British Book Design & Production Awards – Winners Announced!
By Brodie Mckenzie, Grace Briggs-Jones, Clara Garnier-Barsanti and Anna-Maria Poku
Calling all typesetters, book cover fanatics and general lovers of design – the winners of the British Book Design & Production Awards (BBDPA) have been announced!
For those of you who may not know what typesetting is, it is the way a piece of text is composed using individual types, such as symbols, letters and glyphs. It also relates to fonts, font sizes and line spacing. All these come together to create the text you see on the page of a book, making sure each word is legible and easy to differentiate from one another and ensuring readers can easily follow along from line to line. Typesetting is something taken into consideration when looking overall at how a book has been produced.
The British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) proudly announced the winners of their prestigious award at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London on Wednesday 18 January. One hundred and one books made it onto the 2022 shortlist across a whopping seventeen categories, including Best British Book and Book of the Year – and what gorgeous books they were. These awards are unique in that they have a different theme each year, this one being no exception. The theme for 2022 was “Unique, United,” which was well-met by both the diversity of entries and the judging panel, who each brought a wealth of unique experiences to the table.
Hosting the event was Sam McAlister from BBC Newsnight, who happens to be a recent author herself with her debut Scoops, published by Simon and Schuster in July. Despite there only being seventeen winners out of the one hundred and one entries, nobody left empty-handed. Each guest was given a gorgeous Book of the Night, designed by EN-TE and printed by Halstan, with Diamond Print Services, showcasing all of the shortlisted entries. Speaking about the event, BPIF’s CEO Charles Jarrold said, “The UK book production market continues to go from strength to strength, and that’s reflected in the amazingly strong entries to this year’s BBDPAs. It’s always brilliant to be able to celebrate the best in Book Production on a special evening with so many stunningly produced books. Well done to all who made it onto shortlists in a competitive field, and of course the winners on the night – it’s the sector’s mix of design creativity married to production brilliance that makes the UK sector so vibrant.”
The British Book Design & Production Awards have long been a way for outstanding contributions to the designing and production of books to be recognised. This is a value fully reflected in the wide range of categories, including ones like Best Jacket and Cover Design, which focus on visual impact and creativity, Best Student Book for students on design-based courses, and even one for the Best British Book meant to “exemplify the highest standards of book design, production and printing.” Winning 2022’s Best British Book is Kingsbury Press’s Where Excellence is Elevated: 50 Hudson Yards. Best Jacket and Cover Design was awarded to Empress Litho’s Out of the Frying Pan into the Fireglo, with Christopher Potter from the University of the West of England taking home the trophy for his creative book Battle of the Green in the ever-popular Best Student category. The Self-Publishing Award was given to Love brings love; printed by the AZ Factory (a luxury clothing brand), the book was named after the tribute organised for their late founder Alber Elbaz, which reunited forty-four of the most well-known fashion brands (such as Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Versace). That reunion was a long dream of his, and the cover filled with “love brings love” written in different languages is the perfect illustration of what fashion, books and arts can do when they unite.
Whilst celebrating authors and publishing houses often goes hand in hand with book awards, it is always important to remember to award those who put the time and effort into creating beautiful cover art and gorgeously printed books. The BPIF definitely set themselves a challenge with the number of entrants this year, but it also goes to show that there have been so many beautifully created books produced in 2022. The winners were deserving of their awards, and those who were nominated should be proud to be recognised for their outstanding work. The next time you go into a bookshop to buy a book, just take a minute to admire the hard work and creativity that goes into producing the finished book in your hand, especially those in hardback and those with slip cases. Every individual who helps bring a book from manuscript to finished masterpiece should be recognised, and the BPIF has definitely done that with their British Book Design & Production Awards 2022.