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