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SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit Among Best Designed in the World (again and Always!)

Posted on the 21 February 2014 by Themarioblog @garciainteract

TAKEAWAY: The Society of News Design (SND) has just announced 35th Edition contest winners. We take pride in the success of our client newspapers and will be devoting TheMarioBlog post the rest of the week to chat with art directors from some of the winning newspapers. Today: a chat with Die Zeit design director Haika Hinze.

SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!) These are titles from the Garcia Media portfolio that have received awards at the SND 35 Competition recently

SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!)
SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!)
SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!)
SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!)
SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!)
SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!)
SND35 Awards 3: Die Zeit among best designed in the world (again and always!)

Award winning pages from Die Zeit

I like how Haika Hinze, design director of Die Zeit, answered when I asked about the magic of Die Zeit and how it continues to be among the best designed newspapers in the world.

Love is important,” Haika tells me. “My team and I, we love to design this great newspaper! We fight for our visual ideas and we try to convince the Editors with our passion…

Love and passion, let’s not forget those two words.

But, oh, when I hear Haika mention “my team” my mind goes back to my first week at Die Zeit in 1994 (although it seems like it was a century ago, truly). There was no visual team although there existed a group of journalists producing some of Germany’s most insightful and authoritative storytelling. To this day, that has been one of Die Zeit’s strongest points.

Visually speaking, however, in 1994, Die Zeit was a bare desert. It depended on a cartoon on page one. Period. No photos. No color and tons of texts.

Readers of this blog already know what it took to get photos and color into Die Zeit, but that is an old story and one that you can read here: http://garciamedia.com/blog/articles/how_we_did_it_pure_design_case_study_of_die_zeit

Today, again (and, it seems, that forever more), Die Zeit is among the best designed newspapers in the world, according to the SND 35 competition. Well deserved and a great opportunity for us to meditate a bit on the magic that is the visual appeal of this, Germany’s intellectual newspaper.

Love, passion….and what else?

We agree with Haika that love and passion are important components in the making of anything. However, it takes more than love and passion to get this fantastically surprising newspaper out each week. More importantly, it requires talent and determination to sustain the highest level of visual storytelling consistently.

And I bet it is not easy for Haika and her team to accomplish what they do with such gusto week after week.

In our times it is so hard for the reader to focus, so many things happen simultaneously. Visual storytelling can help to bring the news closer. So we try to fuse text and visuals in an elegant way,” she says.

It is my belief, that news design can help to explain the world and visual storytelling ensures that DIE ZEIT reaches the readers and provides them with a clear view of world events.

The magic of Die Zeit

As I travel around the world, there is always great admiration for Die Zeit’s design and great interest in what makes it so special.

Besides the talent of those in charge of leading Die Zeit visually, which includes, by the way, Jan Kny, formerly a Garcia Media art director, there seems to be a total commitment to that which makes for the best design, and which embraces the concept of WED (Writing/Editing/Design) fully: letting the content, the story, guide the visual, creative process.

Die Zeit’s pages, and not just the front page, never fail to surprise visually. But, more even more importantly, they are textbook case studies of what happens when the story is presented in a mere ten seconds through the visual presentation.

If good journalistic design emphasizes visuals that are appropriate to the tone and point of view of the story, then Die Zeit does it consistently and magnificently well.

In terms of just visual appeal, Die Zeit’s best pages seduce on the spot, present us with attractive solutions to convey the meaning of the most abstract stories and provide us with imagery that is worth framing and hanging on the wall.

It is not just magic that separates Die Zeit from the rest.

It is a perfectly balanced marriage of the best and most creative design, with the functionality that all journalistic design should have in its ability to attract us to a story, to convey its meaning in seconds, and to leave us wanting to come back for more the next week.

It is a long way from 1994 for Die Zeit. While awards are important in the tangible reward they offer creative people in our business, what is truly significant here is that Die Zeit has become a weekly sampling of what can be done when creativity meets storytelling. It is visual journalism at its very best.

And, yes, there is something magical about it, too.

Previously about SND 35 winners:

SND35 Awards: What Makes a Winner?

http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/snd35_awards_1_what_makes_a_winner

SND35 Awards2: Times of Oman and the key to all those awards

http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/snd35_awards_2_times_of_oman_and_the_key_to_all_those_awards

Of related interest:

How we did it: Pure Design case study of Die Zeit

http://garciamedia.com/blog/articles/how_we_did_it_pure_design_case_study_of_die_zeit

Change Made a Difference in These Projects

http://garciamedia.com/blog/articles/pchange_made_a_different_in_these_projects_p

TheMarioBlog post #1438

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