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Mophead Takes Top Honours at PANZ Book Design Awards 2020


A book described as a “sensation” has been judged the overall winner at the 2020 PANZ Book Design Awards.


Mophead, Selina Tusitala Marsh’s autobiographical tale written for children, but just as beloved by adults, was awarded the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book sponsored by Nielsen Book at a ceremony held in Ponsonby. The award is the ultimate acknowledgement of design and designer and takes into account all aspects of a book’s look and feel. The judges were delighted with Mophead from cover to end-paper, and entranced from the first touch to the last word.


“Mophead scored a near-unachievable 39/40 from the four judges,” said convening judge Anna Brown. “The positivity of the message is celebrated with a visual language packed full of graphic energy. The illustrations are upbeat, popping and dancing with the pace of the text. The typeface interacts seamlessly with the hand-drawn type. The cover is well-considered, and the size is just right.”


Mophead, which was designed by Vida Kelly of Vida and Luke Kelly Design, also won the Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book, one of 11 awards presented at the event, which celebrates the best in New Zealand book design.


The 2020 awards saw the introduction of a new category, the Allen & Unwin Award for Best Commercial Book for Adults, which challenged the judges to define “commercial” and “for adults” from a design perspective. They eventually settled on Garage Project: The Art of Beer by Garage Project, designed by Tim Gibson and Katrina Duncan, a book they say celebrates craft beer with style.


Another hotly contested category was the PANZ Award for Best Typography with the judges praising the winner Crafting Aotearoa edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa Māhina-Tuai and Damian Skinner, designed by Alan Deare, for its brilliant typographic choices and pairings.


“The variety of text and typefaces is complex but handled effortlessly to smoothly navigate the reader through the diverse content,” said Brown.


The HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover gave the judges plenty to talk about with self-published cookbook Pass it On by Shobha Kalyan and Keryn Kalyan, designed by Jessica Read in collaboration with the authors, judged the ultimate winner.


“The choice of clashing colours is brave and the gilded edges finish it perfectly. And all with confidence to not use food to sell a cookbook. Magic,” said the judges.


Continuing the foodie theme, acclaimed local chef Josh Emett’s The recipe, designed by Cameron Gibb, received the 1010 Printing Award for Best Cookbook, with the judges finding its gorgeous, bible-like format perfectly suited the collection of all-time classic recipes, calling it a “cookbook for the ages”.


A highlight of the awards is the Publishers Association of New Zealand People’s Choice Award, which is decided at the ceremony by attendee vote. The assembled crowd was in tune with this year’s judges and Mophead designer Vida Kelly was again called to the stage to collect her third award of the night.


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 2020 PANZ Book Design Awards winners are:

GERARD REID AWARD FOR BEST BOOK SPONSORED BY NIELSEN BOOK

Mophead written and illustrated by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press), Designed by: Vida Kelly, Vida and Luke Kelly Design


PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE NEW ZEALAND AWARD FOR BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK

We Are Here: An atlas of Aotearoa by Chris McDowall and Tim Denee (Massey University Press), Designed by: Tim Denee


UPSTART PRESS AWARD FOR BEST NON-ILLUSTRATED BOOK

Hell Fire Poetry Anthology 2017–18 edited by Andy Coyle (White Wolf Black Rabbit in association with Ilam Press), Designed by: Aaron Beehre


ALLEN & UNWIN AWARD FOR BEST COMMERCIAL BOOK FOR ADULTS

Garage Project: The Art of Beer by Garage Project (Penguin Random House NZ), Designed by: Cover: Tim Gibson. Interior: Tim Gibson and Katrina Duncan


SCHOLASTIC NEW ZEALAND AWARD FOR BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK

Mophead written and illustrated by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press), Designed by: Vida Kelly, Vida and Luke Kelly Design


EDIFY AWARD FOR BEST EDUCATIONAL BOOK OR SERIES – PRIMARY

Toitoi: A Journal for Young Writers and Artists, Issues 16-19 and the Latin America and Southeast Asia Special Issues, with Teacher Support Materials edited by Charlotte Gibbs (Toitoi Media), Designed by: Kelvin Soh and Sam Wieck of DDMMYY with Grace McFarlane and Vicki Birks, Toitoi Media Ltd


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

Exploring Society: Sociology for New Zealand Students, 4th Edition edited by Ruth McManus, Steve Matthewman, Chris Brickell, Gregor McLennan and Paul Spoonley (Auckland University Press), Designed by: Cover: Kalee Jackson. Interior: Katrina Duncan


1010 PRINTING AWARD FOR BEST COOKBOOK

The recipe by Josh Emett (Upstart Press in association with Blackwell & Ruth), Designed by: Cameron Gibb, Blackwell & Ruth


HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS AWARD FOR BEST COVER

Pass It On by Shobha Kalyan and Keryn Kalyan (self-published by Shobha Kalyan and Keryn Kalyan), Designed by: Jessica Read in collaboration with Shobha Kalyan and Keryn Kalyan


PANZ AWARD FOR BEST TYPOGRAPHY

Crafting Aotearoa edited by Karl Chitham, Kolokesa Māhina-Tuai and Damian Skinner (Te Papa Press), Designed by: Alan Deare, Area Design


PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION OF NEW ZEALAND PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

Mophead written and illustrated by Selina Tusitala Marsh (Auckland University Press), Designed by: Vida Kelly, Vida and Luke Kelly Design


2020 HACHETTE NEW ZEALAND EMERGING DESIGNER is Jessica Read


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