Last night we had a chance not only to revisit the winning books of this year's Alcuin Awards in Vancouver
, but to see some of the people responsible for the amazing designs. Then, David Esslemont captivated us with an account of the journey that took him to the place he is now in his life and career in his talk "Making books -- and chili." He started his presentation by noting that "chefs and book designers have something in common: they are obsessed with detail, the quality of the material, production and creativity." In the end, he declared: "If you combine choice ingredients, with a dash of insight and a little hindsight, you can make great books, and even some great chili." In between, his recollections took us through England, Italy, Wales and the United States, on a trip full of adventure, chance encounters, career turning points and food references. The audience was charmed by his tales, his sense of humour, and not the least, of his impersonation of Prince Charles. The Toronto ceremony
is coming on October 7th, when East Coast book lovers will have their opportunity to celebrate the Alcuin Awards winners.
And now, to the last round of winners. (If you missed them, here are Round 1
and Round 2
The first prize in the Limited Edition category, The Waiting Room
by Jonathan Locke Hart is simply a work of art. The designer Susan Colberg amazed the judges with the execution of the craft details, exceptional illustrations and outstanding presentation. The materials used feel luxurious and confer the book the status of a true limited-edition tome. The book is published by the University of Alberta, printed by Sean Caulfield (who also contributed with the illustrations) and Steven Dixon.
by George Elliott Clarke, got the second prize in the Poetry category. The arresting quality of this book is delivered by the use of bright white paper which makes the black ink look even blacker. The full-bleed photos add a creative punch, without dominating the layout. The overall effect is that of a superb frame for the poetic content. Black
is designed by Andrew Steeves, and printed and published by Gaspereau Press, using Garamond Premier Sans and Gill Sans.
Love and the Mess We're In
, by Stephen Marche, is hard to describe. The winner of the first prize in the Prose Fiction category, it is a one-of-a-kind book, in terms of both content and form. As a fiction book, it achieves the rare feat of having a different layout for almost every spread. Andrew Steeves managed not only to embrace the challenge of designing and illustrating (with Jack McMaster) this book, but to create a truly beautiful and unique typographic masterpiece in the process. The book is printed and published by Gaspereau Press, mainly using Huronza typeface.
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