Posts Tagged ‘book design’

Lumiere Press Wins AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers Award

Monday, May 31st, 2010

FPBA member Michael Torosian of Lumiere Press just sent me the very good news that his recent book, Paul Caponigro: On Prior Lane: A Firefly’s Light, has been selected as one of the “50 Books of the Year” by The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). (Since 1941, the AIGA has sponsored a juried contest for the 50 best-designed books published the previous year.)

I was very pleased to run Torosian’s detailed account of his process of designing this book in the fall 2009 issue of Parenthesis (#17). (Lumiere Press’s An American Gallery was reviewed in this issue as well.) For anyone who thinks good book design comes easy, this essay is a must read. Torosian recounts his many false starts, dead ends, glimmers of inspiration, late-night frustrations, and trial settings that preceded the book’s final design. It’s great to see his hard work recognized by the AIGA. Congratulations, Michael!

What’s more, Torosian has been awarded a Chalmers Arts Fellowship. As characterized by the Ontario Arts Council, the cultural agency entrusted with administering the award, the aim of the Fellowship is “to provide such support at moments in artists’ careers when a concentration on personal and/or artistic growth or renewal and exploration is most likely to have the greatest impact on their long-term artistic and career development.”

Now would be a good time to head on over to the Lumiere Press website and see what all the fuss is about.

— Paul Razzell

Alcuin Society’s 27th Annual Book Design Awards

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

News about the Alcuin Society’s Annual awards for the best Canadian book designs:

‘The Alcuin Society and Emily Carr University would like to invite you to an Awards Ceremony, honouring the designers and publishers of the winners of The 27th Competition for Excellence in Book Design in Canada – 2008.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Gabriele Wilson, a New York-based graphic designer and member of the faculty at Parsons School of Design. After seven years as Senior Designer at Knopf Books, Gabriele now runs a small design studio and continues to work for numerous publishers worldwide designing jackets and illustrated books, as well as creating restaurant branding and music packaging. Her work has been featured in Communication Arts, The New York Times, Metropolis, Print, USA TODAY, By Its Cover: Modern American Book Design, New Vintage Type, Chip Kidd: Book One, and the AIGA 365 and 50 Books/50 Covers competitions. She is originally from Concord, Massachusetts.

Gabriele’s talk — Gabriele Wilson: Greatest Hits (and, um Misses) – will be introduced by the evening’s moderator, Peter Cocking, Creative Director of Vancouver-based Douglas & McIntyre, himself a winner of numerous Alcuin awards.

The event will be held at Emily Carr University, Room 301, on Thursday, October 1st at 7:00 pm. It is a free event, open to the public; everyone is encouraged to attend. The award-winning books will be on display.

During the day, there will be two related workshops. The first (from 10:30-12:30), an interactive seminar/discussion on book design, will be given by Gabriele Wilson and Peter Cocking. The second (from 1:30 to 3:30), by Celia King, will be a hands-on workshop in which participants will create a simply-bound book in hard covers, complete with dust jacket to pressed finish – discussion will explore type design, visual formats and concept presentation for publishing. Registration will be required for both workshops.

For further information, contact Leah Gordon at (604) 732-5403.’

— Paul Razzell

Books with out jackets: the new thing?

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The New York Observer reports on several prominent trade publishers who will be issuing hardcover titles this fall without dust jackets. Instead, the cover art will be printed, even embossed, directly onto the boards.  These publishers, the article states, are taking their cue from the distinctive McSweeny’s titles and, as Peter Koch mentioned at the 2009 Codex Symposium, McSweeny’s is taking its design cue from many private presses. Read the NY Observer article here.

—Paul Razzell

“Dearth of Typographic Expression in E-books”

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009


“As books make the leap from cellulose and ink to electronic pages, some editors worry that too much is being lost in translation. Typography, layout, illustrations and carefully thought-out covers are all being reduced to a uniform, black-on-gray template that looks the same whether you’re reading Pride and Prejudice, Twilight or the Federalist Papers.”

E-books may not be ugly forever, but for now the dull-grey template is going to have to do. Read the full Wired article here. Interesting to see book design and typography make the news.

—Paul Razzell