CUP book design made of the write stuff

27 July 2018

New China Eyewitness: Roger Duff, Rewi Alley and the art of museum diplomacy edited by James Beattie and Richard Bullen (Canterbury University Press), designed by Aaron Beehre took home the accolades and the awards for two categories plus the best overall book design at the PANZ Book Design Awards at a ceremony in Auckland last night.

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    Convenor of the judging panel, graphic design lecturer David Coventon says of the winning book New China Eyewitness: “As a complete package, it’s exquisite”.

New China Eyewitness: Roger Duff, Rewi Alley and the art of museum diplomacy edited by James Beattie and Richard Bullen (Canterbury University Press), designed by Aaron Beehre took home the accolades and the awards for two categories plus the best overall book design at the PANZ Book Design Awards at a ceremony in Auckland last night.

New China Eyewitness won the Penguin Random House New Zealand Award for Best Illustrated Book and the HarperCollins Publishers Award for Best Cover, before collecting the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book sponsored by Nielsen Book. 

University of Canterbury Senior Lecturer in Design in the School of Fine Arts, Aaron Beehre has many years of experience in the field of commercial graphic design. He has been a previous award winner and finalist in the book design awards numerous times.

Convenor of the judging panel, graphic design lecturer David Coventon says of the winning book: “As a complete package, it’s exquisite”.

New China Eyewitness is a fine example of respectful and thoughtful production values. The paper stock is beautiful. The finely-tuned, nuanced attention to detail makes for a striking and high-quality end product. It accomplishes a great deal of refinement in the face of a complex and demanding set of design requirements.”

CUP publisher Catherine Montgomery is thrilled that after winning three of the official PANZ awards, including best book, New China Eyewitness also won the people’s choice award.

“We were delighted to see Aaron's talent recognised last night, especially in the company of so many beautiful books by other designers and publishers. Aaron is an exceptionally talented and intelligent designer and Canterbury University Press is lucky to have the opportunity to collaborate with him on our books,” she says. 

“The design of New China Eyewitness was an unusually challenging brief, and while Aaron surpassed himself with its sumptuous concept – and has created a beautiful object – this isn't a case of design overwhelming content. The story doesn't get lost in the design; throughout the project Aaron was always focused on the reader, and on how the design could be employed to increase the pleasure of simply reading the book.”

UC Honorary Doctorate holder (conferred in 2016), award-winning illustrator Gavin Bishop saw his illustrated book Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story win the Scholastic New Zealand Award for Best Children’s Book.

There were 110 entries for this year’s book design awards.

For further information please contact:

Margaret Agnew, Senior External Relations Advisor, University of Canterbury
Phone: +64 3 369 3631 | Mobile: +64 275 030 168margaret.agnew@canterbury.ac.nz
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