It was a cold and chilly night… but inside the warmth of the Sapphire Room at Ponsonby Central last Thursday night, book designers, book production teams and publishers came together to applaud the PANZ Book Design Awards nominees and winners for 2014.
Most agreed the stunning shortlist meant all categories would be hard fought, and no one envied the judging task of industry professionals Gideon Keith, Cameron Gibb, Alan Deare and broadcaster Noelle McCarthy.
The first Award of the night was that for Young Designer of the Year with portfolios from finalists Sam Bunny – “Awonderful range of striking design, enlightening and transcending often challenging categories,” said the judges; Kalee Jackson whose “book designs display restraint and a poetic lightness of touch,” and Jenny Haslimeier “(her) work is bright and playful, showing an obvious delight in her subject matter and her pleasure in working with wonderful content.” Kalee Jackson (right) was the winner, but after viewing all portfolio entries, the audience had no doubt the future of book design is in talented hands.
Also ready for collection were stunning glass paperweight trophies designed and made by Peter Raos for the Best Designed Books in seven categories…
Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book to Arch MacDonnell of Inhouse Design for Modern: New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977 “Bold decision-making makes this book stand out in a crowded genre.”
Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book, to Rowan Sommerset (pictured right with husband Mark) for The Boy and the Cherry Tree, “wonderfully illustrated and a great example of less being so much more.”
Edify Award for Best Educational Book to Sam Bunny for Living by the Moon – Te Maramataka o Te Whanau-a-Apanui “Evocative cover design of this title makes it a strong contender in this category, and the interior of the book lives up to the cover by delivering the bilingual text in a spacious and elegant manner.”
Mary Egan Publishing Award for Best Typography to Modern: New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977, designer Arch MacDonnell (pictured below). “Dig below the surface of the perfectly balanced jacket to discover the stunning case design and connecting endpaper.”
PANZ Award for Best Non-Illustrated Book to Book of New Zealand Words, designer Pieta Brenton “The jacket, case cover and endpapers are brilliant, reminding us that language can indeed be colourful.”
1010 Printing Award for Best Cookbook to Alan Deare, Area Design, for Cut, Josh Emett’s latest cookbook. “Cut is distinguished by great photography that lets the food shots be the heroes.”
HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover was also presented to Alan Deare, this time for Peter McLeavey: The life and times of a New Zealand art dealer.
“They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover makes it very hard to walk past this one. A single image of a young Peter McLeavey, set against a black backdrop, with orange type, the cover of this biography manages to be visually arresting and utterly delightful at the same time.”
The best of the best receives the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book sponsored by Nielsen Book Services… no surprises here … it was once againModern: New Zealand Homes from 1938-1977. “The only title in the entire competition to set text in a colour. The typefaces are period, but set in a contemporary way that makes them seem new and fresh, just as the design of the book itself causes us to reappraise the modernist houses in a contemporary setting.”
While two of the judges had entries in the Design Awards, PANZ has a strict conflict of interest policy, and throughout the judging process no judge is permitted to comment on or vote for their own work, an obligation strictly upheld by PANZ and the panel.
PANZ congratulates all the finalists for the exceptional quality and calibre of their design.
For the full list of winners and book images visit the Book Design Awards Website here.