Saudi Aramco News

Aramco Service Company’s (ASC) flagship publication, AramcoWorld recently received nine awards in an international magazine competition sponsored by FOLIO Magazine. This was a record number of awards received in a single contest. In 2013, the magazine received four FOLIO Magazine awards, the same number it received in the 2011 contest. U.S.-based subsidiary ASC Public Affairs produces the magazine, which seeks to broaden knowledge of the culture, history and geography of the Arab and Islamic worlds. The annual magazine contest recognizes excellence in both editorial content and graphic design. The 2014 contest featured about 50 categories. More than 2,000 entries were received from the U.S. and internationally. AramcoWorld received two first-place wins, for illustration and typography. Both were awarded to “The Immigrant’s Progress,” by writer and artist Norman MacDonald, which appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Richard Doughty, the magazine’s editor, said the dual award is “especially exciting” because the article is both hand-drawn and hand-written. “It felt like an affirmation of hand-crafted art,” he added, “even during a time when there is a push to go more digital.” He said that MacDonald has written and illustrated more than 50 articles for the magazine since the 1970s, making him “one of our most prolific and valued contributors.” “The Immigrant’s Progress” features immigrants in Amsterdam — all of whom lived within easy bicycling distance of MacDonald’s home — who tell their personal stories. MacDonald’s hand-penciled text almost looks like a personal postcard. His colorful hand-drawn illustrations bring the subjects to life. This article was the third in a series of places and their people by MacDonald that began in the late 2000s when MacDonald sent Doughty sketches and interviews of people he met in pubs. Other articles were set in Cape Town — a FOLIO design award winner in 2011 — and Hong Kong. Notable achievements The magazine received seven honorable mentions, with one in the video category for “Between Salt and Sea.” Video production was a collaborative effort between photographer David Wells, Doughty and Houston-based Web designer eSiteful. “David produced more than a dozen short videos for this story about Kutch, which is in northwest India near the Pakistan border,” Doughty said. “We pinned each video to its location on Google Maps, which gives readers a kind of virtual tour of Kutch. Three of the seven honorable mention awards went to the magazine’s website, while another three were awarded in the categories of best article series, for “Interpreter of Treasures” by Tim Mackintosh-Smith; best single article, for “Rock and Roll Ambassador” by Gerald Zarr (November/December 2013), and best table of contents, in the May/June 2014 edition. Visit the magazine’s website at