ST bags 6 awards at global design contest

Among the six awards that The Straits Times won were (from left) "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?", " Trash or treasure" on recycling and "On a little street in Singapore… A road map of history, culture and society." The Straits Times
Among the six awards that The Straits Times won were (from left) "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?", " Trash or treasure" on recycling and "On a little street in Singapore… A road map of history, culture and society."PHOTO: ST DIGITAL
Among the six awards that The Straits Times won were (from left) "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?", " Trash or treasure" on recycling and "On a little street in Singapore… A road map of history, culture and society." The Straits Times
Among the six awards that The Straits Times won were (from left) "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?", " Trash or treasure" on recycling and "On a little street in Singapore… A road map of history, culture and society."PHOTO: ST DIGITAL
Among the six awards that The Straits Times won were (from left) "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?", " Trash or treasure" on recycling and "On a little street in Singapore… A road map of history, culture and society." The Straits Times
Among the six awards that The Straits Times won were (from left) "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?", " Trash or treasure" on recycling and "On a little street in Singapore… A road map of history, culture and society."PHOTO: ST DIGITAL
Among the six awards that The Straits Times won were (from left) "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?", " Trash or treasure" on recycling and "On a little street in Singapore… A road map of history, culture and society." The Straits Times
The Straits Times bagged two more awards than in 2018. One of the latest awards was ST's feature on the rise of methamphetamine use in South-east Asia.PHOTO: ST DIGITAL

Interactive projects on meth menace, local street names among works that win honours

From the dangerous drug trade in South-east Asia to Singapore's multicultural street names, interactive projects have taken The Straits Times' users on many an immersive journey.

Such digital storytelling is also among the most technically demanding for ST's designers.

Their efforts were recognised when ST won six awards at the 2019 Best of Digital Design competition, which saw entries from more than 100 organisations across 26 countries. ST bagged two more awards than it did in 2018 in results announced last Friday by the Society for News Design (SND), which organised the competition.

Pieces from ST joined more than 1,300 entries, which included those from The New York Times, CNN International and the South China Morning Post.

Among ST's awards were two silver medals for story page design, won by interactive graphics journalist Rebecca Pazos, 32, and user interface designer Alyssa Karla Mungcal, 28. Ms Pazos said seeing her name among others she admired was "humbling and inspiring".

"I know how difficult it is to be awarded any medal at SND, and to be given a silver by my peers is a big validation for the work we've been doing," she said, adding that her favourite pieces were the ones that tried to "find the humanity and emotions" in stories.

One example was ST's feature on the rise of methamphetamine use in South-east Asia, which provided insight into the illicit drug world.

To produce the multimedia project, the interactive graphics team worked with three reporters who travelled to the Thai-Myanmar border to follow the meth trail - ST journalists Tan Tam Mei and Zaihan Mohamed Yusof, and multimedia journalist Azim Azman.

Dynamic visuals helped explain the rise of the drug's popularity, traced trafficking paths through the region, and even featured a video interview with a past user.

Ms Mungcal said her favourite project was the one exploring Singapore's street names, which looked at their colonial and multicultural roots. "While it took some time to do, I was happy with the visuals and the overall outcome."

  • The award-winning works

  • TRASH OR TREASURE: CAN YOU TELL WHAT CAN AND CANNOT BE RECYCLED?

    Bronze Medal for Story Page Design - Environmental, Health and Science

    SINGAPORE'S UNDERGROUND: HOW DEEP CAN WE GO?

    Award of Excellence for Information Graphics - National

    ON A LITTLE STREET IN SINGAPORE… A ROAD MAP OF HISTORY, CULTURE AND SOCIETY

    Award of Excellence for Information Graphics - Arts, Entertainment, Food, Travel and Lifestyle

    SOUTH-EAST ASIA'S METH MENACE

    Award of Excellence for Line of Coverage - Long-form Series

    REBECCA PAZOS: SILVER MEDAL FOR PORTFOLIO - STORY PAGE DESIGN (INDIVIDUAL)

    Ms Pazos joined ST in 2015 as an interactive graphics journalist. A newsroom advocate for data storytelling, she has used a combination of videos, scrolling text and interactive prompts to make stories engaging.

    ALYSSA KARLA MUNGCAL: SILVER MEDAL FOR PORTFOLIO - STORY PAGE DESIGN (INDIVIDUAL)

    Ms Mungcal joined ST in 2017 and is a user-experience designer in its graphics team, where she helps bring stories to life with engaging interactive design.

The data-driven project looked at the country's colourful history through the names of its streets. Launched last year to mark Singapore's bicentennial, the project had the team painstakingly compile data on more than 3,500 streets.

Another winning entry which - quite literally - took a deep dive into an issue was "Singapore's underground: How deep can we go?".

The graphic brought readers farther and farther below the earth's surface as they scrolled on, exploring human activity deep underground, including Singapore's MRT train system and underground caverns that store liquid hydrocarbon.

ST editor Warren Fernandez said content these days needs to be told in creative ways, including engaging interactive graphics that draw in and keep readers enthralled.

"Our digital team has done much good work on this front, based on the seasoned news gathering of the wider ST newsroom. It is most gratifying that these collaborative efforts across the newsroom have been recognised by our peers in the international media community," said Mr Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group.

The competition by SND is in its 41st edition, and involves 14 judges across the United States. Winners will be celebrated at SND's workshop in Washington in April.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2020, with the headline 'ST bags 6 awards at global design contest'. Print Edition | Subscribe