Best Book Design

Best Book Design from all over the World 2024 – winners released


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In 2024 the jury awards the publication “Walking as Research Practice” with the GOLDENE LETTER (golden type), the highest mention.

It was previously honoured in both the Dutch and Swiss book design competition. The title was published by Soapbox and was designed by Jana Sofie Liebe.


“A small but significant work; a uniquely bound, hand-held opus in which tactile paper, a rough hence vibrant edge and a perfectly imperfect form add up to a whole that evokes emotion and inspiration: Walking as Research Practice demonstrates in an unobtrusive way what design is all about. Designer Jana Sofie Liebe and managing editor Lynn Gommes have created a book about walking that’s ideal for reading while walking, waiting or standing”, says the jury.


In addition to the highest award, the Goldene Letter, another 13 books from China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland were awarded.


Five jurors from five different countries – Jianping He, Päivi Helander, Isidora Nikolić, Alexandra Stender and Scott Vander Zee – came together in the German National Library in Leipzig from February 8th until 10th 2024 to examine and evaluate books from 34 different countries.


“For me, it was very exciting to see for the first time how the jury dealt with these many books, how they debated, exchanged ideas, and made decisions. In advance I was wondering how much the books from the different countries would differ from each other. And what similarities will there be in the books’ materials, formats, typesetting and printing? I was sure that there would be more similarities than differences. Because although this is a competition, the strength of ›Best Book Design from all over the World‹ lies, to my mind, in how it brings people, cultures and design approaches together – and makes the connections between them visible”, says the new managing director of Stiftung Buchkunst, Birte Kreft, about the jury’s work.


Goldene Letter

Walking as Research Practice

  • Lynn Gommes et al.
  • publisher: Soapbox
  • The Netherlands/Switzerland


A small but significant work; a uniquely bound, hand-held opus in which tactile paper, a rough hence vibrant edge and a perfectly imperfect form add up to a whole that evokes emotion and inspiration: Walking as Research Practice demonstrates in an unobtrusive way what design is all about.


Gold Medal

Critical Coast

  • Jeppe Sengupta Carstensen, Anna Aslaug Lund
  • publisher: Danish Architectural Press, Copenhagen
  • Denmark


Critical Coast is a book that catches the eye at first glance. It is an interdisciplinary reader that explores the ecology and spaces of
coastal landscapes, the urgent situation of contemporary coastlands and diachronic ideas about the future of coasts.


Silver Medal

A Brief Moment ( ) A Long Tradition

  • Anniina Koivu, Teruhiro Yanagihara
  • editor: 1616 / arita japan, Teruhiro Yanagihara, Polar Inc. and All the Way to Paris
  • publisher: self-published by 1616 / arita japan
  • Denmark


This book reflects 1616 / arita japan’s rich, 400-year history of craftsmanship and tells the firm’s story in a wonderfully calm and
relaxed way.

Silver Medal

Press Paintings

  • Sebastian Riemer
  • publisher: Spector Books, Leipzig
  • Switzerland


Sebastian Riemer’s Press Paintings series looks at retouched press photographs from the last century. He examines numerous images, analysing the manual work that went into such retouching, a primitive process from today’s perspective. This throws up questions about the material nature of the decades-old images and the physicality of the people depicted.


Bronze Medal

À Arles / Tout le monde peut être féministe

  • Collectif Othon / Bell Hooks
  • publisher: Éditions divergences, Paris
  • France


This series of books from the French publishing house “éditions divergences” has a clear visual identity, featuring a minimalist graphic structure and a recognizable colour scheme.


Bronze Medal

Die Entstehung des heutigen Menschen

  • Sigfried Giedion
  • editor: Sokratis Georgiadis, Almut Grunewald
  • publisher: gta Verlag, Zurich
  • Switzerland


An unfinished book project by Swiss art historian Sigfried Giedion (1888–1968) has been turned into a substantial though lightweight volume that seems to contain three books. This is because the material chosen for the outer cover is also used for internal dividers, resulting in what you might call inner covers.


