ roll legend died in January – and for once, it was a cultural event (although a sad one, for us Bowie fans) that made newspapers all over the world clear their front pages. We asked design consultants Maj Ribergård and Ole Munk to rate (using black stars, of course) some of the magnificent visual tributes to the musical pioneer and mega star. See them in the back of the magazine, on pages 26–30.
But – before you reach the magazine’s final pages, we have done our best to collect a nice bouquet of interesting stuff for you. We hope you will enjoy a mix of stories from the real world of print and online news publishing, including the redesign of the Finnish newspaper HBL and a Dutch startup for online only journalism, as well as thoughts about the future of the internet and impressions from a print designer in a digital competition. And much more … in other words, things for the eyes and for the mind.
On a final note in this column we ask you to mark the dates 13–14 October 2016 in your calendar, as these are the days when the next SNDS conference will take place, and it will be in – ta-da – Malmö! The SNDS conference visited Malmö once before, back in 2002. Now, after four consecutive years in Copenhagen, we’re looking so much forward to be back in the cosy international centre of Southern Sweden.
We sincerely hope to see you all there. Until then – stay cool and creative and make it all worthwhile.
Editor, SNDS Magazine