SINGAPORE – After its launch last October, a Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) website offering high-quality images has received its first accolade.

Photonico, a digital photo marketplace, obtained a Special Kudos award by international web design and development award platform, the CSS Design Awards (CSSDA), on Thursday (Feb 7).

The daily honour is a special commendation for noteworthy websites, CSSDA said.

SPH chief product officer Gaurav Sachdeva said that receiving this recognition is cause for celebration, but also instills humility and gratitude.

“Plenty of delightful features are coming up for Photonico, we have miles to go before we sleep,” he added.

A panel of 36 judges made up of digital design and web experts assessed Photonico on user interface design, user experience (UX) design, and innovation, and gave it a final average score of 6.45 out of 10.

This was short of a score of 7 needed to be in the running for the Website of the Day award.

“(Special Kudos) is a professional ‘pat on the back’ for exemplary work that deserves recognition irrespective of winning Website of the Day,” the awards team said in an e-mail.

Members of the Photonico team are design lead Ori Takemura, senior UX designer Winnie Chong, creative technologist Sim Boon Long, technical lead Lee Meng Jiann, and product manager Brian Ngan.

Photonico allows users to quickly search, using everyday conversational terms, for photos taken by SPH staff and contributors.

Users can get photo search results within 0.05sec, which are displayed in a sleek expanding grid gallery.

The site also has the industry’s fastest checkout, meaning that users can expect a smooth, fuss-free and snappy process from selecting a photo to buying it.

Mr Sachdeva said that the Special Kudos award was vindication of the SPH “go-getter spirit” when Photonico was launched four months ago.

“This award is testament to our customer-centric spirit to serve our users’ needs in a relevant way. Watch this space,” he added.

The site was launched last October, and now features over 20,000 images from SPH’s archives, dating back to 1948, with more added daily.

These photographs are organised into categories such as Singapore heritage, food, nature and animals, business and Asian countries, and are available for individual, editorial and commercial uses for a fee.

Look out for Picture This, a daily feature in ST showcasing the best from Photonico’s archives.

For more information, visit To contribute photos, e-mail

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