Exhibition — Sep 25 until Oct 30, 2019

Presentation of the best Dutch Book designs 2018.

Each year, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Stichting Best Verzorgde Boeken present an expert jury selection of the most outstanding book designs of the last twelve months. This year, a total of 33 books were picked from the 295 publisher-submitted titles released in 2018, and will go on display in the Stedelijk Museum’s Audi Gallery on 25 September.

The exhibited publications were chosen for their outstanding design, typography, image treatment, technical graphic production and the balance between form and content. Among those that made the final cut are tomes from well-known publishers, museum catalogues, corporate anniversary publications and rare finds from independent imprints.

© Gerlinde de Geus
Photo © Gerlinde de Geus


This year’s finalists were selected by a panel of expert jurors consisting of Michaël Snitker (designer), Mijke Wondergem designer), Eelco van Welie (director of NAI010 publishers), Martijn Kicken (advisor at Drukkerij Tielen) and Suzanna Héman (assistant curator Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam).

Here’s a taster of 2018’s most outstanding book creations: AMSTERDAMS SPUL/AMSTERDAM STUFF by Jerzy Gawronski & Peter Kranendonk, designed by Willem van Zoetendaal; Anne Frank Huis catalogue by the Anne Frank Stichting (Elias van der Plicht), designed by Irma Boom Office; Theory of Type Design by Gerard Unger, designed by Hansje van Halem; Robert F. Kennedy Funeral Train by Rein Jelle Terpstra, designed by Jeremy Jansen; Marjolijn Mandersloot by Gijsbert van der Wal, designed by Adriaan Mellegers; Dreaming Awake by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro et al, designed by João Doria; Show Yourself (Benno Premsela & Yvònne Joris) by Fredric Baas, Titus M. Eliëns, designed by Haller Brun.

Earlier this year, it was announced that the international jury of the contest Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt in Leipzig—the most prestigious graphic design prize in the book design world—granted prizes to four titles among the Dutch selection of the Best Book Designs 2018. AMSTERDAMS SPUL/AMSTERDAM STUFF won the Golden Letter, Robert F. Kennedy Funeral Train received a gold medal, the silver went to the Anne Frank Huis with the bronze medal awarded to The Migrant.

The exhibition of The Best Dutch Book Designs has a long-standing tradition at the Stedelijk Museum. The inaugural presentation was mounted in 1932 and, with a few exceptions, has been held annually at the Stedelijk Museum ever since. The Dutch Best Verzorgde Boeken is the oldest contest of its kind in Europe to be judged by an expert jury.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue designed by Gert Jan Slagter, which is on sale in the museum shop.


This autumn the Stedelijk is mounting a trio of shows exploring different facets of graphic design. The Best Book Designs 2018 is accompanied by Wim Crouwel: Mr Gridnik (28 Sep 2019 - 22 March 2020) and the poster exhibit Colorful Japan (7 Sep 2019 - 2 Feb 2020).

Most of the books featured in the show can be purchased in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam shop.

The presentation concept for The Best Book Designs 2018 was designed by Paul Kuipers.