Designer of the Year – Magazine

Scroll down to see the nominees for Designer of the Year – Magazine. 

An award for designers and graphic artists. Judges will look at finished pages that demonstrate innovative and skilled design and layout.

The Shortlist

Clarke Cooper, The Press and Journal

Supporting statement:

When designing the covers of Energy Voice I like to go for a more abstract approach. Thinking outside the box is a must, as I want the audience to look at the cover and be desperate to see what’s inside. 

The two cover PDFs attached take a humorous look at the monthly topics and I feel they enhance the feel of the whole supplement. Even people who are not involved or interested in oil and gas will want to pick up an Energy Voice.

Judges’ Comments:  

Eye-catching and entertaining front cover designs on what could be described as a dry content subject. Clarke has a clear creative vision which enables his designs to jump off the page.

Powerful images, very creative.

Shows a good sense of humour allied to imaginative design output. Creates great variety and impact.

Daniel Beavan, Reach Plc

Supporting statement:

I hope the entries are an example of how I try to create eye-catching features pages that are engaging, busy and informative while also exhibiting a sense of humour and visual flair. We are trusted to create pages from scratch, giving me the chance to think of my own headlines and standfirsts which, in turn, often shape the design of the page. 

Similarly, I’m always looking for ways to use images in unconventional ways, using Photoshop to integrate headlines and copy into striking images to try to bring pages to life.

Judges’ Comments:  

Assured and very competent.

Clean layout, good design – works well with words to create a strong package.

Good graphic and design skills in a tough category.

Very interesting thoughtful layouts.

David Lewins, Bristol Post: Weekend Magazine

Supporting statement:

I’ve entered three of my covers for Bristol Weekend magazine because they demonstrate creativity, originality and cutting-edge skills in different areas of graphic and editorial design.

Cool not Cold:  We do a lot of work with the Bristol charity St Peter’s Hospice and one of the ways we support them is to collaborate on a charity fashion feature: designer clothes on sale in their shops. This was the winter fashion edition. It began with a photoshoot with some fantastic hospice volunteers. They were shot on white backgrounds but it needed something a bit more. So I came up with the ‘Cool Not Cold’ theme and added snow, lots and lots of snow using brushes, bringing three of the volunteer models together in a composite. On top of that, I gave the lettering tweaks to make it look like it was carved out of ice using more Photoshop brushes.

Harbour Festival: The Harbour Festival is a big deal for Bristol and each year we run a handy guide in the magazine. The challenge is to keep our presentation looking fresh and, because Bristol is an arty city, something that fits that image. This year also saw an appearance by a giant inflatable octopus, but he hadn’t been inflated to pose for pictures by the time we went to press, so it was time to get arty. This cover is held together with the modern harmonising colour palette in interlocking waves. It is also about the typography, keeping things modern and with hand-drawn lettering, adding the distressed look as a finishing touch.

Pride 2019: With my entries, I’m hoping to display creative thinking, originality and skills in different aspects of graphic design. This Weekend magazine cover for Bristol’s Pride festival is very much about typography. It’s a typographic recreation of the Pride Flag created by designer Gilbert Baker. Baker attributed different meanings to the colours. There are various incarnations but I went with the 1979 six-stripe version: red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, blue for harmony and purple for spirit. To make the effect work, the typography had to be incredibly bold, so this was literally about cutting designs out of square shapes to create the effect

Judges’ Comments:  

A portfolio of excellent front cover designs; expressive, bold and easy on the eye. His use of typography is innovative. David has a clear passion and flair for design.

Excellent design presentation with informative background explanations.  Highly imaginative and well executed. 

Kevin Farrell, The Irish News

Supporting statement:

The three elements of this submission are drawn from the Irish News’s flagship yearly sports supplement which launched our coverage of the eagerly anticipated 2019 All-Ireland Championship.

