Honorary AppreciationIran

Mohammad Reza Bayrami
Hello Stone (Sange Salam)
Asr-e Dastan

Designer: Majid Zare
Illustrator: Amir Maftoon
ISBN: 978-600-6970-06-6

How does this paperback from Iran manage to draw attention to itself without doing so conspicuously? Its two-colour jacket illustration appears as a pictorial summary of its fable. Simple, linear strokes in entwined composition achieve a strong build-up of suspense. Contrasts are increased through the relief of lacquered black forms. Curiosity is aroused on picking up the book and being beckoned in to read by the continuation of the drawing on unusually punched jacket flaps.

An attractive touch is to be found in information about the author being placed ahead of the inner title, namely on curtailed pages using brownish paper. The text, in calligraphic Persian script, is rendered in a blackish brown on particularly yellowy paper, airily set with a double measure of indentation. The overall impression is subtle and literary, the muted colour scheme congenial and mysterious at the same time.

Honorary AppreciationThe Netherlands

Ben IJpma, Ben van Melick
Ik ben een gemankeerde saxofonist.
Lucebert & jazz
Huis Clos, Rimburg/Amsterdam

Designer: Piet Gerards Ontwerpers
ISBN: 978-90-79020-21-8

Bold serif-emphasised characters take up their due space on the surface of the slipcase in self-confident and matter-of-fact manner. So big are they that the words do not fit on a single page, thus without further ado one finds oneself holding the whole object and rotating it. But where is the entrance? The cardboard used for the slipcase, skilfully put together from a single piece, has at least two seams, so even the act of taking out the book is itself an experience.

A second experience follows immediately, for almost of its own accord the rear part of the jacket falls through the open spine and into the hand. Within this flap two CDs have been elegantly fixed with rubber foam points. These serve as a complement to the subject matter of this special book: the interconnections between poetry and jazz within the pictorial and lyrical work of the Dutchman Lucebert.

Unruffled typography without right-hand justification, clear-cut changes of paper and typeface, discreet pagination, breezy and stable treatment of images together with an extensive index turn this thematic compendium into a functional joy.

Honorary AppreciationNorway

Red. Audun Lindholm
Som fra mange ulike verdener
Om Ole Robert Sundes forfatterskap
Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS

Designer: Andreas Töpfer
Printer: TBB, a.s
Bookbinder: TBB, a.s
ISBN: 978-82-05-42995-6

A collection of essays is not always the most gratifying assignment for a book designer. Authors often have their own annotation style, the footnotes are short or long, there is a mixture of more extended paragraph texts with a motto here and a few illustrations there. Sections are either numbered or have subheads or neither, there may be enumerations, sometimes extensive citations need to be indented, sometimes they are italicised within the main body of text.

Such is the case in this collection of contributions on the work of the Norwegian writer Ole Robert Sundes. The typographer’s approach to these editorial necessities is an assertive one. Using a classically reliable type-area he allows the annotations to overlap as necessary with the type-area as marginal notes placed at roughly the same height as the corresponding text; the titles of the cited authors’ books are in italics with underlining. From the point of view of orthodox teaching such examples would not always have been regarded as evidence of typographical sensitivity. Yet here they contribute to a vitality which is more than merely formal. Chapter beginnings are generously presented with abstract and symbolic graphics as if they were individual title pages.

The overall care taken in the finish of the book extends to the understated embossing of the lines on the paperback’s title, the allure of its combination of grey and orange leaving its mark from the boldy coloured endpapers right through into the interior of the book.

Honorary AppreciationChina

Organizing Committee of “The Beauty of Books in China” of Shanghai Press and Publication Administration
The Beauty of Books in China 2010–2012
Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House

Designers: Liu Xiaoxiang, Liu Xiaoxiang Studio
Photographer: Ding Guoxing, Liu Xiaoxiang Studio
ISBN 978-7-5322-8554-9

This corpulent, large quarto volume about fine books from China has 294 pages, which given its weight and its thin paper may seem puzzling. And indeed there is much more paper involved, since as a result of a modern interpretation of French fold – folded sheets whose open pages are stitched along the middle and the folds of which point outwards – there are over 240 visible pages which are not counted. This can be most clearly verified by means of the didactic banderole placed around the slipcase, itself open on both sides.

With its presentation of 60 books this is a captivating concept: on the left-hand page the book’s exterior, on the right the respective jury text and technical data. Then one deliberately opens up a fold-out section revealing across the width of four successive pages sensitively photographed and perfectly printed images which have been intuitively arranged in a soothing yet exciting fashion. The design is so congenial to the beholder that there is a sense of actually holding the depicted books themselves.

Such elaborate finish calls for unhurried handling – this is not a book for just flicking through. This reduced tempo is something to be thankful for, since it results in the exquisiteness of the whole design – both that of the 60 beautiful books and of the catalogue itself – being shown off to wonderful advantage.

Honorary AppreciationJapan

Yuan Okada
Doyo Bijutsusha Shuppan Hanbai

Designer: Masahiko Nagasawa
Printer: Morimoto Print Co., Ltd.
Bookbinder: Morimoto Print Co., Ltd.
Price: ¥2,100
ISBN: 978-4-8120-1955-9

Minimalism is not a synonym for asceticism. At any rate the features of this quietly-spoken Japanese poetry volume are more elaborate than might be apparent at first glance. The jacket in grey, matt paper with few lines and forms is printed in three colours. The covering of this slim paperback with rounded spine resorts to bluish-grey paper, and its banderole is printed with extensive use of yet another nuance of grey.

Yellow endpapers and a yellow headband shine like bright light through a grey sky. And before the vertical Japanese verses like hanging chains cast spells of airy veils onto the pages there are title lines printed in grey on a specially glued paper of individual quality – and with an ornamental stroke using watermark technique.

Not being able to read Japanese need not be a hindrance to an aesthetic appreciation of its typography. In fact then it is even more noticeable that there are no gaps on the surface of the paper, but rather a field of serene nuances.