ÑH18 Book

Posted on Aug 21, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Just received the ÑH18 Book! It was such an honor to take part!

Screenshot 2019-08-21 at 23.51.26

Screenshot 2019-08-21 at 23.51.35

7 Awards at the European Newspaper Award

Posted on May 14, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments


This week I am in Vienna for the European Newspaper Congress and I am very honored to win 7 awards at the European Newspaper Award with Bild am Sonntag.

Here are the winning pages: http://saulosantana.com/?p=4272

“25 years of Ayrton Senna’s death”

Posted on Apr 28, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

This week marks the 25th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death. For us Brazilians, the greatest driver of all time. This Sunday, I tell my personal story with the death of Senna in an article in the Sunday edition of BamS, and on the same page I visually explain the accident that marked the history of Formula 1.


infographic with Rafal Piekarski


6 Awards, Individual Portfolio and a Silver Medal at the most important visual journalism competition in the world!

Posted on Mar 14, 2019 in Uncategorized | No Comments

What a happy day! I am honoured to win 6 awards this year at the biggest visual journalism competition in the world: “SND – Best of News Design Competition” with Bild am Sonntag. Specially for have my job awarded as Individual Portfolio and to get a Silver Medal!

Having a popular newspaper awarded between the best designed ones in the world, is one more proof that it is possible to bring newsdesign to a popular newspaper language.



Individual Portfolio


oil_santana santana_germans santana_hapinesssantana_money


Silver Medal (Breaking News topic)



(With Rafal Piekarski)

Award of Excellence (Opinion Design)

Schule_santana(With Madeleine Jarling nad Lisa Gradl)

Award of Excellence


Award of Excellence (Information Graphics)


 (With Rafal Piekarski and Marco Bratsch)


7 awards at the European Newspaper Awards!

Posted on Dec 3, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

After a great year, still some good news: I am happy to win 7 awards at the European Newspaper Awards (the best of newspaper design in Europe). Thanks to all the talented team involved. One more time we proof that is possible to bring visual journalism to another level in a popular newspaper!

1. Cover- and Coverstory
7. Visual Storytelling
5 neu

3. News Pages
3.1. Terror, War


9.0 Infographics (with Piekaryo and M. Bratsch)

14. Concept / Innovation Print
14.0. New Editorial Series, New Concepts

11. Supplements
11.1 Supplements for special occasions


The best of Spain, Portugal and South America

Posted on Oct 14, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments
I have just seen more than 1000 works from newspapers from Portugal, Spain and all South America, who entered their work for the biggest News Design Competition in Portuguese and Spanish language. Tired but honoured to be in the jury and have the chance to see the best of visual journalism of all time. Congratulations to all all who attended!

On the 25th Oct. I will be in Argentina, Buenos Aires, talking about visual journalism at the ÑH2018 Congress.

Details here: http://www.premiosnh.com/programa-de-nh2018-en-buenos-aires/

Let’s talk about popular newspapers

Posted on Sep 6, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

I am very honored to be one of the speakers and join the jury of the #ÑH2018 in Buenos Aires this year. 

Speakers announced so far include Jaime Serra, Alexandro Medrano and more.

Here a bit of the experiences I am going to share there: (interview in spanish)

If you would like to attend, please go here for more information:

Behind the scenes

Posted on Aug 20, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Last Sunday, we published a report about the quality of teachers in German schools. Instead of using a digital solution, I preferred a real assembly of the elements. I find the result (shadows, elements … etc) graphically much more humanistic than any digital path.
Excellent work together with a talented visual team (Lisa Gradl, Niels Starnick, Madeleine Jarling and Eva Bauer)




It’s World Cup time (again)

Posted on Jun 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments



Four years ago I was in the 7:1 match in the stadium in Brazil.
In this Sunday edition of Bild am Sonntag, I wrote the story of the day I left Germany for one day to go to Brazil to see my Seleção.

Below the English version of the text:



It was supposed to be just the scoreboard, the numerical information of a given game.But the “7 to 1″ took on a life on its own.

Today, in my country, “7×1″ is a noun, an adjective, an adverb and an interjection. All at once. It’s a milestone, a state of mind. We are not what we have been. “7×1″ was born in football, but it has spread through our lives. For us it became synonymous of incompetence, arrogance and ignorance. It is the bus that brakes, the president who suffered impeachment, a strike from workers. It has become a national expression for things that remind us deception. And it could not be any different.But for me, “7×1″ is still the day I left Germany for just one day, to return to my hometown Brazil, just to see the my “Seleção” playing.

