Production: World’s Best-Designed Newspapers Honored for Freshness and Attention to Detail

By: Toni McQuilken

Production: World’s Best-Designed Newspapers Honored for Freshness and Attention to Detail

In the business of printing newspapers, it’s easy to get caught up in the frantic pace of deadlines and physical production. Having a daily or weekly product ready for delivery, with accurate information, printed on quality newsprint, and out the door on time, is a top priority. But some newspapers are proving that award-winning design can be part of that equation as well.  

The Society for News Design recently announced the winners of its 34th annual newspaper design contest, with 727 awards given in 19 categories out of more than 9,000 entries. Five titles received the top honor of World’s Best-Designed newspaper: Die Zeit of Hamburg, Germany; Welt am Sonntag of Berlin, Germany; Dagens Nyheter of Stockholm, Sweden; Politiken of Copenhagen, Denmark; and The Grid of Toronto, Canada.    

The winners were honored for their top-notch design and print quality, in addition to excellence in the numerous other factors that go into producing a great newspaper. A big part of the criteria, in fact, was that design had to be backed up by production quality, which was a great thing to see. The best design in the world won’t look good if it’s not supported by a production team as dedicated to the finished product as the editors and publishers are.  

Four of this year’s five best-designed papers use manroland web press systems: Die Zeit, Welt am Sonntag, Dagens Nyheter, and The Grid. “I am delighted to congratulate our customers on winning these awards,” Peter Kuisle, former manroland executive vice president, said in a statement. “These committed publishers are trailblazers and an inspiration for the quality, uniqueness, and thus the future of the newspaper. We are also honored and motivated in that this performance is achieved with manroland technology.”  

In its announcement of the winners, SND acknowledged that good design doesn’t exist in a vacuum. “What distinguishes a World’s Best-Designed Newspaper? A culture of careful editing of all content that puts the reader first — through stringent attention to detail,” the judges said in a statement. They commented on intangibles, such as the “freshness” of the look and feel, and that the winners demonstrated “journalistic and optical skills on every page.”  

In addition, The Washington Post received one of three gold medals awarded for individual works for its coverage of the 2012 presidential election. “This goes to show the planning and commitment of their entire news organization,” the judges said. “It’s a gigantic piece of work and so very well executed. (The Post) maintained such a consistently high level of excellence across an entire year. Every little detail has a purpose.”  

Print quality, from prepress to printing to postpress, essentially got out of the way in the case of each of the winning pieces. Judges — and readers — were never distracted from the quality of the articles or the design, and that is really what a good print process should do. Excellent production value disappears, so only the content catches the attention of the person holding the paper.  

Top 10 Award Winners
Of the 727 awards given by the Society for News Design in 2013, these papers brought home the most:  

  1. Los Angeles Times: 95
  2. National Post (Canada): 66
  3. The Washington Post: 38
  4. The New York Times: 28
  5. Times of Oman: 27
  6. Omaha World-Herald: 22
  7. Gulf News (UAE): 21
  8. Globe & Mail (Toronto): 21
  9. Dagens Nyheter (Denmark): 21
  10. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland): 20    

The 34th Annual Best of News Design Competition — by the Numbers

  • Entries: 9,262
  • The all-time high for entries was 15,020 in 2005
  • Entries in 2012: 10,158
  • Total 2013 winners: 727
  • Total 2012 winners: 717  

Number of Awards by Country:

  • Argentina: 11
  • Brazil: 23
  • Canada: 129
  • China: 14
  • Colombia: 4
  • Costa Rica: 1
  • Denmark: 15
  • Dominican Republic: 2
  • Ecuador: 3
  • El Salvador: 3
  • England: 5
  • Finland: 3
  • Germany: 21
  • Ireland: 1
  • Israel: 1
  • Italy: 1
  • Mexico: 31
  • Norway: 2
  • Oman: 30
  • Peru: 5
  • Poland: 1
  • Portugal: 3
  • Russia: 1
  • Singapore: 2
  • Spain: 2
  • Sweden: 39
  • The Netherlands: 2
  • Turkey: 2
  • United Arab Emirates: 28
  • United States: 342    

Creps United Rebuilds Following Fire  

Following a large fire in October 2012, retail insert printing specialist Creps United will add three new Goss Sunday web press systems this summer as it rebuilds its production facility in Indiana, Pa. Jake Creps, president of the third-generation family owned business, said the company plans to construct a new 100,000-square-foot facility where the Sunday press systems will be installed.  

“Thanks to the loyalty of our customers, employees and partners, including Goss Intl., we plan to be back in full production in the fall — in time for the busiest retail insert printing season,” Creps said in a statement. “The fire was catastrophic, but now we couldn’t be more excited about our future and the opportunity to serve our customers with a new, state-of-the-art facility and the most advanced printing technology available.”  

