10 Korean books nominated for best book design competition

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10 Korean books nominated for best book design competition

The covers of the 10 books selected by the Korean Publishers Association for the Best Book Design from Korea 2021. [KOREAN PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION]

The covers of the 10 books selected by the Korean Publishers Association for the Best Book Design from Korea 2021. [KOREAN PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION]

 
The Korean Publishers Association, which runs the annual Seoul International Book Fair, nominated 10 books in collaboration with Germany’s Stiftung Buchkunst, or Book Art Foundation, on Monday for the Best Book Design from Korea 2021.

 
The chosen books are: “Craft — Material and Texture” designed by Formula and published by Onyang Folk Museum; “Reflective Notes (Recent Writings)” designed by Jeon Yong-wan and published by Art Sonje Center and Bijutsu Shuppan-sha; "Moonji Spectrum" designed by Cho Sul-gi and published by Moonji Publishing; “Blue Note Collector’s Guide” designed by Lee Ki-joon and published by goat; "The origin of Korean culture" designed by Kim Min-young and An Mano and published by Ahn Graphics; “Out of (Con) Text” designed by Dokho Shin and published by The Floorplan; "Self-Portrait/Tractor" designed by Park Yeoun-joo and published by Hezuk Press; “Avant-Garde and Classics” designed by Park Sang-il and published by Suryusanbang; “Data Composition” designed by Sam Kim and published by Mediabus and "Thoughts on Hangul" designed by Lee Yong-je and published by Type-space.
 
The award was created last year with the aim of providing a platform for Korean books to compete in competitions like Best Book Design from All Over the World, co-organized by Stiftung Buchkunst and Leipzig Book Fair. Korea wasn’t able to participate in such competitions because they usually require entrants to be recognized in design related awards in their own publishing countries to compete. Korea had no such awards prior to last year. 
 
“Because book design has become a big part in delivering content to readers, we wanted to inspire designers, publishers or whoever makes books that there is a way to go global with the aesthetic side of literature,” said an official with the Korean Publisher’s Association.
 
“The winning design may not be something strikingly unique to some eyes, but overall book reading experiences including the texture of the pages or how well the design embraces the text are checked to decide what design really stands out and portrays the content of the book the best."
 
For this year’s award, a total of 164 books entered the competition. “Feuilles,” one of the last year’s 10 winners, won the Golden Letter top prize at the Best Books Design from All Over the World 2021.
 
“Because so far the local industry focused more on what the text of the books said and was less interested in the overall look of the books, it is very meaningful that there is a new system that starts to recognize new ideas about book design,” said Jeong Jae-wan, a professor of Yeungnam University's department of Visual Communication Design and one of the six judges who participated in choosing the winning books. 
 
"Although the debate on what makes good design for books is still weak, we wish that many designers and publishing companies to get together to make grounds for more discussion on book design.”
 

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
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