The Stack Awards 2016: The winners!

by Grace Wang in November 2016
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Last night, the Stack Awards 2016 results were announced to a room full of magazine makers at our awards ceremony in London. A big thank you to all who made it down, and of course to all the publishers who entered their magazines and to our judges who shouldered the most difficult job in picking the winners.

This year we wanted to open up the judging process as much as possible, so scroll down to see not just the winners and commended titles in every category, but also videos featuring our judges explaining the thinking behind their decisions. And if you’re still left wanting more, you can read about all the shortlisted magazines in our full roundup posts.

Magazine of the year

Winner: MacGuffin
Commended: Ladybeard, The Gentlewoman

Labour of love goes some way in explaining MacGuffin’s cult following. Add to that their obsessive research and meticulously considered design, and there’s no doubt this is a well-deserved Magazine of the Year. Editors Kirsten Algera and Ernst van der Hoeven flew in from Amsterdam to attend the ceremony and pick up the grand prize. Jeremy Leslie, founder of magCulture explains his and New York Times Magazine’s Gail Bichler’s decision (above).

Launch of the year

Winner: Real Review
Commended: Racquet, Ladybeard

Real Review is a magazine looking at ‘what it means to live today’. Loosely rooted in architecture, it offers evidence-based writing in a world of big data and algorithms. Editor Jack Self accepted the award in person, saying that he was inspired by many of the shortlisted magazines, and hopes to continue on Real Review’s values of “Democracy, inclusivity, and equality”. Steven Gregor of Gym Class and Indiemags’ Malte Brenneisen and Urs Spindler explain their process above.

Cover of the year

Winner: Parterre de Rois
Commended: Water Journal, Shellsuit Zombie

This is a magazine centred around an imaginary dinner party, where one word is on the menu. For the Happiness issue, a sardonic smile is splashed across the cover. Flying in from Milan, editors Molly Molloy and Gianni Tozzi joined us for the ceremony and collected their award. Watch Coverjunkie’s Jaap Biemans and SVA’s MFA Design co-chair Steve Heller above on their selection.

Best use of illustration

Winner: Ladybeard
Commended: Amuseum, The Ride Journal

Ladybeard is a feminist title known for its surprising perspectives and honest narratives. One to watch for the year, they were commended for four categories including Magazine of the Year and Launch of the year. The whole seven-strong team came onto the stage to give their thanks and receive the award. Watch Derek Brazell from the Association of Illustrators and Cath Caldwell, senior lecturer at CMS judge the category.

Best use of photography

Winner: Gather Journal
Commended: 212, The Exposed

Artwords Bookshop’s Ben Hillwood Harris and New Yorker’s photo editor Siobhán Bohnacker judged this category. Part art and food magazine, part recipe book, Gather Journal is a favourite amongst magaholics and culinary fanatics alike. Creative director Michele Outland couldn’t make it, but gave her acceptance speech via video from New York.

Art director of the year

Winner: Voortuin
Commended: LOST, Elephant

An artful, inventive take on the idea of a print magazine, Voortuin surprises readers with each issue. Flying in from The Netherlands, editors Nanda Meijer and Tom S. Janssen picked up the award, expressing that when they were making the magazine, they didn’t think anyone would ‘get’ it, so are thrilled that the judges (Angharad Lewis of Grafik and president of AIGA Debbie Millman) did.

Editor of the year

Winner: The Happy Reader
Commended: Eye, Flanuer

A publication out of Penguin Books and edited by Fantastic Man’s Seb Emina, this magazine celebrates noteworthy books and interviews a ‘bookish’ celebrity for each issue. Seb received the award in person and expressed his surprise at winning considering the high quality of entries. Watch judge Rob Alderson (WeTransfer, ex-editor-in-chief of It’s Nice That) explain the decision above.

Best original non-fiction

Winner: The Outpost
Commended: Oxford American, American Chordata

A magazine dedicated to possibilities in the Arab world, The Outpost won Subscriber’s Choice in last year’s awards. This year, editor-in-chief Ibrahim Nehme flew in from Beirut to receive this trophy. Christoph Amend of Zeitmagazin and Shazna Nessa, director of journalism at Knight judged the category remotely with Steve.

Best original fiction

Winner: The White Review
Commended: American Chordata, The Lifted Brow

This is a magazine launched to offer a space for ‘a new generation to express itself unconstrained by form, subject or genre.’ Editor James Draney picked up the trophy in person. Alex Clark, literary journalist, explain her and novelist Evie Wyld’s favourite story above.

Student magazine of the year

Winner: King’s Review
Commended: Nii Journal, Metazine

Based out of King’s College in Cambridge, this is a magazine that exists to make academia accessible and engaging. Editor-in-chief Johannes Lenhard came in from King’s to collect the award. Professor Teal Triggs (RCA) and Ruth Jamieson (author of Print Is Dead, Long Live Print) judged the category remotely with Steve.

Subscribers’ Choice

Stack subscribers voted for their favourite magazine delivered over the last 12 months, and two titles stood out above the rest.

Winner: Drift
Commended: Ladybeard

Drift was the magazine delivered to Stack subscribers in August. The title visits different cities each issue in search for coffee culture that brings communities together. An associate and fellow New Yorker was present to collect the trophy.

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