Nation.Africa, the flagship news and content website of Nation Media Group, has won two awards at the prestigious International Forum (iF) Design Award 2021, also referred to in popular culture as “the Oscars of Design”.
The unique design of www.nation.africa, which went live in September 2020, won under the Communication category while its launch campaign video bagged the award in the Best Campaign Video category.
An independent group of 98 design experts judged 9,509 entries from about 3,693 participants from 52 nations. The Nation campaign video garnered 309 points while the Nation.Africa brand identity entry garnered 311 points. The average score among the winners this year was 269.
Nation Media Group won alongside other elite brands such as Samsung, Apple and Google and competed against global brands such as Siemens, Virgin Galactic, Primera Beauty Products and Planet World under the campaign video category.
Group Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu said the awards are a confirmation of the company’s professionalism and capability to effectively compete at the global stage.
“This is an important achievement for us as an African institution,” said Mr Mutuma. “It is not every day that anyone from our part of the world wins such an award. It is a confirmation of our professionalism and the fact that we are effectively competing on the global scale. I want to congratulate our staff and our partners for their fantastic work.”
NMG Head of Development and Learning, Mr Churchill Otieno, underscored the great effort that it took to develop the winning design, with the pandemic presenting unforeseen challenges for the team at NMG and the designers.
“Creating a SMART product in the thick of a pandemic presented many unforeseen challenges, both for the editors and the digital team at Nation Centre, and to our consultants in The Netherlands — Morrow and Q42. Thousands of hours on Zoom and amazing teamwork found us a roadmap to bring Africa together,” Mr Otieno said.
“The awards indeed make the team look back with pride, and provide strong winds in our wings to keep building ways to engage Africa’s audiences,” Mr otieno added.
The brand identity of nation.africa seeks to fuse current audiences and strong legacies with young people, and exerts a promise to empower all Africans.
“We created a strategy and identity rooted in African culture and tradition that allows for a lot of flexibility. It caters to everything, from news to a children’s show or fashion podcast; allowing each and every outing to be unique while still part of the same family. An identity needed on an iterative journey into the future,” said Mr Jeroen van Geel of Morrow BV, the design consultants.
The awards are a mark of confidence in Nation’s new offering to its readers. Since its launch, nation.africa has made a number of notable steps, including the addition of a dedicated podcast section and Nation Puzzles.
In early February 2021, nation.africa launched a premium offering to allow readers pay for content.
The International Forum Design Award was introduced in 1954 and is annually conferred by the iF International Forum Design. The award, which spans multiple disciplines, has more than 5,500 entries from around the world every year.