The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of the year 2009 (awarded in January 2010)
'Bauhaus Streit. 1919–2009. Kontroversen und Kontrahenten'. Photography: Thomas Traum & Carl Burgess, London
'Fahrenheit 451. The Temperature at Which Books Burn'. Photography: Thomas Traum & Carl Burgess, London
© Aude Lehmann / Lex Trüb
'Thomas Galler. Walking through Baghdad with a Buster Keaton Face'. Photography: Thomas Traum & Carl Burgess, London
1. 'Die demokratische Verfassung'
2. 'Erprobt und entwicklungsfähig'. Photography: Thomas Traum & Carl Burgess, London
'Dado. Gebaut und bewohnt von Rudolf Olgiati und Valerio Olgiati'. Photography: Thomas Traum & Carl Burgess, London
'Show Show. San Keller. Manor Kunstpreis Kanton Bern'. Photography: Thomas Traum & Carl Burgess, London
About the awarded year
At the competition 'The Most Beautiful Swiss Books' of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture, the independent jury chose a total of thirty books as the most beautiful Swiss books of 2009. Subsequently, the awarded books were entered in the international competition of the Stiftung Buchkunst in Leipzig, Germany, where they were appraised by an international jury. A total of four Swiss books were ranked among the most beautiful: The gold medal for 'Thomas Galler. Walking through Baghdad with a Buster Keaton Face (edition fink), a silver medal for 'Die Stimme der Natur. 100 Jahre Pro Natura' (Kontrast Verlag), a bronze medal for 'Voids. A Retrospective' (JRP Ringier Kunstverlag) and an honorary appreciation for 'Jules Spinatsch' (KODOJI Press).
411 books were entered into this year's competition 'The most beautiful Swiss books', which the Swiss Federal Office of Culture conducts annually on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Home Affairs. The five-member jury, chaired by graphic designer Cornel Windlin, examined each entry and conferred the title of most beautiful Swiss book of 2009 on a total of thirty books. The Federal Office of Culture thereby recognizes excellence in the field of book design and production, as well drawing attention to remarkable and contemporary books by Swiss designers, printers and publishers.
The jury takes into account each book's overall concept, graphic design and typography, and pays particular attention to innovation and originality. Further criteria include the quality of the printing and the cover, the binding and the materials used.
The most beautiful Swiss books were exhibited at the Museum für Gestaltung Zurich in June 2010, alongside the simultaneous publication of the comprehensive catalogue showcasing the competition. Currently, the awarded books are being presented at the Mudac in Lausanne (November 3, 2010 through February 12, 2011). As in the previous year, all the submitted books entered into the competition will be displayed alongside the award-winning titles.
Every year the jury bestows, independently of the books submitted for the competition, the Jan Tschichold Award in memory of the typographer Jan Tschichold, on whose initiative the Swiss book design competition was conceived in 1944. The Federal Department of Home Affairs entrusted the jury 1997 with the task of annually awarding this honour to an individual, a group or an institution for outstanding book design achievement. The Jan Tschichold Award which is endowed with 15,000 Swiss francs, was awarded this year to the publisher and designer Christoph Keller and his imprint Christoph Keller Editions at JPR Ringier in Zurich. The jury thus commended a bibliophilic book designer who sets new benchmarks, as well as a publisher who, year after year, presents a remarkable range of books.