The Most Beautiful Swiss Books

The Most Beautiful Swiss Books


The competition "The Most Beautiful Swiss Books" is an instrument of the Federal Office of Culture that rewards the quality of book design in Switzerland and brings it closer to the public. The competition is open to exponents from the fields of design, publishing and printing. Every year, around 400 titles are submitted to the Federal Office of Culture. A five-member international jury selects the most beautiful Swiss books of each year from these entries. The competition records trends and identifies tendencies in contemporary book design and production, while at the same time creating a historical memory that goes back a long way.

What is a Swiss book?

A product is considered a Swiss book if it meets at least one of the following three criteria: The book was designed by a Swiss designer, the publishing house has its headquarters in Switzerland, or the printing house has its headquarters in Switzerland.

Criteria of the jury

The jury evaluates each entry in terms of its concept, graphic design and typography and pays particular attention to innovation and originality. Further criteria are the quality of the print and binding, the bookbinding processing and the materials used. The award is intended as a tribute and no cash prizes are awarded. There is no hierarchy of awards; all the most beautiful Swiss books chosen each year are treated equally.

Communication of the results

The jury's findings are published in a catalogue, which presents the award-winning books on the basis of the jury report. Furthermore, exhibitions of the award-winning books take place within Switzerland, as well as smaller exhibitions and presentations of the books abroad. Exhibitions and the catalogue give the award publicity and also support the exchange between exponents of the book design, printing and publishing industries.

The history of the competition

In 1998, the Federal Office of Culture (BAK) took over the organisation of the competition 'The most beautiful Swiss books' from the Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association, which had been running the competition since 1943. The takeover was accompanied by a new strategic and content orientation which is still valid today. Only design and professional competence is decisive for jury membership, which means that greater emphasis is placed on the design aspect. With the opening up of competition to foreign countries, the production-related changes on the book market were taken into account.

Further information


Contact person in case of queries:
Nicole Udry, Die schönsten Schweizer Bücher,
Sektion Kulturschaffen,
Bundesamt für Kultur
Tel.: +41 58 469 30 25,