The »Best Book Design from all over the World« 2018 has been awarded!The highest prize for the world's most beautiful book goes to Switzerland!

The Competition

Unique of its kind in the world, the annual book design competition »Best Book Design from all over the World« has been held in Leipzig since 1963. Since 1991 the Stiftung Buchkunst in Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig has been responsible for overseeing it. The international competition assesses books which have previously been judged and singled out for merit by specialist panels in their respective countries of origin. In 2017, again, an independent, international jury convened in Leipzig with the task of selecting fourteen outstandingly designed books. The highest prize is the “Goldene Letter”. Here are the 14 awarded publications from almost 600 of the best books from 32 countries: The best of the best!

Golden Letter

This year, the great Swiss publication »HEIMAT, HANDWERK UND DIE UTOPIE DES ALLTÄGLICHEN« could win the highest prize, the GOLDEN LETTER! Our international jury comments on the awardee: »The cover – which is not even remotely everyday – gives this book the appearance of a cornerstone on an architecture library shelf. This weighty work was designed as a half-bound volume. A coarse linen fabric protects the wide spine. An exotic effect is produced by the structures of the board covers: at the front, tobacco-coloured ray skin; at the back, lightly shimmering lizard skin. A dusky pink headband seals up the gap between the gilded top edge and the inner spine. The golden capital letters used for the embossed title are positioned unusually near the upper and lower edges. This study on the concept of the homeland in architecture and landscape design during the first half of the 20th century consists of critical essays documented with historical texts and pictures. The observer wonders if the elaborate outfit glorifies the notion of the homeland. The basic text reposes in a traditional type area, splendidly typeset with wide gutters. However, the solemn mood is counteracted by typographic jibes: paragraphs begin with large indents; illustration details are placed on the left-hand side next to the column and leave a gap where they were taken out of the body text; pagination is always on the right-hand side (therefore deep in the gutter margin on the left page); captions stretch across the entire width along the top edge, but in silver printing. The headlines on the centreline are all in firm contrast. The typographical irony does not invalidate the seriousness of this analysis, but rather underlines the critical distance. This is the subtle achievement of this book.«

Congratulations to the author Uta Hassler and the designers from HUBERTUS Design, Zürich! Well done!