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Sensitivity to Subject Matter Wins Book Designer Top Award

By July 8, 2012September 29th, 2014No Comments


5 July 2012

Megan van Staden was named Awa Press Young Designer of the Year at the PANZ Book Design Awards ceremony last night.

The award is a highlight of the annual event administered by the Publishers Association of New Zealand.

Advisory judge for the category Keely O’Shannessy commended the consistently high standard of van Staden’s portfolio and her ability to design with “a real sensitivity to subject matter”.

“We liked every book in Megan van Staden’s portfolio”, O’Shannessy said.

She noted the variety of van Staden’s work, from “the quirkiness of Q & Eh to the stately, sophisticated treatment of Te Hao Nui, the wistfulness of The Parihaka Woman and the blokey, masculine design of Untamed.”

Van Staden is an enthusiast for typography who uses hand-drawn type to bring an emotive quality to her designs. This is particularly evident in the designer’s personal favourite – Te Hao Nui – featuring typography that showcases images lifted from the book, on a dramatic black background.

Megan van Staden studied Visual Communications at Massey University, majoring in Graphic Design and graduating with honours. She currently works as a designer at Random House New Zealand, designing covers and layouts for a wide range of books.

The award is presented each year to a designer less than 35 years of age by the Publishers Association of New Zealand. The designers’ portfolios 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.

The 2012 judges Jenny Nicholls, Roger Parsons and Gideon Keith were joined by a previous winner of the award,graphic designer and artist Keely O’Shannessy, to select this year’s Awa Press Young Designer of the Year.

Jenny Nicholls (convening judge) is Art Director for the national current affairs monthly North & South. Roger Parsons is former bookseller and owner of Parsons Bookshop in Auckland, and Gideon Keith is the Creative Partner at Strategy Design & Advertising and has worked as a graphic designer and creative director for over twenty-five years.


For the full list of winning titles please visit:
and follow us on Twitter @PANZ_BDAwards
For further details and high-res images of all the winning books please contact:
Alice McDowell
Whitireia Publishing
Mobile: 027 3376377


Awa Press Young Designer of the Year 2012

Megan van Staden