Bronze Medal

Die Rationalität des Baumeisterlichen

  • Thomas K. Keller
  • publisher: Park Books, Zurich
  • Switzerland


This large-format architectural volume reveals itself to be a silent manifesto. The tall, slender book block, encased in flexible cover boards, does not feel clumsy or heavy at all.


Bronze Medal

Ingen har sett det du ser

  • Lene Ask
  • editor: Heidi Bale Amundsen
  • publisher: MUNCH Museet, Oslo
  • Norway


The cover of this large, spiral-bound book doesn’t tell you at first glance what it’s about. But after the first few pages, the viewer is sure to be moved – here, the famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munch is approached from the perspective of a child and with an understanding, empathetic gaze.


Bronze Medal


  • Annette Spiro, Elizaveta Radi, Florian Schrott
  • publisher: Park Books, Zurich
  • Germany


This application-oriented handbook shows the surprising potential of interior plaster as a material and takes a critical look at contemporary
building conventions.


Honorary Appreciation

Čhávata z manéže

  • Gary G. Steele
  • S romským rodinným cirkusem Amerikou třicátých let
  • publisher: KHER, Prague
  • Czech Republic


Bearing a candyfloss-coloured cover, this small but thick book is great fun. It takes us on a journey to 1930s America. Despite the bygone era around which the circus story revolves, it has a very fresh feel. We get to know circus staff and performers – people who don’t enjoy particularly high social status and who have had to eke out a living in deprived areas of the US.


Honorary Appreciation

Kniha vnímání

  • Lucie Lučanská
  • editor: Michal Štěpánek
  • publisher: Lux, Strakonice
  • Czech Republic


This book takes us on a sensory journey of discovery. A separate chapter is dedicated to each of our five senses and, although each differs from the others in its artistic and printing techniques, the overall result retains consistency and balance. A less mainstream, more alternative illustration style creates a melancholic and subtle feel throughout.


Honorary Appreciation

Glory Through the Ages: the Culture of Hanfu

  • Hanfu Beijing
  • publisher: Chemical Industry Press, Beijing
  • France


Glory Through the Ages: the Culture of Hanfu offers almost everything you might expect from Chinese book design: the warm, rich colours; the fabric paper that echoes the featured garments; the contemporary interpretation of traditional Chinese clothing; the typical vertical arrangement; the folding of the paper; the wire bookbinding technique; the vivid contrast between gold foil stamping and rough corrugated paper.


Honorary Appreciation


  • Elina Brotherus
  • publisher: self-published
  • Finland


Before her first visit to Corsica, Finnish artist Elina Brotherus read W.G. Sebald’s posthumous fragmentary texts about the island, and the author subsequently became her travel guide. She visited the places he wrote about: the forest of Aitone, the Bavella massif, a hotel on the red cliffs above Piana, and the village’s cemetery.


Honorary Appreciation

UPO 4: Reading the Sky

  • Aino-Maija Metsola, Daniel de Roulet
  • editor: Allan Crouvizier, Jörg Heidermann, Elodie Boyer
  • publisher: Editions Non Standard, Le Havre
  • France


The very name of the small but excellent French publishing house “Éditions Non Standard” expresses its guiding principle: non-standard. The same could be said for its “UPO” series, the acronym standing for “Unidentified Paper Object”.


Unique of its kind the competition Best Book Design from all over the World / Schönste Bücher aus aller Welt has been held annually in Leipzig since 1963. Since 1991 Stiftung Buchkunst (German Foundation for Book Design) has been responsible for overseeing it.


Within this competition, the technical and aesthetic level as well as the appropriate and artistic design of the books are compared beyond national borders. These days publications from more than 30 countries take part in the competition of the book design network. The focus is on international exchange and mutual inspiration.

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