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Jane Ussher’s Nature – Stilled judged NZ’s best designed book in the 2021 PANZ Book Design Awards



Covid 19 restrictions disrupted this year’s PANZ Book Design Awards, but the nation’s most beautiful books were still celebrated, albeit via a virtual ceremony.

Publishers, authors, editors and, most importantly, designers, gathered together online yesterday evening to laud this year’s crop of standout titles.

The big winner on the night was Nature – Stilled by Jane Ussher (Te Papa Press) which features stunning photographs of remarkable natural history specimens from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

The book, designed by Arch MacDonnell, Alistair McCready, Dean Foster and Jane MacDonnell of Auckland’s Inhouse Design, won the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book sponsored by Neilson Book as well as taking out the Penguin Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book.

“If method acting involves a sincere performance through in-depth and lived research that identifies emotionally with the given subject, this is method designing. Stunning,” said convening judge Simon Waterfield.

The judges found Jane Ussher’s careful yet expressive photography has been treated with immaculate production and sensitivity. They also praised the book’s subtle and defining features, including a bespoke typeface designed specifically for the book.

On the subject of font, the PANZ Award for Best Typography went to Billy Apple®: Life/Work by Christina Barton (Auckland University Press) designed by Arch MacDonnell and Alexandra Turner, also of Inhouse Design.

“This is an ode to Futura (Apple’s signature typeface) and Untitled Sans, with complex hierarchies and levels of information,” said the judges.

It was a big night for industry newcomer Turner, who also received the Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand Emerging Designer Award. The judges believe Turner has a bright future with her selection of work demonstrating inventive and sensitive use of typography and materials in a variety of formats and scales, with evidence of creative and constructive studio collaboration, and assertive project direction.

Another hotly contested category is always the 1010 Printing Award for Best Cookbook. Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine by Monique Fiso (Penguin Random House New Zealand), designed by Cat Taylor and Rachel Clark, stood out from a strong field with the judges calling it a “beautifully produced and important book for Aotearoa”.

Now in its second year the Allen & Unwin Award for Best Commercial Book for Adults went to Wild Kinship: Conversations with Conscious Entrepreneurs by Monique Hemmingson (Beatnik Publishing), designed by Sally Greer. The book has environmental sustainability at its core and the judges appreciated the use of FSC paper, vegetable inks and carbon credits.

A highlight of the awards is always the Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand People’s Choice Award, which is decided during the ceremony by attendee vote taken via an online poll. This year, in a surprise twist, two books shared the prize with Billy Apple®: Life/Work (Auckland University Press) and Karl Maughan (Auckland University Press) both receiving an equal vote.

The PANZ Book Design Awards were established by the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) to promote excellence in, and provide recognition for, the best book design in New Zealand. The 2021 PANZ Book Design Awards winners are:


GERARD REID AWARD FOR BEST BOOK SPONSORED BY NEILSON BOOK

Nature – Stilled by Jane Ussher (Te Papa Press) Designed by Arch MacDonnell, Alistair McCready, Dean Foster and Jane MacDonnell, Inhouse Design.

1010 PRINTING AWARD FOR BEST COOKBOOK

Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine by Monique Fiso (Penguin Random House New Zealand) Designed by Cat Taylor and Rachel Clark

ALLEN & UNWIN AWARD FOR BEST COMMERCIAL BOOK FOR ADULTS

Wild Kinship: Conversations with Conscious Entrepreneurs by Monique Hemmingson (Beatnik Publishing) Designed by Sally Greer

HACHETTE AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND EMERGING DESIGNER AWARD

Alexandra Turner


EDIFY AWARD FOR BEST EDUCATION BOOK OR SERIES – PRIMARY

Kuwi & Friends Māori Picture Dictionary (He Papakupu Whakaahua) by Kat Quin and translator whakamāori Pānia Papa (Illustrated Publishing) Designed by Kat Quin and Chelsea McKirdy


EDIFY AWARD FOR BEST EDUCATION BOOK OR SERIES – SECONDARY/TERTIARY

Māori Made Fun by Scotty and Stacey Morrison (Penguin Random House New Zealand) Designed by Dylan Matthews and Katrina Duncan with illustrations by Alice Duncan-Gardiner


UPSTART PRESS AWARD FOR BEST NON-ILLUSTRATED BOOK

Towards Compostela: Walking the Camino de Santiago by Catharina van Bohemen (The Cuba Press) Designed by Sarah Bolland, The Cuba Press

PANZ AWARD FOR BEST TYPOGRAPHY

Billy Apple®: Life/Work by Christina Barton (Auckland University Press) Designed by Arch MacDonnell and Alexandra Turner, Inhouse Design

SCHOLASTIC NEW ZEALAND AWARD FOR BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK

I Am the Universe by Vasanti Unka (Penguin Random House New Zealand) Designed by Vasanti Unka

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE NEW ZEALAND AWARD FOR BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK

Nature – Stilled by Jane Ussher (Te Papa Press) Designed by Arch MacDonnell, Alistair McCready, Dean Foster and Jane MacDonnell, Inhouse Design

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS AWARD FOR BEST COVER

Agency of Hope: The Story of the Auckland City Mission 1920–2020 by Peter Lineham (Massey University Press) Cover designed by Tim Denee

BOOKSELLERS AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Billy Apple®: Life/Work Designers by Christina Barton (Auckland University Press) Designed by Arch MacDonnell and Alexandra Turner, Inhouse Design

Karl Maughan edited by Hannah Valentine and Gabriella Stead (Auckland University Press) Designed by Hannah Valentine and Gabriella Stead, Gow Langsford Gallery