No, it's not The New York Times, and it's certainly not The Daily. According to the Society of News Design's Best of Newspaper Design Creative Competition, the best-designed newspaper in the world is i, short for informação, which is—congrats if you guessed it—Portuguese. Yes, the world's best-designed newspaper is a colorful, less-than-two-year-old, small-format tabloid paper published in Portugal. Who knew?
i certainly demonstrates a masterful use of color and graphics, and draws the best qualities from traditional newspapers and magazines, making it strikingly different from other daily print publications. According to the judges, it went beyond just smart design, showing true innovation in an endangered field: "This causes us to wonder: Is this where newspapers are going? Is it where newspapers could go or should go? Can new techniques make print even more vibrant and relevant?"
Here's another effusive comment from the judges: "i is composed like a beautiful piece of music. It has the discipline to play only the high notes that matter most. For example, it uses its full bleed capability sparingly. It creates strong impact, even with small things. The surprise of occasional whimsy makes the content inviting." I would concur with all that, including the fact that we at GOOD highly approve of their fine use of infographics.
Even though publisher Martim Avillez Figueiredo launched the paper at a conspicuous time, and has not yet seen rampant success, looking at i's vibrant pages, print feels very much alive. (They've even managed to translate most of its personality to the online version.) Check out more shots from i here, and be sure to view this beautiful gallery of i's front page, updated daily.