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Bill Hammond Wins Book Design Awards

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Bill Hammond: Jingle Jangle Morning, published by the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, cleaned up at the BPANZ Book Design Awards 2008 last night at the Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. The book won the Best Cover and Best Illustrated categories, then took home the prize for the Best Book.

Christchurch-based designer Aaron Beehre’s treatment of Hammond’s renowned artwork stands alongside compelling typography, creating a book that truly impressed the judging panel. Convenor of Judges, Guy Somerset, says the winner “hovered above the other books like one of Hammond’s birds”. The judges commented particularly on the innovative fold-out poster cover of Bill Hammond: Jingle Jangle Morning.

Dear to Me, a collection of poetry edited by Auckland Girls’ Grammar School for Amnesty International, won the award for Best Non-Illustrated book. The judges said designer, Alan Deare, has managed to create a small book with a big mentality. Its cover is dominated by bold type that jumps off the shelf and its simple original approach appeals to all readers.

The highly-anticipated Children’s Book category was won by The King’s Bubbles, a favourite in the local children’s book awards scene this year. The judges commented on Ruth Paul’s magnificent use of vibrant colour in her illustrations for the book, but it was her and co-designer Mary McIntyre’s handling of the text that gave The King’s Bubbles the edge.

Astronomy Aotearoa, created for the NCEA Level 1 Science curriculum, won the Best Educational Book category. That the book contained a wealth of scientific information for older children, seemed no handicap to designer Marie Low. The judges felt her use of photographs, diagrams, illustrative motifs, coloured headings, breakout panels and freestyle layout was a welcoming approach to a big topic and made education fun.

Accompanying Guy Somerset on the judging Panel were bookseller, Mark Fry and magazine publisher, Michael McHugh. Both are experienced book industry professionals, who found it a pleasure to rediscover books that had impressed them on first encounter over the past year.

Design is a crucial and often overlooked part of the bookmaking process, with these awards recognising the outstanding work of New Zealand designers and publishers. 2008 marks the first year the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand has filled the major sponsorship role of the awards.

ENDS