I was in a mixed part of the crowd, where on my right were Germans and left Brazilians. Friendly, the Germans by my side, played with provocations. I did the same. The referee whistled the start of the match. I, excited, stood. Some Germans complained and asked me to sit down. I looked at the Brazilians, and they were all standing. I stood up (like my people). But not for long.

I saw the Germans score the first goal. Behind me, the same group of Germans with who we had some provocation, were exploding of happiness. All right, we’re home, let’s turn the score. But the second goal came. The third. The fourth. I sit down, write to a friend the message “4 goals, man!”. On the screen of my cell phone, he asks me “you are not in the stadium? It’s 5 goals!” Yes, I not even had the time to exchange an SMS, and was already another goal.

The Germans near me, were no longer celebrating. They felt sorry for me.I was in a nightmare. Another goal. Must be replay, I thought. But this is impossible. I was in the stadium, facing the goal. It had to be my imagination. That electronic scoreboard, hanging behind the Brazilian goal, blinking 7-1, did not exist. It was a mirage. We’re still going to wake up and laugh about it all.

Suddenly all Brazilians in stadium started to applaud the German team. Crazy. Yellow-green flags lay on the floor, the bleachers emptied by the shame 15 minutes before the end of the match. The “Seleção” is booed. No, actually more than that: she is despised by the indignant crowd.

End of the game. The Brazilians greet the Germans, they praise the show that devastated the Mineirão. For guarantee, by the loudspeaker, a voice calls in German so that the German fans stay in the stadium, (no one wants to take risks) fearing some reprisal of desperate Brazilians. There is, however, no sign of violence. Only disappointment, discouragement, a deep feeling of failure itself.

I listen to that message in German, and since I was so used in my life in Germany to follow instructions, I stayed in the stadium. But I forgot that this time that message was not for me. I (perhaps the last Brazilian supporter in the stadium) still had the “pleasure” to listen: “Rio de Janeiro .. oh, oh, oh”. But that loud sound from the German crow was not because of the love that the Germans had for my hometown. It was the passion for being in a final.

When I finally left the stadium, I met a German friend. Desperate, with the city crowded, he had no hotel to sleep. I invite him to the house of some friends, with the condition that he says that he was from Sweden (no one wants to take risks).

The dream was over. The next day I went to the airport to fly back to Germany. I raised my head and decided to wear my yellow jersey. I knew I would need to wait 4 years. But I was not going to take that jersey off. I wanted to remember that those 5 stars had a history and that we would regain respect. And we will. Here we are 4 years later.


Future. Risk. Innovation.

Posted on May 11, 2018 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Perhaps these are the words I have heard the most in every newspaper on every continent I have been in the last 15 years.

We constantly listen and learn from different successful cases around the world and wonder if such an idea would apply to our reality. But in fact, what awaits us in the future of print and digital journalism? Does anyone have the answer to what lies ahead?


For the current SND magazine, published worldwide, I interviewed 5 professionals whom I admire, from different areas, countries and realities, about ideas and their perspectives for the future.






Philipp Jessen
CEO Storymachine (former Editor in Chief of Stern.de)

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
For some media outlets the homepage doesn’t exist. People are increasingly consuming news in a different way. More and more the focus is on content. A great example of innovation, taking in consideration this matter, is what “Now This News” is doing, intelligently taking content directly to where the readers are.

- What is so special or innovative on that?
The focus is on the product and the product is the content. They are radical. They killed their home page. If you enter on their home, you will see the message:


- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
There is no formula that applies to everyone. Each medium must find its own way and know who are their readers. It is wrong to think that a thing that works for one product in a different market, will work for your publication as well.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
Yes. And for me innovation is quality.
But we also forget sometimes that what we deliver is a product. And we often forget fundamental things like our points of sale.
In Germany, for example, our newspapers are sold in kiosks that are often dirty and are places where people buy cigarettes, lottery and vodka. Do we really want to have our product associated with these places?
Why do big companies from other markets invest large amounts at their product sales points, and we don’t care about that?
Why don’t we invest in our own shops? Or why don’t we put our content directly where our readers are? For example: a fashion magazine sold in a fashion store? Sounds obvious, but we still don’t do it.


erreaJavier Errea (Spain)
Founder and Principal of Errea Comunicación

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
I love some small, radical, true journalism projects such as XXI magazine in France. No digital platform strategy, no advertising revenues no newsstands distribution. Just quality, paid circulation and print. That means courage, clear ideas, far from trends and world forum kits. I also admire small print and independent and profitable projects in Europe. This is a time for being really disruptive.

