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BPANZ announce judges of expanded Book Design Awards in 2009 – and celebrate designers’ lethal power

By March 31, 2009No Comments

 ‘Book designers have the power to kill a book,’ says Peter Gilderdale, convenor of the 2009 judging panel for the BPANZ Book Design Awards. These awards are our opportunity to celebrate the New Zealand book designers who don’t exercise that power, and instead make the pages we read resonate visually with the power of authors’ words. The Book Publishers Association of New Zealand (BPANZ) today announced the judging panel for the 2009 Awards, which features a broader programme and wider support from the publishing and design communities.

Peter Gilderdale is Head of Graphic Design at AUT University. Joining him on the panel is Graham Beattie, a fulltime book reviewer and book blogger, and Guy Somerset, arts and books editor of the NZ Listener and a regular reviewer on TVNZ 6’s ‘The Good Word’ programme.

Gilderdale’s expertise is in hand lettering and typography, essential in judging a new award for typography – one of two new awards offered this year in an expanded programme.

The G.A. Pindar & Son Award for Best Typography aims to distinguish typographic skill as a vital part of the design process. Says Gilderdale:

When we find ourselves struggling to read a book, we automatically say ‘isn’t it badly written’. We don’t ask whether the author might have actually delivered a literary masterpiece to the publisher, only to have it set in 7-point Bodoni type, on white shiny paper, with 25 words to the line and no leading. If that happened, then it wouldn’t matter if the author’s name was Margaret Mahy or Maurice Gee, the book would still be impossible to read.

The second new award is the Awa Press Young Designer of the Year. Further details and the separate judges for this award will be released in May.

The publishing industry is demonstrating its support for the BPANZ Book Design Awards by sponsoring individual awards, alongside major sponsors the NZ Listener and Spectrum Print.

The awards for 2009 are:

Nielsen Award for Best Book

HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover

G.A. Pindar & Son Award for Best Typography

Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book

Hachette New Zealand Award for Best Non-illustrated Book

Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book

Pearson Award for Best Educational Book

Awa Press Young Designer of the Year

Entries for the awards are open until 30 April with entry forms available on the BPANZ website. The shortlist will be announced 9 June and the 2009 BPANZ Book Design Awards ceremony will be held at the Art Lounge, Auckland Art Gallery, on 3 September.


Contact: Natalie Wyse, Whitireia Publishing,, 021 124 3353