Book design gets its day in the sun

Book design gets its day in the sun

Architecture and product design awards are common enough, and now it’s the turn of book design to get a little award lovin’. The 2011 PANZ Book Design Awards, held last week, is the only competition to recognise the work of book designers. Taking out the top nod at this year’s awards was Vasanti Unka for her picture book Hill and Hole — the first time a children’s book has won the Best Book award. The book also took home the Best Children’s Book honour. 

Judges described the typography as “clever, melding perfectly and never interfering with the rich, layered illustrations”, adding that “each spread introduces a unique yet familiar visual landscape for the eye to feast on”. 

Young up and comers were also celebrated as part of the awards, with Pieta Brenton picking up the Awa Press Young Designer of the Year award. Judges described Brenton’s design of Fiona Kidman’s book Where Your Left Hand Rests: A Collection of Poems as the “jewel in the crown” of her portfolio. 

“‘Her work reflects a perfect harmony between image, type, spaciousness and scale,” they said. 

To design her book, Brenton said she embarked on research involving “fossicking” for fabric and ideas in an antique store, Victorian Gilt – ‘”a jewellery box of old fabrics”.
Brenton also won Best Non-illustrated Book for her design of The Great Wrong War

Having studied sculpture at Elam School of Fine Arts and graphic design at Unitec in Auckland, she started her career at the boutique studio Inhouse Design, where she worked for three years.

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