About the year 2005
The 400 barrier for The most beautiful Swiss books was broken for the first time this year: 404 books were submitted for the competition. Once again it is clear that this competition run by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (BAK) arouses a great deal of interest in many ways, and generates a considerable response: last year’s catalogue attracted an extraordinary number of positive re-views in the specialist press, both at home and abroad.
The seven-man jury headed by François Rappo assessed the entries, as every year, in terms of concept, graphic design and typography, and then for print quality and the technical finish of the cover, binding function and the materials used. Originality and innovation are other important criteria. As well as the 32 commended books, the jury also chose a ‘Book of the Jury’. Here the choice fell unanimously on the sales and product catalogue Vitra.Select, arrange, a remarkable piece of design by Cornel Windlin for Vitra AG. The furniture is elaborately presented in many wonderful sets of pictures, obviously not just as a mere sales product, but in a most attractive and lively way as domestic objects that can be integrated into everyday life.
Every year the jury awards, independently of the books submitted for the competition, the Jan Tschichold Prize in memory of the typographer, whose proposal led to the inception of the Swiss book design competition in 1944. The Swiss Department of the Interior (EDI) enabled the jury to award this prize for the tenth time to an individual, a group or an institution for an outstanding book design achievement. The Jan Tschichold Prize, which is endowed with 15,000 francs, was awarded to Gavillet & Rust (Gilles Gavillet and David Rust) in Geneva. Here the jury was acknowledging a young design team from West Switzerland who have been convincingly drawing attention to themselves for several years with numerous book projects, especially for JRP publishers in Geneva and today in Zurich, and with their own typeface label Optimo. Together with Gavillet&Rust, Tania Prill & Alberto Vieceli, Zurich, Aude Lehmann, Zurich and Laurenz Brunner, Amsterdam were also nominated this year.
We are as always delighted with the awards won by Switzerland at the international The Most Beautiful Books in the World design competition in Leipzig. An international jury awarded one Golden Letter, one Gold Medal one, two silver medals, five bronze medals and diplomas, choosing from 636 books submitted by 34 countries. One of the bronze medals went to the Monica Studer, Christoph van den Berg. Somewhere else is the same place exhibition catalogue, designed by Iza Hren and Georg Rutishauser.
The catalogue by Laurent Benner (Reala) for The most beautiful Swiss books competition also caused an international stir last year. The design concept was so persuasive that the graphic designer and his team felt justified in developing the idea of a compilation of original pages further, and applying it in a new form. Light was to be thrown on specific aspects of book production even more than last year, making the publication entirely into an archival reference work and material book.
It is only thanks to the inspiring co-operation between graphic designer, printers, paper suppliers and the Burkhardt bindery that this year’s catalogue could be realized. Our thanks for their magnificent support (with material, work and ideas) go to the printers of all the winning books, the Burkhardt bindery, the paper firms Arctic Papers Schweiz AG, Antalis AG, Inapa Schweiz AG, Sihl+ Eika AG and Fischer Papier AG, and not least to the Odermatt printers. I am personally delighted that it was possible at a time of financial difficulty and despite all the prophecies of doom to realize a project like this, in which technical, communications and human expertise are demanded to an unusual extent, and to work together with such enthusiasm.
And now I wish you, dear readers, pleasure for all the senses in your trip through the most beautiful Swiss books of 2005.