By way of context, ‘The Championship’ is the pinnacle of Gaelic Games in Ireland. It incorporates the native sports of gaelic football and hurling, while the coverage of all things GAA has always been the meat and drink of our publication’s core readership. 

The presiding theme of 2019’s Championship was the fact that Dublin, the aristocrats of Gaelic football, were striving for an unprecedented fifth All-Ireland crown in-a-row having beaten northern kingpins Tyrone in the previous year’s decider in front of over 80,000 fans inside the sporting cauldron that is Dublin’s Croke Park.

The front cover of the supplement provided here is clearly a thematic play on popular TV drama series ‘Game of Thrones’. 

Using strong design skills, the page immediately tantalises and entices the prospective reader, encouraging them to delve straight into a bumper package of strong content. 

A clever headline and sub-heading, drawing from the ‘Game of Thrones’ lexicon, ably conveys the level of anticipation for the summer ahead. 

A strong main image of the country’s top two counties in head-to-head battle, the supporting graphics and artwork and a selection of expressive headshots immediately tantalises and entices the prospective reader, irrespective of their own allegiance.

The double page spread titled ‘Madden Final RP’ offers a clean, crisp lay-out with subtle glimpses of colour, while the marquee main image projects a simple yet incredibly effective infographic with strong graphical appeal and resonance in light of the presiding theme of the supplement.

The final spread in the submission title ‘McGeary’ is deliberately bold and brazen, in keeping with the standing of the player featured, and offers a use of texture, layers and colour from pillar to post to lift an excellent feature read right off the page.

Judges’ Comments:  

Attractive design and layout which brilliantly inform readers.

Clever use of popular culture referencing to create a striking design. 

Lisa Walsh, Western Mail

Supporting statement:

In a changing and challenging print industry where teams and resources are becoming smaller, multi-skilling is increasingly important. As creative editor of WM, I pride myself in being able to source, write and design editorial.

I believe dealing with content (words) daily has helped my design work enormously. I no longer see one without the other – instead they complement each other. I don’t see pages in shapes. Words come first and the design helps to tell the story.

Referring back to the five W’s (who, what, where, when and why) helps journalists to address fundamental questions which every story should be able to answer. While designing a page, I always have three E’s in mind to keep referring back to – keeping an idea effective, engaging and entertaining!  

I hope you can simply glance at the pages I have chosen to see my E’s shine through with colours complementing each other to give an immediate sense of the season and a simple, eye-catching message to make you STOP and want to know more.

Judges’ Comments:  

As Lisa says herself, she aims for effective, engaging and entertaining designs – and that is what she has produced. An elegant, varied portfolio of fashion, homes and lifestyle.

Great design skills and talent in her pages. Colour, harmony and texture provide a brilliant overall effort.

Handles complex material well.

Nancy Fallows, Eastern Daily Press & Norwich Evening News

Supporting statement:

Whenever there is an obvious visual theme to the content, I try to use that to my advantage. For the Heaven cassette spread, I created a symmetrical page layout. I knew I wanted to use the image of Madonna in the top right-hand section of the page, as she could be used to guide the reader to look inward into the spread. The image also helped me decide on the colours I chose, which gave the spread a consistent colour palette throughout. The background of the main image was just a dark and dull carpet, so with a simple cut-out I was able to transform the cassette on a slightly more vibrant background. I also created my own vector graphic of a cassette tape to be incorporated with the headline.

The ‘Against All Odds’ comic spread was designed with a comic book theme in mind. I used elements of comic books, such as putting black strokes on the images and styling up headlines. I wanted to give the spread a balance between being a comic book and a normal feature page our readers are used to seeing.

For the Weekend front, I was just supplied this picture of one Subbuteo toy. Using simple design elements with colour and text placement I have created a striking and effective page front.

Judges’ Comments:  

Clever, clean layouts. With her creative designs, Nancy draws the reader into the text.

Strong, competent work across a variety of themes.

Good, clean design presentation showing a range of expertise.