Elegant and beautiful book designs win awards

Twenty-five books won the Beauty of Books in China 2017 awards for their relatively plain but stunning designs.

Twenty-five uniquely designed books from 22 publishers nationwide were awarded the Beauty of Books in China 2017 title yesterday.

The winners were selected after three rounds of voting from domestic and foreign judges, Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau said. Two of the winners are from Shanghai.

The 25 winners will attend a world competition — the Best Book Design From All Over The World — to be held in Leipzig, Germany next year.

According to the bureau, the contest’s judging panel received 624 books from 94 publishers across the country, covering various fields including literature, arts, science, education, history, and children.

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“The Record of Suzhou’s Prosperity” is one of two local winners.

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“Meet the Handmade Teapot” is the other local winner.

The Shanghai winners are “The Record of Suzhou’s Prosperity: Collected Works of Suzhou Taohuawu Woodblock New Year Painting Exhibition,” published by Shanghai People’s Fine Arts Publishing House, and “Meet the Handmade Teapot,” from East China Normal University Press.

Judges said the hollowed-out part on the cover of the Suzhou woodblock paintings book resembles a woodcut knife, which corresponds to its woodblock printing content. There is a Chinese and English introduction, and the design enables readers to enjoy the paintings and their meanings at the same time.

For the teapot book, judges were impressed by its cover that uses a special cutting technique to present varying shapes that start with a traditional Chinese teapot and end with a tea leaf.

Each teapot introduced in this book has a picture on the small foldouts within the book.

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"Calendar of Ancient Letters 2018"

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"Ancient Records of Tea"

Some of the award-winning books introduce traditional Chinese cultural elements into their designs. For example, “Calendar of Ancient Letters 2018” is a calendar containing writing papers and envelopes incorporating Chinese paintings and calligraphy.

Another book “Ancient Records of Tea” has a plain but elegant look and uses Chinese xuanzhi — rice paper used for Chinese painting and calligraphy — as the interleaf.

The Beauty of Books in China award was initiated in 2003 by the press and publication bureau.

This year renowned designers Renate Stefan from Germany and Yukimasa Matsuda from Japan joined the judging team, alongside domestic judges.

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