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Award-Winning Newspaper Designs

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Print and Web are different. Traditional layout techniques from print, particularly an advanced formatting, aren’t applicable to the Web as CSS doesn’t offer sophisticated instruments to design such layouts (e.g. text floating around an embedded image; some “floating” techniques provide such results. However they produce bloated source code just as well).

At the same time, the flexibility of the Web is hardly applicable to print as there is no way to customize a traditional periodical for reader’s convenience. Apart from that, online reading is very different from offline-reading: in the latter both leading and the line length are usually much shorter.

However, there are some fundamental principles which are often being used in both media. Over the last years newspapers and websites started to apply similar principles of data presentation, such as the heavy use of white space and grid-based design1. The results can sometimes be very similar, but often they have almost nothing at common.

This issue of Monday inspiration series is supposed to provide you with some examples of outstanding newspaper designs which have been rewarded with prestigious awards (see references at the bottom of this post) and demonstrate unusual approaches of newspaper layout.

El Economista (Madrid, Spain) Link

El Economista uses a very traditional, subtle and unique newspaper layout. Notice how well the typography reflects the weight of single articles. Infographics support the content and headlines are surrounded by huge amount of whitespace.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Äripäev (Tallinn, Estonia) Link

Äripäev‘s signature is the heavy use of typography. The layout may sometimes seem overcrowded, however the packaging is always clean, simple to digest and easy to read. Note the difference in weights of colors: color, grey and red are applied carefully and sparingly.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

De Morgen (Belgium) Link

De Morgen focuses on attractive packaging and a visually appealing layout. Vivid colors offer readers more eye-candy; however, they also have a function as they e.g. clearly separate quotations from the overall article. Headlines are centered, background-colors differ from page to page.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Politiken (Copenhagen, Denmark) Link

Politiken has a very eye-pleasing, legible layout with soft, neutral colors. Notice the clean horizontal packaging on the right-hand side image below. The sharpness of typography is breathtaking.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

The Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw, Poland) Link

The Rzeczpospolita displays its conservatism in a traditional, conservative layout. No fancy images, no vivid background colors in use. The content dominates and helps the layout to gain a rather traditional look.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Le Monde (Paris, France) Link

Le Monde presents a mix of colorful infographics, solid typography and professional content…

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt, Germany) Link

…so does the “>Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszietung: the excerpts are distributed uniformly which gives the page a clear and easy-to-read and easy-to-scan structure. It’s not always possible, though.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Expresso (Portugal) Link

Expresso: with rich colors, clean grid-based layout and concise typography. Notice how the colors are applied and how the content is separated (see second screenshot).

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

The Guardian (London, UK) Link

The Guardian has recently finished its redesign. Result: more vivid colors and more vivid blocks. However, the legibility and the sharpness of presentation don’t suffer. A nice example of how multiple colors can be used not destroying the balance between visual appeal and legibility.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Dubai Express (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) Link

Dubai Express is another example of colorful yet legible layout design. The layout has 10 colors on one single page, used in different contexts in different colors. Note the sharpness of typography and use of capital letters on the front page. In this case color is definitely appropriate as the newspaper’s main topic is entertainment.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Mint (India) Link

Mint, financial daily in India, uses large indentation for typography and elegant visual highlights to separate the content. That works well: both attractive, scannable and easy-to-read.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (US) Link

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (US) isn’t a boulevard-newspaper, but a local regional magazine. The layout has a clear content hierarchy and a very simple structure. Huge amount of whitespace: waste of space or a clever technique to focus readers’ attention on the main topics?

Excellent Newspaper Designs

Hartford Courant (US) Link

The Hartford Courant is a standout in the American newspaper market. The newspaper distinguishes itself with an enduring elegance in design and typography. Though conservative in their approach, designers engage readers with the bold use of visuals. The contrast between their quiet, understated style and the gutsy photography and illustrations create a tension that captures the attention of readers.

Excellent Newspaper Designs
Excellent Newspaper Designs

Resources and Further References Link

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 /2007/01/12/white-space-and-simplicity-an-overview/
  2. 2 http://www.snd.org
  3. 3 http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/
  4. 4 http://www.innovationsinnewspapers.com/
  5. 5 http://www.flickr.com/groups/newsdesign/pool/
  6. 6 http://www.newspaperaward.org/
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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex UX, front-end and performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Just a small correction. Dubai is in United Arab Emirates, not Saudi Arabia.

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  2. 2

    El Economista and the Guardian are the best by far, a few there I don’t think should be “award winning” – But interesting collection.

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  3. 3

    amazing = 牛逼

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  4. 4

    What a great example to choose as the first, only because I saw TIn TIn!

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  5. 5

    Love this post.

    I am inspired! :)

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  6. 6

    Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung looks really nice. Football looks even better shown that way :)

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  7. 7

    Oh why wasn’t this around a few days earlier! I’ve just completed a website heavily based around the theory of newspaper design, and had to do all the research by hand. Well done with the article though, there are some excellent example of design in there, truly inspirational work with a grid, some typography and white space!

