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.