Breaking News cover

Braking News category only had two entrees and the judges decided to only award a first place.

1st. Brianna Schroer, The Columbia Missourian, “A moment in a movement” 



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Multipage story

1st: Jordan Whitney Martin, F News, “Adjunctivists” 

The judges liked the background and the simplicity. They liked that the designer “had the chance to overdo it” but didn’t.

2nd: Site Ma, Vox Magazine, “Living in a Boom Town”

The judges appreciated the amount of reporting that sent into the package but wished the designer spent as much time designing the issue.

3rd: Site Ma, Vox Magazine, “The Secret Life of Mead”

The judges liked the consistent use of little details and thought it added to the design of the package. They loved the color choices.

Honorary Mention: Madalyne Bird, Vox Magazine, “The Killing State”

The judges said it was impressive that a college publication put out that many pages but agreed that a lot could go wrong. They appreciated the reporting and planning that went into the package but noted some inconsistency in design.

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Sports Design

Honorary Mention: Chloe Meister, The Daily Orange, “40 Years of Boehein”

The judges were impressed with the planning, detail and execution and thought that overall the page was fantastic.

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A3 news design

1st Place: Sophie Jucido Johnson, F News, “Air Sex”

The judges said that everything on the page worked well together, starting with the clever headline, the unique illustrations  and a clear grid. “You could feel the fun they had putting this together,” Luis Rendon said.

This is an edgy topic, but “you’re looking at the illustrations and you’re thinking what’s going on and you want to read the story,” Joe Greco said.

Honorary mention: Zach Cooper, F News, “Why I miss John Stewart”

Luis Rendon said that he was struck by how original the illustration was, but the judges agreed that the power of the page only came from the illustration.

Honorary mention: Priyoshi Kapur, F News, “Waiting for her to die” 

The judges said that although the illustration itself is high quality, they didn’t think it entirely fit the story. They thought the designer efficiently used white space and typography to make the page clean.

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Newspaper Cover Design

1st place: Brianna Schroer, The Columbia Missourian, “A moment in a movement”

The judges said that the cover represented the intensity of the news well. With everyone paying attention to the student protest at the University of Missouri, the designer made a good photo choice and “killed the news section,” Luis Rendon said.

2nd place: Mara Corbett, The Daily Orange, “One in four young adults has a diagnosable mental illness” 

The judges said it was successful without art and consistent across the page. They questioned how readable the white type on the black background is.

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Judges’ Comments from the SSND DC Competition

It’s here! Check out our video to see judges’ feedback on this year’s competition.

The judges in this video are:


Dan Zedek: Assistant managing editor for design
The Boston Globe
Lee Steele: President of SND,
Presentation Editor/Columnist, Hearst Corporation
Marianne Seregi: Magazine Art Director
The Washington Post


Seth Hamblin: Deputy Global Visual Editor and The Wall Street Journal
Juan Velasco: Co-founder and creative director of 5W Infographics and former Art Director at National Geographic magazine
Mike Swartz: Partner, Upstatement

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SSND DAY #2 : Digital Categories


SSND officers with digital judges, Mike Swartz (left 3): Partner, Upstatement, Seth Hamblin(left 4): Deputy Global Visual Editor and The Wall Street Journal, Juan Velasco(left 5): Co-founder and creative director of 5W Infographics and former Art Director at National Geographic magazine

We just finished up the final judging rounds of the 2015 SSND Competition with the remaining six digital categories! With a new panel of judges and computers and Ipads galore lining the outskirts of the room, the judges carefully analyzed every entry. We saw a range of work, all which were impressive to the judges and stirred some great discussion.

We started off the morning with:

Overall News Website B1


The first entry was the Fairfield Mirror Vision which the judges found engaging, easy to navigate and scrolled in nice way. They commented on liking the social media built into the interface.

They noticed that this lay-out was a ‘pretty off-the-shelf theme’ similar to wordpress with not a ton of customization.


Next, was the Vanderbilt Hustler. They noticed the large banner at the top of the page right away and commented that that was a ‘tough thing to hold to. The commended producing the site seamlessly but would like to see more standardization especially across aspect ratios and more control over the user experience.


The  SCAD Connector was viewed next.


They commented on the more of a stream approach and more modern way of doing things with the continuous scroll— they really liked that.

The judged also commended this publication for doing some different stuff with color and trending modules being the same as the theme. “They chose a theme and kind of combined it with some unique stuff”

Next,  they viewed the Statesman and immediately called it  “interesting”

The commented on headlines get lost, but commended the building of their own theme and the design choices around it. ‘This site is authentic to the process’ commented one of the judges.

One critique that kept coming up was that this site is not responsive which is important and good next step for this publication.


Fnewsmagazine was the last entry.

They loved the use of illustrations with a lot with photos but the art direction felt visually all over the place at times. They would’ve liked to see a better use of whitespace as well.

not a good use of whitespace— nice illustrations.


Overall the judges loved the original design choices, and among the borrowed themes, there were a few that used it well!

1st — Fairfield Statesman

3rd — Scad Connector

Honorable Mention –F NewsMagazine


Mini-site/special section of a news website B2


There was a lot of discussion among the judges what this category really means based on the variety of entries.

They judges commented on all of the great photo content and awesome video and gallery content as well. They found that a few of the entries struggled with a design and visual hierarchy. In contrast, they commented on how many of these entries were very well art directed!

1st — Vox, Ciera Velarde

2nd— Syracuse, MacKenzie Dunsmoor

Honorable Mention — Vox, Atiya Abbas

Interactive or Animated Infographic B3

This was our most competitive category with the widest variety of entries. The biggest comment that the judges expressed often was the importance of good graphics paired with a good story. They say a lot of amazing designs but that connection with the story was very important in the final considerations.


1st– UNC- Chapel Hill

2nd– Northwestern

Honorable Mention– Saint Joseph’s University

Video or Multimedia Project B4


This category also had quite a bit of variety with more long-form package entries and stand alone videos. The divide was clear between the bigger projects and the smalelr projects with depth of story telling but the judges found the art direction exceptional in some of the smaller entries.

1st –




News Products Appearing on Other Digital Platforms ( ipad, android, iphone) B5

Many of these entries felt very static to the judges who were looking for responsiveness and interactivity in these designs. There is an importance to catering to the platform and not just putting what you print on the web in the same design. There were many issues with poor typography and general visual design that the judges emphasized. Interactivity and attention to detail is important and was the reason that the following entries advanced to the award level.

1– Syracuse, Bellwethr

2– Michigan St University, Glyph

Honorable Mention —University of Missouri,  Vox,


Redesigning of a News Website B6

Stony Brook University, The Statesman

The judges really commend the process of this winning entry and the job well done on this to redesign. “The old site was really bad, but they did some amazing work with this redesign. They did a good thing building in themselves. Now they just have to make it responsive, said one of the judges.

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