First place: Alex Miller, The Daytona Beach News Journal

About this entry: Judges praised Alex Miller for “a nice simplicity to the covers both in terms of hierarchy [and] also in visual storytelling choices.” These qualities rang true for stories covering the lunar eclipse, wage gap differences among colleges, and the anniversary of 9/11.

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There’s a nice simplicity to the covers both in terms of hierarchy but also in visual storytelling choices and in the case of the Wage Gap cover the use of the numbers tied to the images. In a big category, these simple and effective designs stood above the crowd.

Second place: Mark Antonuccio, Las Vegas Review-Journal

About this entry: Mark Antonuccio’s use of color and whimsy give his designs a distinct personality. Found in the Life section, his pages for holiday hangovers, zombie Halloween attractions, and hip hop dance competitions hook readers in at first glance.

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There’s a distinct personality that comes through in these designs.

Third place: John Pitts, The Ledger

About this entry: From a Memorial Day spread to a story on bullying awareness, John Pitts’ design utilizes great hierarchy and centerpieces. Also included is a haunting story on the deadly implications of mental illness.

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Great hierarchy and centerpieces on 1A.