The book as object and edification

By Greg Britton, Editorial Director

Filling the publishing airwaves these days is talk of the revolution in e-books. Kindle versus iPad, ePub versus PDF, DRM versus OA, enhancements versus apps. Not all physical books have shuffled off this mortal coil, however. Not by a long shot. Yet as books migrate from the corporal to the virtual, it is worth pausing to recognize the sheer beauty of the printed book. Books as objects can be remarkable—the selection of a typeface, the relationship between ink and whitespace on a page, the elegant jacket and binding cloth. This art has always been part of how books communicate their message.

Evidence came this week in the form of design awards from the Association of American University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. This prestigious annual show highlights the best designs found in scholarly books and journals published by the AAUP’s 130 member presses. Of the 50 books and 30 jackets honored, Hopkins was awarded five prizes.

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In the Trade Typographic category, recognizing design excellence in books for general readers, the AAUP selected Saving Sea Turtles: Extraordinary Stories from the Battle against Extinctionby James R. Spotila. Its design was created by Amy Ruth Buchanan with production coordination by Carol Eckhart.

The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles, by Bo Beolens, Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson, won in the Reference competition. Hopkins art director Martha Sewall designed the cover with production coordination by Robert Schreur.

Jane Wilson McWilliams’s Annapolis, City on the Severn: A History was selected in the category of Scholarly Illustrated books. Rich Hendel designed this book, and its production was coordinated by Robert Schreur.

Kimberly Glyder’s designs for both the Field Guide to the Street Trees of New York City, by Leslie Day, and Outdoor Sculpture in Baltimore: A Historical Guide to Public Art in the Monumental City, by Cindy Kelly, were also recognized in the Reference competition. Robert Schreur performed both books’ production coordination.

At the PROSE Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., last week, three other Hopkins books took honors given by the Professional and Scholarly Division of the Association of American Publishers. Although not exclusively for book design, the PROSE Awards annually recognize the very best in professional and scholarly publishing by bringing attention to distinguished books, journals, and electronic content in over 40 categories.

In the field of literature, both John Irwin’s Hart Crane’s Poetry: “Appollinaire lived in Paris, I lived in Cleveland, Ohio” and Virginia Cox’s The Prodigious Muse: Women’s Writing in Counter-Reformation Italy were recognized for their excellence.  In the category of popular science, Bats of the United States and Canada,by Michael J. Harvey, J. Scott Altenbach, and Troy L. Best, swooped away with an honorable mention.

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Filed under Awards, Behind the Scenes, Book Design, Publishing News

2 responses to “The book as object and edification

  1. jveazue

    Reblogged this on JANINEVEAZUE.

  2. Pingback: Best of 2012 in the world of university press publishing | JHU Press Blog