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Books judged by covers at last night’s PANZ Awards 2015

“In a year of strong entries Cardboard Cathedral stood out right from the start with its strong, bold design full of confidence and delicate touches,” said convening judge Cameron Gibb, Creative Director of neu design.

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“Contemporary seems an obvious word when talking about Cardboard Cathedral but this possibly overused description is completely appropriate here,” said international guest judge Miriam Rosenbloom, Creative Director of Australian publisher Scribe.

“Dive beneath the high-gloss jacket to discover the bold de-bossed and foiled type on the case which sets the standard for the rest of the book. Certainly the clever paper stock selection is the possible hero of the book, but every hero needs a sidekick and the typographic design of Cardboard Cathedral makes for a pretty dynamic duo.”

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Completing the judging panel were 2014’s PANZ Young Designer of the Year, Kalee Jackson and Director of Tangible Media, Vincent Heeringa. Two children’s books were also winners. I Am Doodle Cat designed by Lauren Marriott for Beatnik Publishing won the best children’s book award. The Curioseum: Collected Stories of the Odd & Marvellous won the best cover award for designer Sarah Laing and Te Papa Press.

“A great example of how a children’s book need not be childish,” said Cameron.

The Curioseum is the story version of a ‘wunderkammer’, supported by delightful illustrations and the use of hand-rendered type for chapter headings, all making for an engaging and fun read.”

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The best non-illustrated book award selected by the judges was The Critic’s Part: Wystan Curnow Art Writings 1971 – 2013, designed by Alice Bonifant and a joint publication by Victoria University Press, Adam Art Gallery and IMA.

Kalee noted: “this book of art writing stood out to the judges for its well-executed typography and consistently considered design throughout… the overall impression is of restraint and a balance of classic and contemporary typographic influences dealt with calmly and confidently.”

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Meariki: The Quest for Truth is a graphic novel and winner of the best educational book, designed by Shannon Jahnel Lanktree and a collaboration by Huia Publishers and Ministry of Education.

Meariki uses many devices well to create a visually engaging read: the illustrations are rich and intricate,” said Vincent Heeringa.

“Colour reinforces the sense of drama and the range of characters is imaginative – who doesn’t like spider-riding zombie witch queens?”

Carla Sy was announced as the winner of the Young Designer of the Year by Miriam Rosenbloom, who said “Carla Sy’s work displays a great flexibility and depth of design talent.”

“As well, Sy has shown herself to be a fine illustrator evidenced by her wonderful work on Drowning City and Singing Home the Whale. She has a good grasp of trade nonfiction design with her skilful work on The Mighty Totara. The Naturalist is another beautiful cover where Sy has used collage in a thoughtful and elegant way.”

Anna Egan-Reid was an international prize winner for her work on The Super Power Baby Project

Jonathan has been a writer longer than he cares to remember. Specialising in technology, the arts, and the grand meaning of it all, in his spare time he enjoys reading, playing guitars, and adding to an already wildly overstocked t-shirt collection.

Review overview