Three talented young book designers have been shortlisted for this year’s Awa Press Young Designer of the Year Award, a major feature of the PANZ Book Design Awards. This prestigious award recognises emerging talent in the field of book design.
Designers Sarah Healey, Kalee Jackson and Keely O’Shannessy make up this year’s outstanding shortlist.
“The industry is in exciting hands,” said the judges for the 2010 award, Dexter Fry and Katy Yiakmis.
Impressed with the standard of emerging book designers, the judges described this year’s entrants as “courageous and passionate” for “finding themselves a place in a small and particular market”.
Designers under 35 years of age present a portfolio of book designs to be considered for the award. These are judged on artistic merit, innovation of form and appropriateness to the intended market. The judges particularly look for consistent design across a whole portfolio, which all three shortlisted designers demonstrated.
Sarah Healey is a freelance designer based in Auckland. She enjoys presenting information in an “accessible and visually exciting way”, often using innovative typography. Healey is particularly experienced in the area of children’s publishing, and last year one of her designs was highly commended in the PANZ Book Design Awards Best Children’s Book category.
Kalee Jackson is in-house designer for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Plymouth. Her work is in designing books to accompany exhibitions for artists such as Francis Upritchard and Len Lye. Jackson experiments with bold colour use and packaging techniques.
Keely O’Shannessy is a freelance graphic designer, also based in Auckland. She has previously worked as a multimedia designer and video artist. In 2006 she began freelance design work and fell in love with designing books. Since then, publishing work has become increasingly central to her practice.
Judges Fry and Yiakmis have a wealth of design experience between them, and their achievements have both been recognised in previous years’ PANZ Book Design Awards. They are perfectly placed to make what will undoubtedly be a difficult decision.
The winner of the Awa Press Young Designer of the Year Award will be announced at the Publisher’s Association of New Zealand Book Design Awards ceremony in Auckland on 22 July.