- What is so special or innovative on that?
I would say that these projects are focused just on content, which is our only add value.

- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
Answer is very simple: quality. Whatever it means and implies.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
No way! Is it a sincere question? Are you kidding me? My question would be just the opposite: is it possible to be innovative in digital? Why everyone agrees that digital means innovation and print means tradition, conservative, nothing? I strongly disagree. I complain. I protest. I am fed up with digital supposedly superiority. I reclaim a missing self-esteem. This is a very dangerous and unfair question. I would prefer not to answer.


marcoMarco Grieco (Portugal)
Art Director of the weekly “Expresso”, in Lisbon.

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
Actually, I think that everything that surrounds us can become an inspiration. A car, an advertisement, a piece of furniture, a smartphone… if you are an open-minded designer and person, even the “not so good” ideas can catch your attention and be a starting point for your work when the the right moment comes.

Looking to some great international examples of modern journalism, it’s impossible not to mention the site fivethirtyeight.com, created by Nate Silver and recently bought by ESPN, after being partner of The New York Times group. The idea that everything can be analyzed in numbers, charters and maps is amazing! It’s a modern and imaginative way of deconstruct and tell stories without lose the main point.

- What is so special or innovative on that?
Infographics are not a new language for newspapers or magazines, but the idea that everything can be explained with it and that every story can be enriched by them is very interesting. Data journalism became one more way to tell a story.

- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
It is a million-dollar question. But in my humble opinion, the news companies have to be where the readers and users are. And have to understand their tastes and needs to deliver the best product they can. On the other side, the newsroom has to work side by side with the technology department. Nowadays, after the journalist power era and the designer era, the “creepy” guys that can program html5 and other strange names have the power.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
Yes, of course! Right now, there are so many good examples all over the world! Through the last years, it’s difficult to separate the paper and the digital when you talk about journalism and design. And both of them will continue their evolution, many times hand by hand. But I really think that there will be a time when we will have to look back and analyze the whole path. Are we doing a better newspaper now? Not just the design and if it is elegant or not. The good journalism and the good visual journalism will never die. Or, in other words, they should never die!


gustavoGustavo Lo Valvo (Argentina)
Design Directorm Bureau de Diseno Editorial

If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
The design from “Politiken” (Denmark).

What is so special or innovative on that?
It is a perfect marriage between form and content.

What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
To understand that innovation and technology are not synonymous. Innovation is about ideas, technology is just a means to express them – it is empty by itself.

Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
I think it is not only possible but absolutely necessary.
The dizzying pace of change in digital media anticipates a rapid migration of homepages to notifications on mobile and social networks. Paradoxically these homepages will disappear sooner than printed papers.

The current paradigm of the newspaper is exhausted and the newspapers stopped being the vehicle of the news. Their great opportunity is to become the vehicle for information.
The daily paper has lost the race for immediacy but can win the fight for the depth. If it reacts in time.


salesFábio Sales (Brazil)
Art director of O Estado de S. Paulo

- If you could choose one idea, concept or executions that you have seen out there and are worth stealing, what would this idea be?
The development of data-based infographics that the New York Times has been implementing over the last decade and that have influenced all newsrooms around the world.
- What is so special or innovative on that?
The infographics that had been applied to journalism until then were the classical infographics: schemes, drawings, processes to explain to the reader certain points of a report or a complete report. Not that this is bad; And it continues to have its space and value. But the data visualization applied to infographics allowed this language to reach another level: that of discovering stories through the data.

- What is the key for news companies to don’t fail at innovation?
Think outside the box. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn from them. Have an open and multidisciplinary culture. Encourage experimentation, discussion and constructive criticism. And have the humility to recognize that our profession is an eternal learning.

- Is it still possible to innovate in print media?
Yes. To the extent that you know the audience you are writing for, look for alternatives that meet your desires. Journalism is a democratic tool and independent of the medium in which it is disseminated will always be necessary for the development of society. And this is exactly where innovation lies.