The 2016 British Book Design and Production Awards finalists have been revealed, with publisher Penguin Random House leading the nominations with nine titles on the shortlist, followed by Pan Macmillan (five), with strong showings from The Folio Society (four titles), Frances Lincoln and Little Tiger Press (three apiece).
In total 18 awards’ finalists have been revealed, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony held at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge, west London, on 10th November. The evening will see 19 awards handed out; the 18 for which the finalists have been revealed, and then an overall Book of the Year, contested by each of the category winners. Last year’s Book of the Year was A F Harrold and Emily Gravett’s The Imaginary, published by Bloomsbury.
The awards, run by the British Printing Industries Federation in association with Oxford Brookes University and the Publishers Association, seek to promote and reward innovative book design and outstanding craftsmanship in their creation, in both physical and digital formats. Categories range from Limited Edition and Fine Binding to Brand/Series Identity, from Best Jacket/Cover Design to Best Student Book.
Many trade publishers feature prominently among the finalists, with The Folio Society scoring nods in Best British Book category for its edition of Alice in Wonderland, two in Literature for Lolita, Dorothy Wordsworth’s The Grasmere Journal and Brand/Series Identity for its Folio Collectables.
Pan Macmillan is prominent in the design-led categories, with two Best Jacket/Cover Design finalist positions for Not Working by Lisa Owens, designed by Jo Thomson and Zero K by Don DeLillo, designed by Neil Lang, two finalists listings for Children’s Trade: 9–16 Years with Lewis Carroll’s The Complete Alice and Chris Riddell’s The Hunting of the Snark, and one in Scholarly, Academic and Reference Books nomination for An Atlas of Countries That Don’t Exist by Nick Middleton.
Cover designer Coralie Bickford-Smith, who authored and designed The Fox and Star, a serial prize-winner last year, will vie for another two awards for Penguin Random House, after her children’s title was named a finalist in both the Chidren’s Trade: 0–9 Years and Best Jacket/Cover Design category. PRH’s other finalists are: Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook NOPI (Lifestyle Illustrated category); Graham Robb’s Cols and Passes of the British Isles (Trade Illustrated); Richard Dawkins Reissues (Interactive/Multimedia Book); Grayson Perry’s Sketchbooks (Photographic Books/Art and Architecture Monographs); two Graphic Novels finalists from Jonathan Cape (William Goldsmith's The Bind, David Hughes' The Pillbox); and The Half Life of Joshua Jones by Danny Scheinmann, a finalist in the Digitally Printed Books category, published by Unbound with which PRH has a partnership.
A tranche of smaller, perhaps lesser-known lists earned recognition too, with Hurtwood Press’ Inherent Madness and Shenasnameh both in contention for the Digitally Printed Book prize; printing outfit Baddeley Brothers’ eponymous title in the running for Trade: Illustrated; and Little Tiger Books (Patricia Hegarty’s Above and Below, illustrated by Hanako Clulow, and Emma Yarlett’s Nibbles: The Book Monster) and Old Barn Books (Kate Prendergast’s Dog on a Train and Lucie Felix’s Give & Take) both grabbing two places on the Children’s Trade: 0–8 Years shortlist. Little Tiger-issued Hello World, by Jonathan Litton, earned the list a third finalist, in Children’s Trade: 0–9 Years.
The Best Student Book category will be contested by Tomas Almeida, of Norwich University of the Arts, who entered Precursor; and three students from the National College of Art & Design, Diane Dear (Breathe), Aisling Lee (17 Times Over) and Alexandra Morehead (Terra Incognito).
The finalists were determined by a panel of five judges following a two-day session hosted at Oxford Brookes, in which 575 entries were whittled down to a shortlisted 82. Books were judged according to their design, publishing acumen, production values, creativity and printing skill, by Waterstones’ Chris Keith-Wright, Extraordinary Editions’ Martin Morgan, Halstan’s Jonathan Whitehead, ThePageDesign’s Julie Fowles and The Bookseller’s Danny Arter.
The full list of finalists can be viewed at the awards' homepage.