2009 Archive Shortlist Best Illustrated Book

Random House New Zealand Award for
Best Illustrated Book

Shortlist 2009

Ladies, A Plate

Designer Alan Deare, Inhouse Design
Title Ladies, A Plate by Alexa Johnston
Publisher Penguin Group (NZ)
Format 230mm x 230mm, 176pp, paperback
Judges’ comments Ladies, A Plate belongs as much in the kitchen as the living room. No aesthetic decisions are made that compromise its functionality (as occurred in several other designer cookbooks) yet it is meticulously designed, with text and photography beautifully balanced to project the warmth and common sense of the text.

Mates and Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand

Designer Katy Yiakmis
Title Mates and Lovers: A History of Gay New Zealand by Chris Brickell
Publisher Random House New Zealand
Format 250mm x 190mm, 432pp, paperback
Judges’ comments Mates and Lovers, by contrast, is a rollicking celebration of the history of gay New Zealand, in which Katy Yiakmis manages to be typographically flamboyant without being tacky. It would, without question, win the prize if there were a category for the spine with most impact. The ‘album’ sections provide a visual anchor around which many different types of image can be introduced. A strong grid, with an unusual approach to captioning, helps retain overall coherence.

White Silence: Grahame Sydney’s Antarctica

Designer Alan Deare, Inhouse Design
Title White Silence: Grahame Sydney’s Antarctica by Grahame Sydney
Publisher Penguin Group (NZ)
Format 250mm x 305mm, 176pp, casebound with dustjacket
Judges’ comments White Silence is an object lesson in quiet restraint. The design has to leave the space for Grahame Sydney’s sublime photographs, and Deare’s generous but perfectly balanced use of white space and pared-back typography allows them to tell their story. The three black sections, used when the photographer ventures inside, are a particularly clever device that refreshes the visual narrative.

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