Take a look at China's best book design of the year

The bilingual book "The Record of Suzhou's Prosperity" will represent China to compete for the Best Book Design in the world, organized by Stiftung Buchkunst in Leipzig.
Ti Gong

The bilingual book “The Record of Suzhou’s Prosperity” recently won China’s 2017 Best Book Design, and it's not hard to see why.

The book features Taohuawu woodcut prints, which originated in Suzhou and display delicate engravings, bright colors and varied themes that express social issues, folk customs and environmental changes in the Wu region.

Published by Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, the book was planned and edited by Suzhou Municipal Center of Public Culture. It was especially issued for the exhibition of the same name held at Suzhou Art Museum last November.

The exhibition, which took three years of preparation, included about 90 Taohuawu woodcut prints. Among them, 13 precious Gusu (the ancient name of Suzhou) engravings were on loan from the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts in Kobe, Japan, the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and China’s Liaoning Provincial Museum. It was the first such exhibition of Gusu engravings in China.

Instead of designing the book in a traditional style to match its subject matter, designers took a more modern approach while also honoring the classic beauty of the works featured.

For example, the hollowed cover of the book is reminiscent of cutting from a woodcut knife, perfectly echoing the technique in Taohuawu woodcut prints. The folding pages inside the book can also be opened to appreciate pictures of the woodcut prints in detail.

“The Record of Suzhou’s Prosperity” will go up against winners from around the globe in a bid to become the world’s best in an annual competition organized by Stiftung Buchkunst in Leipzig, Germany.

Ti Gong

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