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  8. 8

    El Economista and Le Monde do it for me. Love the colour palette of the former, and the type (by Jean Fraçois Porchez) of the latter. Great stuff SM.

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  9. 9

    I love the amount of whitespace in “El economista”.

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  10. 10

    George Tziralis

    February 11, 2008 2:19 am

    I’ d add the greek ‘Eleftheros Tipos’ (=”Free Press), http://www.e-tipos.com/pdfViewer, winner of the best design european national newspaper award for 2007. Very inspiring post, indeed!

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  11. 11

    I like the minimalism on Hartford Courant ! Also Guardian!

    Nice Post! When are you going to to a similar post but with Innovation in Magazine Design or something like that? will be interesting.

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  12. 12

    interesting article..

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  13. 13

    I like very much the Expresso.
    Portugal is my love…

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  14. 14

    I love these kind of articles bring them on! DTP is something that is missing on internet.(they way you gother and present it)

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  15. 15

    I do not see a good or helpful judgement here… everything is “legible and crisp” in your eyes, but the examples are cluttered and sometimes not clear, legible and crisp but shmashed and ugly…

    next time you will judge the german BILD-Zeitung a legible design with balanced use of typography and colors? ;=)

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  16. 16

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    February 11, 2008 5:21 am

    @Connie: please point exactly to the sites which are cluttered and sometimes not clear in your opinion.

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  17. 17

    The encore page from ‘De Morgan’ would translate nicely to a web page (just using the first 3 columns).

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  18. 18

    JohnofScribbleSheet

    February 11, 2008 5:22 am

    Economista looks great!

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  19. 19

    Some are good some are bad. But in the end it is nice to see some old school print design. I was involved in this domain for 3 years and it was quite cool.

    Great resource guys.

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  20. 20

    extreme webmaster

    February 11, 2008 6:21 am

    As usual, a great compilation and a great resource. These newspaper designs are really inspirational. I will definitely use some of them on my websites.

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  21. 21

    Portugal is mistyped. By the way, nice post!

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  22. 22

    Awesome post! I really enjoyed reading this one.

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  23. 23

    Some of these would be very difficult to translate into web designs, but it’s something to think about.
    Newspaper layout people have to take grid, and column design very seriously.
    Our local paper for example is a six-column layout, but they do change things up to keep it interesting.
    You get a much better idea of grid design watching how the newspaper pros do it.

    0
  24. 24

    Nico to see that you included my favorite Belgian gazette! Great article!

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  25. 25

    hmmm. A few of those are just plain, but a few are great. Good news papers, and news letters are all about Feng Shui and balance

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  26. 26

    @#15:

    “The Rzeczpospolita displays its conservatism in a traditional, conservative layout.” this red is conservative? this paper is using signal red, and “conservative layout” is something else..
    this page “http://www.snd.org/best27/Rzeczpospolita_files/2001J.png” is for sure not conservative layouted and easy to read…

    “Äripäev” is yellow press and for sure “packaging is always clean” is not the case .

    Sorry, but still I assume that you wanted to proof a thesis instead of doing some research…

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  27. 27

    so nice to see those award winning newspapers ^^

    0
  28. 28

    There is definitely something a Web Designer can adopt from those examples.
    Very nice and different collection!

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  29. 29

    If you can get a copy, Canada’s Globe and Mail is a good example of nice newspaper design. In fact, they even commissioned their own fonts.

    1
  30. 30

    Woah, great to see an Indian News Paper in this list.

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  31. 31

    For a while i didn’t think i was going to see any from U.S, but glad that we have some good newspaper.

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  32. 32

    Mark A. Dodge Medlin

    February 11, 2008 9:21 pm

    It’s worth pointing out that the Society for News Design is in the process of picking the next gigantic batch of winning pages, graphics and photos. Some of the results can be found on SND’s Update blog, if you can get past the inside baseball and “inspirational” poems.

    Interesting post. It’s always eye-opening to see newspaper design through the eyes of design experts who aren’t newsprint folk.

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  33. 33

    Another good Brazilian site Newspaper: http://www.estadao.com.br !

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  34. 34

    The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has a nice layout. I may be a little biased towards the paper but, I’ve always thought they had a wonderful overall design. I agree with others that the el economista is remarkable.

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  35. 35

    I like Äripäev’s layout most. It’s catchy and clearly arranged. lovin it. But I don’t get why FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine) is award winning. I don’t like it at all!

    Greetings from Frankfurt, Germany
    — tux86

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  36. 36

    Great compilation. Interesting to see how much newspaper layout has found it’s way in todays blog sites. Good study material of how much content can be packed into little space and still keep the reader interested and the visuals appealing.

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  37. 37

    I delivered the Hartford Courant for 3 years when I was 12. Grew up in Connecticut :)

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  38. 38

    El Economista is the best. I like Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung also
    Great inspiration resource guys, keep it up!!!

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  39. 39

    is nice to see a portuguese newspaper in the list :) ( im portugues off course :D )

    congrats for the excelent work in this website.

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  40. 40

    Not bad and a good over view. But there are some missing, like the Asia section ;-)

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