Friday, June 26, 2015

‘Kiwi vernacular’ strong in Book Design - Design Awards Finalists


Every book needs a cover, and that is where the imagination, ideas and skills of New Zealand’s book designers are on display. But delve deeper and you realise design doesn’t end with a cover. Designers must demonstrate their skills in all areas, including typography and layout, to attract the judges’ attention in these awards.

The PANZ Book Design Awards 2015 has 30 finalist titles over seven categories – best design in illustrated books, children’s books, cookbooks, educational titles and best cover, plus best typography and best non-illustrated book.

The prestigious award for best book is chosen from all the category winners.

The PANZ Young Designer of the Year will be announced at the awards ceremony.  The portfolios of Anna Egan-Reid, Jessica Gommers and Carla Sy have impressed the judges who have selected them as this year’s finalists.

Four experienced professionals are the judges for the 2015 awards. Cameron Gibb, of Neu Design, heads the panel alongside Tangible Media publisher Vincent Heeringa, designer Kalee Jackson and international guest judge, Scribe Art Director Miriam Rosenbloom.

“One of the great things about the PANZ Book Design Awards is the broad range of titles and styles that are entered and which have to compete against each other within each category,” says convening judge Cameron Gibb.

The cookbook category has been outstanding this year and this range of styles is a breath of fresh air. The designers are looking to break out of that typical template style by exploring more innovative typography and strong narratives, supported by excellent photography.”

Cameron also notes that internationally there is probably a stronger emphasis towards hand lettering and quirky illustrative styles and colour blocking which are far less prominent in the NZ awards. “Thankfully the quality of the typography is of a very high standard, and that Kiwi vernacular is coming through, often in familiar colours and textures.”

The PANZ Book Design Awards, celebrating the best in Kiwi book design, will be presented at a ceremony held on Thursday 16 July at 6pm at the Sapphire Room, Ponsonby Central, Auckland.

All shortlisted book images and ticketing information are on view at

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