Current Year

The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of the year 2015 (awarded in January 2016)

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.

The five-member jury, chaired for the first time by Gilles Gavillet, appraised all the submissions and selected 18 titles as the Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2015.

The Most Beautiful Swiss Books of 2015 will be on display to the public at the Helmhaus Zurich from 12 to 16 May 2016. The catalogue of this year’s competition will be published at the same time. The winner of the Jan Tschichold Award will be honoured at the vernissage. Further events at the weekend will examine key issues related to the subject of books.

The books will be on show for the first time in Ticino (Villa dei Cedri, Bellinzona), as well as in Basel and Lausanne, in autumn 2016. As in previous years, all the books entered in the competition will be displayed alongside the award-winning titles.

The award-winning publications are also shown abroad each year in exhibitions hosted by various institutions and local organisers. Presentations at venues including Copenhagen, Oslo, Paris (Centre culturel suisse), Venice and Vienna are planned.

Helmhaus Zurich
Vernissage: Thursday 12 May 2016
Exhibition: Thursday 12 to Monday 16 May 2016
Limmatquai 31, 8001 Zurich

Museo Civico Villa dei Cedri, Bellinzona
Vernissage: Saturday 27 August 2016
Exhibition: Sunday 28 August to Sunday 25 September 2016
Piazza San Biagio 9
6500 Bellinzona TI

Kunsthalle Basel
Exhibition: Thursday 6 October to Sunday 16 October 2016
Steinenberg 7, 4051 Basel

Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne ECAL
Vernissage: Wednesday 2 November 2016
Exhibition: Thursday 3 to Friday 25 November 2016
5, avenue du Temple
1020 Renens

Jan-Tschichold Award

Organised by the FOC since 1997, the Jan Tschichold Award recognises outstanding achievements in book design by an individual, group or institution. It is bestowed independently of the competition. This year’s award, which is endowed with CHF 15,000, goes to the designer and typographer Ludovic Balland, who was born in Basel in 1973 and grew up in Geneva. In its commendation, the jury noted that Balland has developed a unique graphic methodology that has found applications in a range of fields, from publishing and typography to academia. By reformulating the credo of the Basel School for the modern day, with a particular emphasis on formal and typographical research, he has successfully combined this heritage with current graphic design practice. In the field of architecture, Balland’s book design conveys a coherent graphic portrait of contemporary Switzerland. His numerous monographs on leading architects (Herzog & de Meuron, Buchner Bründler, Meili, Peter, etc.) and books on specialist subjects (such as ‘Teaching and Research in Architecture’) testify to his obsessive and ambitious approach, which has influenced book design far beyond Switzerland’s borders (see short biography in ‘Downloads’).