APA Book Design Awards 2013

I was fortunate enough to attend this year's Annual Book Design Awards, held at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Jo Groud, Kim Ferguson, Miranda Costa and I were shortlisted for Pearson English 9 Student Book, in the category of The Best Designed Secondary Education Book.

Arriving in Sydney, I managed to avoid a couple of heavy spells of rain on my walk from the hotel to the Powerhouse Museum. Everything in Sydney seems to be within walking distance.

      Laneway on my walk to the Powerhouse Museum

I presented my ticket and entered the Powerhouse Museum foyer, which was filled with designers, illustrators, print manufacturers and publishers. I enjoyed a couple a complimentary drinks and canapés, had a chat with a few familiar faces, investigated the book entries on display and enjoyed the live band which played the whole evening.

There was a great range of books on display, and the standard, of course, was the best that this country has to offer. Some of my favourite titles included Sophie Scott Goes South, designed by Tony Palmer, Australian Children's Classics, designed by Allison Colpoys, and My Greek Island Home, designed by Evi Oetomo.

Before too long we were asked to move to the auditorium for presentations. Our MC for the evening was James Valentine (ABC Radio presenter, musician in his own jazz quartet, TV narrator of Lifestyle Channel's Come Dine With Me Australia and a regular writer for The Australian newspaper). He kept the audience entertained for the evening with wisecracks, some of which only a designer could relate to.

Some of the major category winners included Young Designer of the Year (Evi Oetomo), The Best Designed Cover of the Year, awarded to W.H. Chong for The Voyage, and The Best Designed Book of the Year awarded to Evi Oetomo for Things I Love.

W.H. Chong was awarded The 2013 Joyce Thorpe Nicholson Design Hall of Fame Award. This award is presented to a designer whose work has made a significant contribution to book design both in Australia and internationally. The judges felt it was a well-deserved acknowledgement, as W.H. Chong has been an inspirational designer within the publishing industry for many decades. W.H. Chong was very humble in his presentation speech, talking little of himself, rather looking back on the previous winners of this award and ensuring that these designers are remembered and their legacy lives on in Australian design.

This concluded the evening, and a night for all to celebrate their achievements in the harbour city.

Glen McClay
Senior Concept Designer
Pearson Australia