Canada’s 30 best-designed books: 2010 winners

On behalf of The Alcuin Society, this year’s judges (Marian Bantjes, Linda Gustafson, and Peter Koch) have selected 30 winning titles for the 28th annual Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada. The books were chosen from 252 Canadian entries published in 2009, from 9 provinces and 108 publishers.

The Alcuin Award winning books will be exhibited internationally: in Germany, at the Frankfurt and Leipzig Book Fairs; in England, at the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library and the Norwich University College of the Arts; and in Japan, at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, in conjunction with the Tokyo International Book Fair. The books will also be exhibited in 19 venues across Canada. They will compete in the international book design competition in Leipzig, Germany in February 2011.

This year’s winners are:

CHILDREN
First prize: ROBERT CHAPLIN and SIAN PAIRAUDEAU, designers of Brussels Sprouts & Unicorns: a Book of Rhymes by Robert Chaplin (Robert Chaplin)
Second prize: ELISA GUTIÉRREZ, designer of The Kalevala: Tales of Magic and Adventure by Kirsti Mäkinen, translated by Kaarina Brooks (Simply Read Books)
Third prize: GRACE PARTRIDGE, designer of Ella’s Umbrellas by Jennifer Lloyd (Simply Read Books)
Honourable mentions: MICHAEL SOLOMON, designer both of Alego by Ningeokuluk Teevee (Groundwood Books) and of City Alphabet by Joanne Schwartz (Groundwood Books).

LIMITED EDITIONS
First prize: CHARLES MAYRS and DAVID CLIFFORD, designers of British Columbia: In Light and Dark by Charles Mayrs (Charles Mayrs)
Second prize: JARRETT MORRISON, designer of The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (The Bowler Press)
Third prize: GABRIELLA SOLTI, designer of The Sensory Delights of Text by Gabriella Solti (Gabriella Solti)
Honourable mentions: JUDITH POIRIER, designer of Dialogue by Judith Poirier (Judith Poirier), and JASON DEWINETZ, designer of This (And That Was That) by JonArno Lawson (Greenboathouse Press).

PICTORIAL
First prize: STUDIO FEED, designers of Far East, Far Westby Benoit Aquin (les éditions du passage)
Second prize: ALAN BROWNOFF, designer of Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collectionby John E. Vollmer & Jaqueline Simcox (The University of Alberta Press)

Third prize: SUSAN COLBERG, designer of Synergies 2009: Prints from the University of Alberta(Dept. of Art & Design, University of Alberta).

POETRY
First prize: ANDREW STEEVES & ROBERT BRINGHURST, designers of Selected Poems by Robert Bringhurst (Gaspereau Press)
Second prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of Lean-to by Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen (Gaspereau Press)
Third prize: NICOLE LAFOND, designer of J’partirai by François Hébert (les éditions du passage).

PROSE FICTION
First prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of The Sentimentalists by Johanna Skibsrud (Gaspereau Press)
Second prize: PETER COCKING, designer of Daniel O’Thunder by Ian Weir (Douglas & McIntyre).

PROSE NON-FICTION
First prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of The Marram Grass by Anne Simpson (Gaspereau Press)
Second prize: ROBERT BRINGHURST, designer of At the River’s Mouth by Daphne Marlatt (Institute for Coastal Research, Vancouver Island University)
Third prize: ANDREW STEEVES, designer of A Sound Like Water Dripping: In Search of the Boreal Owl by Soren Bondrup-Nielsen (Gaspereau Press)
Honourable mentions: ROBERTO DOSIL (cover) and M. PAGE (interior), designers both of The Story Behind the Book by Laura Millar (Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (CCSP) Press) and Translators on Translating by Andrew Wilson (CCSP Press).

PROSE NON-FICTION ILLUSTRATED
First prize: CS RICHARDSON, designer of The Bedside Book of Beasts by Graeme Gibson (Doubleday Canada)
Second prize: PETER COCKING, designer of The Men who Killed Me edited by Anne-Marie de Brouwer & Sandra Ka Hon Chu (Douglas & McIntyre)
Third prize (tie): NAOMI MACDOUGALL, designer of Six String Nation by Jowi Taylor (Douglas & McIntyre)
Third prize (tie): BOB BECK, designer of Comestible/Edible: l’aliment comme matériau/Food as Material by Diane Leclair Bisson (les éditions du passage).

REFERENCE
First prize: SKIPP DESIGN, INC., designers of Living Proof: the Essential Data-Collection Guide for Indigenous Use-and-Occupancy Map Surveys by Terry N. Tobias (Ecotrust Canada/UBCIC)
Second prize: UNIFORM, designers of Connaître les droits de l’enfant by Bureau international des droits des enfants (IBCR) (Les éditions de la courte échelle)
Third prize: NAOMI MACDOUGALL, designer of Araxi: Seasonal Recipes from the Celebrated Whistler Restaurant by James Walt (Douglas & McIntyre).

The Alcuin Society (www.alcuinsociety.com) is a Vancouver based non-profit society for the support and appreciation of fine books. In addition to the annual Book Design Competition, the Society publishes a journal, Amphora, and organizes lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and field visits on various aspects of the book.

For more information, please contact Leah Gordon, Alcuin Society Design Competition Committee Chair, awards@alcuinsociety.com, 604.732-5403.

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