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.