The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of the year 2012 (awarded in January 2013)
Barents Lessons. Teaching and Research in Architecture 2012. Photography: Scheltens & Abbenes, Amsterdam
Elefanten, schaukelnde Götter und Tänzer in Trance. Bronzekunst aus dem heutigen Indien. Photography: Scheltens & Abbenes, Amsterdam
Jules Beck. Der erste Schweizer Hochgebirgsfotograf. Photography: Scheltens & Abbenes, Amsterdam
Pocket Companion to Books from the Simpsons in Alphabetical Order. Photography: Scheltens & Abbenes, Amsterdam
Sounds Like Silence. John Cage – 4'33" – Silence Today. Photography: Scheltens & Abbenes, Amsterdam
About the awarded year
The Swiss Federal Office of Culture organizes the competition ‘The Most Beautiful Swiss Books' on an annual basis. It 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. For the first time in the history of this competition, over 450 books were submitted to the competition. While the number of submitted books was relatively stable at around 400 books per year, this year's numbers are witness to the fact that designers, printers and publishers are keen to submit their work to an expert jury. The independent, five-member jury presided by Manuel Krebs, considered all entries and selected 19 books as the most beautiful Swiss books of 2012. The Jan Tschichold Award 2013, which honours excellence in the field of book design, goes to the typographer and graphic designer François Rappo from Lausanne.
From June 27 to 30th 2013, ‘The Most Beautiful Swiss Books‘ will be exhibited at the Helmhaus Zürich, alongside the simultaneous publication of the catalogue showcasing the competition (design: Aude Lehmann). On the occasion of the exhibition opening, the Jan Tschichold Award winner will be presented his award. In the context of the exhibition, a book fair, ʻPublishers‘ Tablesʻ, presenting recent publications from small Swiss and European presses, will be held on Saturday, June 29th, 2013.
In the autumn of 2013, the books will be shown at the School of Design in St. Gall, on the occasion of the type design conference Typo St. Gallen. The exhibition will also travel to CIRCUIT Espace d'art contemporain in Lausanne, and for the fifth time in as many years, the books will be exhibited in Lavin/Engadin. As in the previous year, all the submitted books entered into the competition will be displayed alongside the award-winning titles.
Hosted by a variety of institutions and local actors, the books will also travel to other cities abroad, such as London (Helvetic Centre), Oslo (Grafill), Paris (Centre culturel suisse), Vienna (Typographische Gesellschaft Austria) and others.
Exhibition dates 2013
The Most Beautiful Swiss Books at Helmhaus Zürich
Opening : Thursday, 27. June 2013, from 6 pm
Exhibition: Friday, 28. through Sunday 30. June 2013, 10 am–6 pm
Helmhaus Zürich, Limmatquai 31 – 8001 Zürich
staziun Lavin, 9. through 11. August 2013
Centre culturel suisse Paris
Opening : Friday, 13. September 2013, 6 pm
Exhibition: Saturday, 14. September through Sunday, 1. December 2013
Centre culturel suisse, Librairie, 32 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, F – 75003 Paris
Schule für Gestaltung St. Gallen, in conjunction with Typo St. Gallen typography symposium
Opening: Monday, 16. September 2013, 7 pm
Exhibition: Monday, 16. through Saturday, 28. September 2013
Opening hours: Monday through Friday from 8 am to 9 pm,
Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm, Sundays closed
Demutstrasse 115, 9012 St. Gallen
CIRCUIT Centre d’art contemporain
Opening: Wednesday, 30. October 2013, 6 pm
Exhibition: Thursday, 31. October through Sunday, 3. November 2013
9, avenue de Montchoisi, 1001 Lausanne
Jan Tschichold Award
Each 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. This year, the Jan Tschichold Award, which is endowed with 15,000 Swiss francs, is awarded to the typographer and graphic designer François Rappo from Lausanne. He has taught typography and graphic design at ECAL Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne since 1994 and significantly shaped the school's reputation in these fields. François Rappo combines a number of capabilities and fields relevant to the book. As a practitioner, in his role as typographer and type designer. As a theoretician, through his wide-ranging knowledge of book art and the history of typopgraphy and type design. As an educator, in his long-standing role as professor at ECAL. Rappos merits in these fields are remarkable and his profound knowledge of typography and its history is coupled with a lively interest and openness for technological innovation. Rappo's characteristic fonts such as Theinhardt Grotesk, Didot Elder, New Fournier BP, Genath and others do not simply represent important contributions to contemporary type design but also contribute to the history of typography, as many of his fonts are based on the revision of rare or forgotten type styles. Many of his fonts can be found in the winning titles of The Most Beautiful Swiss Books competition of recent years.