Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Awa Press Young Designer of the Year 2012: three portfolios shortlisted

Highly talented young book designers currently making their names in the publishing industry are the finalists for Awa Press Young Designer of the Year 2012. For Anna Egan-Reid, Megan van Staden and Saskia Nicol, book design projects showcase their impressive creative abilities and breadth of scope over a range of titles.

Each designer has submitted a portfolio of four titles to be viewed by judges North & South art director Jenny Nicholls, design firm partner Gideon Keith and bookseller Roger Parsons. Keely O’Shannessy, a previous winner of the Young Designer Award, is the advisory judge for the category.

Anna Egan-Reid has a Bachelor of Arts in art history and English and has been typesetting since her late teens. She recently worked as an in-house designer at Penguin Books (NZ). Her entry is four book designs for Penguin: the literary Janet Frame: In Her Own Words (Janet Frame; Denis Harold & Pamela Gordon, eds); an illustrated New Zealand non-fiction title Trail: Riding the Otago Central Rail Trail (Paul Sorrell & Graham Warman); children’s picture book Moon Cow (Kyle Mewburn); and Summer Houses (Andrea Stevens with photography by Simon Devitt) a book of holiday home architecture.

Megan van Staden graduated with honours in graphic design at Massey University. Megan’s four designs are for Random House, where she currently works as a designer: Te Hao Nui The Great Catch: Object Stories from Te Manawa (Fiona McKergow & Kerry Taylor, eds), discoveries in the museum’s collection; Untamed: The Extraordinary Adventures of the Swazi Man, Davey Hughes’ hunting adventures; Q & Eh: Questions and Answers on Language with a Kiwi Twist (Laurie Bauer, Janet Holmes, Dianne Bardsley, Paul Warren); and the only fiction cover in the shortlist entries, Witi Ihimaera’s The Parihaka Woman.

Saskia Nicol has an AUT Bachelor of Art and Design degree, after which she worked in magazines and for Random House, and is now a freelance designer. Saskia’s submissions were: Tupaia: The Remarkable Story of Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator (Joan Druett); a trip through New Zealand art in It's All About the Image (Dick Frizzell); and history in Fighting Spirit: 75 Years of the RNZAF (Margaret McClure), all for Random House. NZ New Millennium: A Decade in Pictures was designed by Saskia for Penguin.

The Awa Press Young Designer Award is part of the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) Design Awards and is open to designers aged under 35. Designers submit a portfolio of up to five books designed over one year. Entries are judged on the ability of designers to consider the author’s work, the publisher’s marketing requirements and the audience appeal of the books they have designed.

Advisory judge Keely O’Shannessy was impressed with this year’s submissions. “All the entries – and this is the biggest number yet – were of a very high quality,” said Keely. “It was really hard to choose the final three, but we were impressed by the diverse portfolios of the three finalists who showed real ability in design across different genres.”

The winner of the Awa Press Young Designer of the Year Award will receive a prize of $1,000 at the PANZ Book Design Awards ceremony in Auckland on 5 July.

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