About the year 2014

Vernissage Helmhaus Zürich, 27.06.2013

About the year 2014

The Swiss Federal Office of Culture organizes the competition ‘The Most Beautiful Swiss Books’ on an annual basis. It thereby recognizes excellence in the field of book de¬sign and production, as well drawing attention to remarkable and contemporary books by Swiss designers, printers and publishers.

In January 2015, a five-member jury awarded 17 books of 2014. Subsequently, the selection was submitted to at the international competition 'Best Books from all over the world' (Stiftung Buchkunst, Frankfurt), where Switzerland got the gold medal for 'Fundamentalists and Other Arab Modernisms. Architecture from the Arab World 1914–2014', a bronze medal for 'Paul Chan. New New Testament' and an honourary diploma for the series 'fink twice' by Edition Fink.

'The Most Beautiful Swiss Books' of 2014 will be presented from 25. through 28. June 2015 at the Helmhaus Zürich, the catalogue showcasing the winning books of 2014 will be brought out at the same time. On the occasion of the exhibition opening, the Jan Tschichold Award winner of 2015, Urs Lehni, will be presented with his award.

In the autumn of 2015, the books will be shown for the first time in Basel, as well as in St. Gallen, Engadine and Geneva. As in the previous year, all the submitted books entered into the competition will be displayed alongside the award-winning titles. The dates and exhibition locations will be made public in June around the time of the Helmhaus exhibition in Zürich.

By invitation of various institutions and local hosts, the awarded books will also travel abroad. Exhibitions are planned, among others, in Kopenhagen and Skive (Denmark), Oslo (Grafill), Paris (Centre culturel suisse), Venice (bruno Bookshop) and Vienna (Typographische Gesellschaft Austria).


Manuel Krebs, 1970, Bern, Chair
Studied graphic design at the Schule für Gestaltung in Biel-Bienne. Established the graphic design studio NORM together with Dimitri Bruni in 1999, with a focus on designing and publishing books and typefaces. Book design includes self-commissioned research in the field of type and graphic design; commissions include numerous collaborations with museums (Tate Modern, Kunsthaus Zürich, Museum für Gestaltung Zürich) and artists (Fischli/Weiss, Simon Starling, Christian Marclay) – most recently, the nine-volume collection of David Weiss’s early works, ‘Nine Books, 1973–1979’. Examples for type design include the Simple typeface for Cologne airport (2003), the corporate typeface for Omega watches, the typeface Replica (2008) and the corporate identity and typeface for Swatch (2012). NORM was commissioned by SANAA to create the signage of the Louvre-Lens, which opened in late 2012. In 2005, NORM won first prize at the Swiss National Bank’s competition for the new banknote series. In 2011, NORM was awarded the Grand Prix Design by the Swiss Government.

Géraldine Beck, 1988, Genève
Géraldine Beck works in the domain of selling and distributing books since 2008. She first worked for Motto Books in Berlin and then moved to Zurich where she opened her own company, BECKBOOKS. Today, she is based in Geneva, where she studies comparative literature and English. She runs the web-series BOOK TV, a project aimed at presenting diverse art book publications as seen by individual specialists. She undertakes various collaborations with artists such as exhibitions, events and publications. She is particularly interested in the circulation of ideas and the diffusion of printed material in the realm of the arts.

David Bennewith, 1977, Takapuna (New Zealand)
A graphic designer and design researcher based in Amsterdam, David works on both research-oriented and commissioned projects under the name 'Colophon' – with particular interest and focus on the disciplines of type-design and typography. David is a professor in the Communication Design Department of the Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe in Germany and also teaches typography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam.

Markus Dressen, 1971, Münster (Deutschland)
Markus Dressen is a graphic designer, publisher and professor based in Leipzig. He studied graphic design at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, Leipzig under Hildegard Korger, Günter Karl Bose, Ruedi Baur and Volker Pfüller. Together with Anne König and Jan Wenzel he publishes the magazine 'Spector cut+paste' (since 2000), and co-founded the publishing house 'Spector Books' (since 2008). Admission into Alliance Graphique Internationale (2004). Professorship in graphic design at HGB Leipzig (since 2006). Book design for artists (Olaf Nicolai, Cyprien Gaillard, Tal R, Neo Rauch, Ilya Kabakov, Christine Hill, Ramon Haze). Creation of visual identities (Schauspiel Stuttgart, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig, Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen).

Kurt Eckert, 1948, Aarau (Switzerland)
Typesetter, Vorkurs, 'Form und Farbe' (F+F) in Zurich. Worked under Hans-Rudolf Lutz. Assistant to Peter Jenny at the design department of the architecture school at ETH Zurich. Teacher at the photography specialisation (1984–87); professor for design and typography at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst Zürich (1987–2013), now Zurich University of the Arts. Conducted the 'Typoklub' in said place, among others with Manuel Krebs and Marco Walser (2000–05), and ran the Master for Editorial Design, Development and Practice, together with Matthias Michel and others (2007–13). Alongside runs an own design practice, cooperations with architects, film makers, editors, artists, curators.