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Eye-catching book on Sāmoan tattooing sweeps PANZ board


A beautifully designed and richly illustrated retelling of the unique and powerful history of Sāmoan tattooing was the big winner at the 2019 PANZ Book Design Awards.

Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot (Te Papa Press), designed by Arch MacDonnell (Inhouse Design) received the overall accolade of the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book Sponsored by Nielson Book along with the Penguin Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book and the Mary Egan Publishing Award for Best Typography at a ceremony held in Ponsonby, celebrating the best in New Zealand book design.

The judges praised the detailed and attentive design, high production values and sensitivity to the subject matter.

Judging convener David Coventon said the quality of this year’s finalists was high and picking cate-gory winners caused the judges some serious debate, with often a mere sheet of paper between decisions.

“Design and craft were evident across all the titles, from the biggest and boldest to the most subtle treatment of typographic setting. Books brimming with great content and ideas presented each de-signer with a unique set of challenges. In the end the range of challenges and the way they were met by the designers across every aspect of the design led us to unanimous agreement.”

This year saw a record nine finalists vying for the Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Chil-dren’s Book, with the highly contested prize awarded to The Bomb by Sacha Cotter (Huia Publishers), designed by Te Kani Price, illustrated by Josh Morgan.

The Bomb invites many return readings to pick up all the extra little bits of visual storytell-ing included in the illustrations - so much subtle and rich detailing,” said judge Simon Waterfield when announcing the category winner.

Katie Kerr was named Allen & Unwin Young Designer of the Year 2019. The judges noted that Katie’s portfolio was ‘small-in-scale but brave and experimental in both content and production value’.

A highlight of the awards is the Publishers Association of New Zealand People’s Choice Award, which is decided at the ceremony by attendee vote. The audience was clearly in-tune with the judges and this prize also went to the night’s big success story, Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tat-tooing.

The PANZ Book Design Awards were established by the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) to promote excellence in, and provide recognition for, the best book design in New Zea-land.

The 2019 PANZ Book Design Awards winners are:

Gerard Reid Award for Best Book Sponsored by Nielsen Book

Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot (Te Papa Press), designed by Arch MacDonnell, Inhouse Design

Penguin Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book

Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot (Te Papa Press), designed by Arch MacDonnell, Inhouse Design

Upstart Press Award for Best Non-Illustrated Book

Women, Equality, Power by Helen Clark (Allen & Unwin NZ), designed by Kate Barraclough

Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book

The Bomb by Sacha Cotter (Huia Publishers), designed by Te Kani Price, illustrated by Josh Morgan

Edify Award for Best Educational Book

Why is That Lake So Blue?: A Children's Guide to New Zealand's Natural World by Simon Pol-lard (Te Papa Press), designed by Kate Barraclough, Kate Frances Design

1010 Printing Award for Best Cookbook

Always Delicious: Favourite recipes from the New Zealand Listener by Lauraine Jacobs (Pot-ton & Burton), designed by Floor van Lierop, This is Them

HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover

Wanted: The search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor by Bronwyn Holloway-Smith (Massey University Press), designed by Anna Brown

Mary Egan Publishing Award for Best Typography

Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot (Te Papa Press), designed by Arch MacDonnell, Inhouse Design

Allen & Unwin Young Designer of the Year 2019

Katie Kerr for Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy by School of Life (Alain de Botton), Sportsman of the Year: A Suburban Philosophy by Jan Hellriegal, Make Every Day by Rebecca Commisaris, Bee Curious by Kantar & the School of Life, Dirt by Gemma Walsh & Katie Kerr.

Publishers Association of New Zealand People’s Choice Award

Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing by Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot (Te Papa Press), designed by Arch MacDonnell, Inhouse Design


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