Awards season redux

Last year, just three months after a redesign that officially put my stamp on Politico, our little Brussels weekly was named one of 12 finalists for the Society for News Design's marquee award: World's Best Designed Newspaper. Judges shared these remarks: 

Crisp with quiet authority. Subject matter is dense but design is breezy. Visually it’s very strong and has well-executed typography that helps visuals be the star. The editing of photos and use of illustration are commendable.

This year, we did one (or five?) better. Again a finalist, this time one of only 7. This year, I was a judge on this prestigious panel, though, to be clear: I wasn't even in the building anytime Politico was discussed (same goes for my fellow judges and their publications). When the smoke cleared, they had this to say:

This sophisticated publication knows its audience and has all of the visual qualities you expect to find in an excellent newspaper — strong photography and editing, brilliant use of typography and nearly perfect pacing. Its creative art direction sets a standard for illustration and there are nice surprises in every issue.

Nobody in this business does work for awards (or nobody should). But recognition like this is such important validation for a small team like ours, and it's a yearly reminder that the work we’re doing here in a vacuum does have impact everywhere. Onward, upward, etc.


Each year here in Brussels, we publish a special-edition magazine highlighting the 28 people who will shape and stir Europe in the year ahead. And each year, I think, they get a little bit better. Click here to read the Class of 2017; and here to read about this year's class. 

Illustration by Zoë van Dijk

Illustration by Zoë van Dijk

On magazines

In California, the work I was most proud of came in the form of whole magazines, rather than single newspaper pages. My good pal, Tiffany Grandstaff, and I launched these quarterly magazines from scratch. And while the first one was a little rough, they quickly got much better. 

Sports-themed issues were a bit predictable in content, but we spread our wings a little more in commissioning smart and unexpected writing for Eat, the food magazine that I also edited; beautiful photography for Eureka, which celebrated life in California; and did attempt to push the envelope a bit with Play Ball, the baseball preview issue published after we'd worked out some initial kinks.

There are a few pages on this site from these publications, but they're best viewed as a whole. You can flip through several issues by clicking here

Photograph by Lipo Ching

Photograph by Lipo Ching