Urban spaces and a cartoon history of war are topics explored in books designed by RMIT staff, recently shortlisted for the 64th Australian Book Designers Association awards.
The Australian Book Designer Association (ABDA) was established to support Australian book designers and celebrate the most original and beautiful books published in Australian each year.
RMIT Industry Fellow Stuart Geddes and lecturer Jenny Grigg both teach in the Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) and are finalists in this year's awards.
Geddes has been nominated for two book designs in the “The Splitting Image Best Design Fully Illustrated Book over $50” category.
The nominations are for Mongrel Rapture with ARM Architecture and Episodic Urbanism. Both books are published by Uro Publications.
Geddes, who also runs a weekly experimental typography workshop in the Master of Communication Design, said the energetic design in Mongrel Rapture owes much to the work it is in the act of capturing: the diverse, obsessive and involved work of architects Ashton Raggatt McDougall.
“Mongrel Rapture is designed as many kinds of books – hymnal, illuminated manuscript, index, journal, monograph, zine,” he said.
“Its design is also about its own book-ness, the requirements of managing 1616 pages and the design of the production."
Episodic Urbanism is about a 20-year project by one architecture office, transforming the urban spaces of RMIT's main campus, where often things were removed and restored, rather than new things built.
“The book mirrors this restraint materially, structurally and tonally using its own language of paper, grids and typography,” Geddes said.
Grigg, who is currently teaching illustration, image and identity at RMIT, has been nominated in the category “The RMIT Best Designed Scholarly and Reference Book” for Over the Top, published by Scribe Publications.
The book was published to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli, and so required a classic, commercial and robust design.
“The page grid needed to be rigid enough to maintain consistency across the 254 pages and flexible enough to accommodate a large amount of disparately-shaped illustrative matter, as well as house irregular amounts of text,” Grigg said.
“Attention was paid to page proportions, construction of page margins and size of inter-relating text and image areas.
“The over-arching design challenge was to manage even distribution of material and provide clear navigation for the reader.”
Among the judges were RMIT academics, Tracy O’Shaughnessy (Program Manager of the Master of Writing and Publishing), Stephen Banham (lecturer in typography) and alumni Jeremy Wortsman (Bachelor of Design (Communication Design)).
Story: Wendy Little