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Fitting time to judge a book by its cover

21 February 2013

Fitting time to judge a book by its cover

A new awards program recognising the best in Australian and New Zealand book design will hand out its first accolade next month.

Open to Australian and New Zealand designers, printers and publishers, the biennial Most Beautiful Books – Australia and New Zealand (MBBANZ) has been established by Monash University’s Faculty of Art Design & Architecture (MADA) to recognise originality and innovation in contemporary book design and production.

Co-founder of the awards and senior lecturer Dr Brad Haylock said the MBBANZ was unique to existing programs with a focus on recognising small and independent publishers in addition to larger publishing entities in Australia and New Zealand.

“There is a vibrant design and publishing culture in Australia and New Zealand and we want to celebrate the most innovative book designs, regardless of scale. We encourage entries of all types including titles from independent and small press publishers,” Dr Haylock said.

“Unique to existing programs, the MBBANZ awards are structured in a way that recognises a greater variety of book design activity in Australia and New Zealand.

“The jury has greater flexibility in determining worthiness of entries and there are no entry fees allows nominations not only from designers, publishers and printers but also from readers, retailers and the broader book loving community.”

Recognised local and international experts in book design and publishing will form the panel of five jurors including designers James Langdon from the UK, Layla Tweedie-Cullen from New Zealand and Warren Taylor, Peter Corrigan and Denise Whitehouse from Australia.

Modelled on the Most Beautiful Swiss Books program, established in 1943, and drawing influence from other programs of this type in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, the MBBANZ awards are the initiative of a group of industry professionals and book enthusiasts.

The book loving community can catch the first glimpse of the shortlisted books at an exhibition to be held at the MADA Gallery, Monash University Caulfield campus, 900 Dandenong Rd, from 20-25 March 2013.

Award recipients will be announced at the exhibition opening night on 20 March 2013 for books published in 2011 and 2012.

International jurors James Langdon and Layla Tweedie-Cullen will speak about their work at a free public lecture, to be presented at the State Library of Victoria, Village Roadshow theatrette, on 18 March 2013 from 6pm.

For guidelines and to nominate visit the Most Beautiful Books – Australia and New Zealand website.


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