Stiftung Buchkunst (Book Art Foundation)
Die schönsten deutschen Bücher 2012
The Best German Book Design 2012
(english translation of the jury announcement)
After a change in the rules, beginning with the 2012 competition, the jury selected five books from five categories for the honor of “Best German Book Design.” 889 books from 396 competitors were evaluated by the jury. In a selection process lasting several days, 637 books were dropped after the first round; the first jury passed 252 books on to the second jury for evaluation. After extensive discussion, 68 books that did not garner enough votes were placed on the short list. None of the awards are remunerated. “Die schönsten deutschen Bücher” are outstanding examples of design, concept, and finish.
Hal Foster, Kate Fowle, Thomas Kellein
Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern
Typesetting: Stapelberg & Fritz, Stuttgart
Printer: Offsetdruckerei Karl Grammlich GmbH, Pliezhausen
Bookbinding and finishing: Lachenmaier GmbH, Reutlingen
Typography design: Stapelberg & Fritz, Stuttgart
Production: Nadine Schmidt / Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern
Both the first- and second-round juries were in agreement when it came to this art book: Robert Longo’s charcoal drawings are in harmony with the overall design, perfectly presented in terms of material, production, color, typeface, and layout. The black cloth back with glossy black stamped lettering; the strong, uncoated gray cardboard with the artist’s name and title of the book in narrow, bold, and equally black Grotesque typeface; the black endpapers with a three-sided black-edging (or line-woodcut) on top set the mood for chiaroscuro—the game with light and shadow that Longo masterfully plays in his drawings. Austere, balanced, strong, yet delicate typography—positive emotional dramaturgy on these pages! The soft, natural paper, pleasant to the touch, demands the highest degree of precision from the lithographer and printer, so that the charcoal drawings, parts of which are very dark, do not fill in. Here, too, the ultimate has been achieved: coordinating the technical reproduction to reflect the qualities of the original works of art.