Want to see what great news design looks like? The Society for News Design’s (SND) Best of News Design Creative Competition has long recognized journalistic excellence in storytelling, graphics, illustration, photography and news design. You can now view this year’s winners to get a sense of who and which publications are doing this really well.
Many of this year’s best entries expanded beyond print, combining digital and print platforms to create a more immersive experience. One of the judges for the news design category, Susanna Sanchez Young, said that digital skills have become a key part of a news designer’s tool kit.
“You have to be able to do online digital design so that you can be flexible and marketable. You know the writing part, you know the designing part, and then if you get to know the digital part, you’re a triple threat. You can do anything and everything,” she said.
At the same time, Young said designers who find their way to news publications need to have an understanding of who they’re designing for. “It’s important to learn the aspects of journalism like who, what, where, and why, how to write headlines, and how to write copy. There are a lot of designers out there who can’t write and who can’t formulate a headline or create an info box.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of graphic designers, in general, is projected to grow 3 percent through 2028, slower than the average for all occupations. Designers are expected to face strong competition for available positions, but Young says you shouldn’t let that stop you.
“If you want to do this you have to really want to do this. You have to love it because people don’t do it for the money. They do it because they want to inform and teach their community and they want to make a difference in the world. We are the people who elevate the words with visuals. If it wasn’t for us, who’s going to read that?”