Goss will begin installing the first new press in June: a Sunday 2000i press system with a 57-inch web width and a C700i folder. An identical system will follow in late summer, along with a Sunday 3000i press featuring a 66-inch width. Goss is also rebuilding some existing press equipment damaged by the fire.  

Together, the three new presses will have the capacity to produce the equivalent of more than 4 million pages per hour. All three press systems will feature gapless blankets, automated closed-loop controls, and Goss QPL quick plate loading technology. Creps United plans to duplex one of the Sunday 2000i presses with the Sunday 3000i press in 2014 for expanded product and pagination versatility. 

Creps United was founded in 1948. The company prints 100 million advertising inserts per month and provides graphic design, website and app development, digital printing, and signage services for regional and national clients.     

Q.I. Press Controls to Seek Attorney’s Fees from Quad/Tech  

announced in a court filing in early March that it is dropping its infringement case against Q.I. Press Controls (QIPC) for alleged infringement of Quad/Tech’s ‘577 patent by QIPC’s image-based Intelligent Density System (IDS). QIPC filed its response March 14 and expressed its interest in seeking recovery of costs and attorney’s fees in connection with having to defend Quad/Tech’s lawsuit.  

IDS is a color control system, not a color register system, which is what Quad/Tech’s ‘577 patent describes. In its recent filing, QIPC informed the court that Quad/Tech’s request to dismiss its own patent infringement claim is an attempt to evade QIPC’s investigation into what Quad/Tech knew before it filed its infringement case. QIPC maintains that Quad/Tech never conducted an adequate pre-filing investigation before it filed the case and then, in the context of the case, never provided any information to show there was any basis for the lawsuit.    

ProImage Demos Cost-Saving Solutions at AmericaEast  

At last month’s AmericaEast conference, New ProImage America, Inc., showcased how its modular workflow management software can optimize throughput and improve print quality.  

Products on display included:

  • NewsWay, a control and workflow management software solution. NewsWay manages plate production priorities and, when interfaced with press control systems, saves time and potential error by optimizing plate sorting and automating print production priorities. 
  • TabellaNews, a cloud-based mobile publishing solution that enables simultaneous content delivery to almost all mobile devices. The TabellaNews server captures content from any content management system in use at the newspaper, be it editorial or Web. The final publication is delivered to any hosting environment and accessed by the complementary reader application, which is customized with the paper’s branding.  
  • Press Register corrects misregistration caused by mechanical flaws on a web offset press and by paper stretch. Press Register creates edition print layouts, automatically detects pages, and assigns them to their appropriate position on the cylinder while also applying registration correction for each individual plate.  
  • OnColor ECO ink optimization software, which can save as much as 35 percent of color ink cost. It will also repurpose a PDF for additional targets such as a heatset press, the Web, or a tablet device.    

HP Indigo Digital Press Now Available Worldwide  

With significant hardware unit growth since drupa 2012, HP announced the Indigo 10000 Digital Press is now commercially available worldwide, with 16 units installed to date.   

The first offset-quality digital press in a B2 size format, the HP Indigo 10000 Digital Press maintains all the capabilities distinct to the portfolio in a wider format that expands the digital printing capabilities, while crossing over into traditionally offset markets. It debuted at drupa 2012 and underwent beta testing across the globe beginning in September 2012. Beta customers included Courier, Pureprint Group, and Sandy Alexander.  

Internationally, customers are taking advantage of the HP Indigo 5600 and 7600 Digital Presses as well, gaining a competitive edge with Enhanced Productivity Mode (EPM), a new feature available on the latest HP Indigo Digital Presses that reduces turnaround times and production costs by printing up to 33 percent faster.  

With continued focus on press productivity, service, and support, HP also developed Indigo Print Care 2.0, a toolset for the HP Indigo 7600 and 10000 Digital Presses composed of diagnostics, troubleshooting and maintenance tools, remote support, and automatic calibrations and alerts.    

Saudi Publisher Al-Jazirah to Boost Print Capacity and Flexibility  

Al-Jazirah Corp. of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has partnered with Goss Intl. to upgrade, refurbish, and relocate its presses. Scheduled to be in full print production by the end of the second quarter 2013, the project involves reconfiguring a total of 88 Goss Universal single-wide press units.  

The investment has been driven by a need to increase production capacity at its Riyadh center, and to enhance color flexibility and semi-commercial/heatset capabilities. “Middle Eastern newspapers were years ahead of the global hybrid trend, and we have been installing press systems with heatset capabilities into Saudi press halls for many years,” said Stéphane Jaunasse, Goss Intl. customer service manager.  

