News — 23 May 2008
Every year, the Dutch Best Designed Books Foundation (Stichting De Best Verzorgde Boeken) presents the best designed books of the past year at the Stedelijk Museum. This year 33 books have been selected out of all those published in the Netherlands in 2007. As in previous years, the museum is supplementing the selection on show with a separate category: this time, children’s books of exceptionally good design.
Each year, a jury of five professionals selects books that stand out in terms of design and production technique. In the course of 2007, Dutch publishers, commissioning bodies, designers and printers together submitted a total of 465 books – an unprecedented number. The jury, consisting of Kees van den Hoek (Uitgeverij THOTH, Bussum), Ben Laloua (designers Ben Laloua/Didier Pascal, Rotterdam), Pieter Tielen (Drukkerij Tielen, Boxtel), Julius Vermeulen (adviser on Art and Design to Koninklijke TNT Post, The Hague) and René van der Vooren (designer, Amsterdam), whittled these down to the 33 books shortlisted as the Best Designed Books of 2007.
The selection includes the impressive monograph Eva Besnyö (Uitgeverij Voetnoot), designed by Barends & Pijnappel, and Ringel Goslinga. Family Tree (Veenman Publishers), designed by Johan Thermaenius and Roger Willems. Irma Boom, two of whose publications won international medals as well as local acclaim last year, is among this year’s Dutch award-winners with two more books: Inside Outside. Petra Blaisse (NAi Publishers) and Sur place (Fortis Stichting Kunst en Historisch Bezit). Other particularly notable books on the list include berlin_nl. Een keuze uit de Kunstcollectie KPN, designed by Kummer & Herrman – also responsible for Rijksakademie Open 2007 (Rijksakademie Amsterdam) – and a privately published volume by young fashion designer JOFF: Ofoffjoff. One to one, containing photographs by Anuschka Blommers & Niels Schumm and designed by Julia Born. Experimental Jetset, designers of the Stedelijk Museum’s house style, also feature among the prize-winners, with their book High Resolution, commissioned by the Cobra Museum.
The jury of the Leipzig-based international book competition Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt (Best Book Design from all over the World) awarded an honourable mention to the Mondrian Foundation’s Annual Report for 2006, designed by Joost Grootens. Grootens won a gold medal in Leipzig two years ago for his design of the Metropolitan World Atlas (Uitgeverij 010) and the Mondrian Foundation’s 2003 Annual Report also received an honourable mention in the Leipzig competition some years ago.
In addition to this year’s prize-winning children’s books, Schapen tellen (Nieuw Amsterdam), designed by Steef Liefting and Letterdromen met Do (Em. Querido’s Uitgeverij) by Barbara van Dongen Torman, the exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum includes a selection of exceptionally well-designed children’s books from recent years.
This year’s Best Designed Books exhibition will travel to other venues in the Netherlands and abroad. It is once again accompanied by a catalogue published by the Best Designed Books Foundation and containing a jury report on all the books selected.