Stack Awards: Judging day roundup

by Grace Wang in November 2016
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Yesterday, we had a wonderful day of judging for the Stack Awards at the Ace Hotel. We had already sent each judge the magazines shortlisted for their categories, and they had lived with the titles for a month, so the day was for carefully examining and discussing their top picks with the co-judges.

It was exciting to have so many magazine fanatics in one room, including Jaap Biemans from, Jeremy Leslie from magCulture, Angharad Lewis, co-editor of, and Malte Brenneisen and Urs Spindler of Indiecon and

Time and again throughout the day our experts commented on how impressed they were by the selection of magazines, and while some categories had clear winners that emerged early on, others went down to the wire. For Cover of the Year, Jaap and Steven Heller looked for harmonised levels, reaching their conclusion in record time, and we can’t wait to reveal their selection.

After the session for Art Director of the Year, Angharad (above) let slip that she and fellow judge Debbie Millman opted for an exciting magazine that managed to be innovative, different and exciting. For Illustrator of the Year, Cath Caldwell (below) remarked that there was not one magazine that didn’t belong in the shortlist, and that the decision reached with Derek Brazell was an amicable agreement.

When it came to judging the Launch of the Year, Malte Brenneisen, Urs Spindler and Stephen Gregor looked for the most distinctive new magazine amongst the 15 great entries (which, they admit, made their job rather difficult!) Malte commented that their winner had an accessible entrance barrier, navigated the reader with clarity, and balanced relevance with surprise.

But this is of course just a quick snapshot of the day (courtesy of photographer Owen Richards.) We also had videographers capturing the scene, including snippets of each judging session, so you’ll be able to hear the judges talk about their favourites, and explain how they came to the conclusion for each winner. If you want to join us at the awards ceremony, make sure to grab a ticket — they’re selling fast!

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