“We have a long-standing partnership with Goss Intl., and they were the obvious choice for this ambitious upgrade project,” said Nabil Sahl, production manager, Al-Jazirah Printing. “We have confidence in their continued support and believe that Goss can help us to gain greater visibility for semi-commercial print placement, ensuring the daily title fully reflects the level of expectation among readers today and maintains a market-leading position.”  

The initial phase focused on relocating a 2×1 Goss Universal press comprising 13 four-high towers, two folders, and 15 reelstands from northeastern France to Riyadh. This press will be installed into a modified press hall, refurbished, and configured as two press lines: one of seven towers and one of six towers. The press units will be enhanced with shaftless drive controls. The next element of the project involves transferring two four-high towers from an existing Goss Universal press installed in the Riyadh plant in 1994 to another later-generation Universal press system. As part of this process, the drive system of the two towers will be converted to footprint shaftless, and the units will be upgraded to match those of the second press.  

Three heatset gas dryers will be integrated with the press lines, and a bay window turner bar arrangement will also be introduced to enable full hybrid production, mixing heatset pages within the publisher’s flagship broadsheet daily, Al-Jazirah.  

Upon completion of these major modifications and additions, Al-Jazirah will be operating a total of 22 Universal four-high towers, with a web width of 914mm and a 578mm cut-off plus three Goss Universal folders. Operating at speeds up to 50,000 copies per hour, the press system will be capable of delivering a total pagination of 100 pages for producing the daily newspaper and specialized magazines.  

Established in 1960, Al-Jazirah publishes 220,000 copies daily of the Arabic newspaper Al-Jazirah, with an average pagination of 48 pages per edition. It also distributes three specialized magazines per week along with the newspaper: TelecomandDigital World Magazine, Auto Club Magazine, and Cultural Magazine.    

Kodak SONORA XP Process Free Plates Recognized for Environmental Benefits  

Kodak’s SONORA XP Process Free Plates, the company’s solution for process-free thermal plate technology, received a stellar rating in the Environmental Leader Technology Reviews program. The panel of judges recognized the plates for successfully combining a strong business value proposition with environmentally sound technology innovation.  

“It’s gratifying any time our industry peers recognize the efforts we’ve taken to create more sustainable, next-generation solutions for our customers,” said Rich Rindo, general manager of Kodak’s Worldwide Graphics Marketing organization. “SONORA XP Plates provide a solution that enables our customers to incorporate new technologies that positively impact both their environmental footprint and their bottom line, while providing print capability comparable to mainstream processed plates. We’re honored to receive this ranking from Environmental Leader Technology Reviews.”  

Environmental Leader Technology Reviews is a program recognizing excellence in products and services that provide companies with energy and environmental benefits. Scores were determined by a panel of independent judges from leading companies.    

Miami Herald Selects Ferag TTR Conveyor Technology for New Printing Site  

The Miami Herald is moving. The media company is leaving Biscayne Bay in downtown Miami, its home since 1963, and going to the Westpoint Business Park in Doral, the site of a new printing center where production is scheduled to start this month.  

Here, TTR conveyor technology from Ferag will secure the transport of newspapers between the press and the mailroom. Five fully overhauled conveyor systems are involved, supplied by Ferag and equipped with new forwarding and delivery stations. By contracting Ferag to replace the conveyor systems, the Miami Herald Media Co. will be getting virtually a new system for its printing house.  

The Miami Herald
and El Nuevo Herald are the two dominant newspapers in southern Florida. With 18 additional newspapers printed under contract, circulation approaches 2 million copies each week. To deliver such volumes on time, production runs at up to 65,000 copies per hour and line.    

QuadTech’s Portfolio Featured at Gulf Print & Pack 2013  

QuadTech Inc. presented new innovations to its portfolio of press control technology under the theme “The Power of Better — People + Technology = Solutions” at Gulf Print & Pack 2013, held at the Dubai World Trade Center, April 8 – 11. According to QuadTech, the latest solutions boost the quality, productivity, and immediacy of products printed for newspaper, commercial, and packaging markets.  

QuadTech offers automated control solutions for commercial and newspaper printers. These include the addition of water control to the Color Control and Web Inspection System with AccuCam, a closed-loop system that offers image-based color control. The system also inspects the entire web to provide accurate defect detection within the first 170 copies — continuously throughout the print run — and offers plate verification to ensure minimal startup time. For commercial printers, QuadTech’s Color Control System with Instrument Flight and SpectralCam controls color, solid ink density, three-color gray balance, and mid-tone dot-gain throughout the production run.  

The Digital Ink System replaces open fountains or upgrades existing “pump and rail” systems. The system provides precise density control at all press speeds by metering the exact volume of ink required per image, offering optimized image quality. It also eliminates the costs of contamination from open fountains, providing immediate ink, paper, and maintenance cost savings.

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Published: May 16, 2013


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