exhibition

the best dutch book designs 2006
18 Aug - 30 Sep 2007

Every year, The Best Designed Books Foundation presents a selection of the most outstanding book designs of the past year in the Stedelijk Museum. This year, the museum has supplemented the selection with a separate category of printed matter: unusual publications devoted to poetry, some of which produced in small editions.

Each year, a jury of five publishing professionals choose books that have made their mark with distinctive design and production techniques. In 2006, 211 publishers, commissioning bodies, designers and printers submitted a total of 400 books. The jury, which consisted of Paul Hefting (publicist, Haarlem), Kees van den Hoek (Uitgeverij THOTH, Bussum), Esther Noyons (designer,Amsterdam), Brigitte Slangen (designer, Nijmegen) and Pieter Tielen (Drukkerij Tielen, Boxtel) picked 33 books from the total submitted as The Best Designed Books of 2006.

Included in the selection are Perfect Day en andere popverhalen by Joost Zwagerman (Studio Ron van Roon, Jaap Meijer and Nico Richter), Altijd Vandaagby Esther Jansma (Marjo Starink, Steven van der Gaauw) and Marnix Goossens. Deep Light (COMA). In the category Publications Produced by Cultural Institutions, three Stedelijk Museum publications were chosen: Just in Time. Voorstel tot Gemeentelijke Kunstaankopen (Will Holder),Jaarverslag Stedelijk Museum 2005 (Richard Niessen, Esther de Vries) and Aanwinsten 1993-2003(Walter Nikkels).

The jury of the international book competitionSchönste Bucher aus aller Welt, the international variant in Leipzig, bestowed medals on two Dutch books: Sheila Hicks. Weaving as Metaphor and OOG / EYE, both designed by Irma Boom. Last year, three of Boom’s designs were awarded; previously inLeipzig, Boom’s oeuvre was lauded with the prestigious Gutenberg Prize. 

Besides these two medals, Dutch publications in 2006 also received honourable mentions, namely the aforementioned annual report of the StedelijkMuseum and the graduation catalogue of the CABK-ArtEZ art school in Zwolle (design DesignArbeid).

The selection of poetry publications is typified by the inventive approaches taken by the graphic designer and printer. Unhampered by colossal budgets, the simple beauty of the design often comes into its own. The selection demonstrates extremely diverse perspectives – from the poetry comic book Verknipt en Verstript. De avonturen van Zaagje (George Moormann, Kees Veenendaal)   to the slender anthology Resistent by Saskia de Jong (Michaël Snitker).


The Best Designed Books will travel to Museum Meermanno, The Hague, The Frankfurt Book Fair,Stockholm and Vienna. The Best Designed Books Foundation will again publish a catalogue this year, containing a jury report on all the books selected. (ISBN 978 90 5965 064 0, € 24,50).

Opening: Thursday 30 August by poet Tjitske Jansen