About the year 2022

About the year 2022

Every year the FOC organises the "Most Beautiful Swiss Books" competition. The competition recognises outstanding achievements in book production and art and highlights works that express contemporary trends. Among the 400 books entered in the competition, the 20 prizes awarded in the 2022 publishing year are exceptionally bold and demanding, as the jury, chaired by Sereina Rothenberger (graphic designer) and consisting of Gina Bucher (author, publisher), Gregor Huber (graphic designer, publisher), Sila Munro (graphic designer, author) and Kajsa Ståhl (graphic designer, publisher), noted.


Gina Bucher

Gina Bucher, author and editor, was born in 1978 and studied film sciences, media and art history. Since 2008 she has been working as a freelance editor for publications in the fields of art and culture, and is also an author of narrative non-fiction. From 2009 to 2018 she was head of programming at the taz congress in Berlin, and in 2009 she co-founded the design project Rokfor. She lectures at the F+F School of Art and Design Zurich and teaches creative writing at the young literature laboratory JULL.

Gregor Huber

Gregor Huber was born in 1978. He studied history and art history at the University of Zurich and then new media at the Zurich University of the Arts. From 2007 to 2023, he has been an editor and designer at the magazine Fabrikzeitung. In 2018 he founded the publishing house Edition Hors-Sujet, along with Ivan Sterzinger and Noha Mokhtar. He runs the studio Huber/Sterzinger together with Ivan Sterzinger.

Silas Munro

Silas Munro was born in 1981 and holds a Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In 2014 he founded with Brian Johnson the LGBTQ+ and Minority-owned graphic design studio Polymode primarily working in the cultural sphere. Munro is the curator of Strikethrough: Typographic Messages of Protest (Letterform Archive, 2022) and co-author of Black Design in America (forthcoming with Princeton University Press), as well as a faculty co-chair for the MFA Program in graphic design at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. In 2020 he was a jury member and in 2022 a chair for the US design competition “50 Books | 50 Covers” held by the AIGA.

Sereina Rothenberger

Sereina Rothenberger was born in 1981 and has run the graphic design studio Hammer in Zurich since 2008, together with David Schatz. She held a professorship at the Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design from 2013 to 2019, latterly serving as a head of department. She has been teaching the Master programme in Graphic Design at the Vermont College of Fine Arts in the US since 2015 and has been joint head of the programme since 2020. She has also been an advisor at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht since 2020.

Kajsa Ståhl

Kajsa Ståhl was born in 1974 and is a London-based graphic designer specialising in collaborative and cross-disciplinary projects that involve archives, collections, interviews, and travel and result in books, posters, catalogues, billboards, websites, identities, exhibitions and films. Kajsa Ståhl is one forth of graphic design collective Åbäke (since 2000), and one forth of publishing house Dent-De-Leone (since 2007). After studying a BA with HC Ericson in Sweden at HDK-Valant, she moved to London where she received her MA from the Royal College of Art. Already immersed in the world of architecture, her projects involve collaborations with architects, writers, musicians, fashion designers, artists and curators.

General information


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.