Alcuin Society’s 38 best-designed Canadian books of 2017

The Alcuin Society has announced the winners of its 36th annual competition, The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, held Saturday March 17th, 2018. Awards will be presented this fall in both Toronto and Vancouver. The winning books will be entered in the international book design competition in Leipzig, Germany in February 2019. They will be exhibited in Germany at the Frankfurt and Leipzig Book Fairs; in Japan, at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, in conjunction with the Tokyo International Book Fair; and in almost every province of Canada. The venues are listed on the Alcuin web site.

This year’s judges, Sue Colberg, Shelley Gruendler, and Frank Viva, selected 38 winning titles from 235 submissions, from 10 provinces and 107 publishers. This year’s book design winners are:


First prize: REBECCA GREEN & RACHEL COOPER | designers of How to Make Friends With a Ghost, by Rebecca Green (Tundra Books);

Second prize: STUDIO PILOTE & STÉPHANE POIRIER| designers of Les poissons électriques, by Erik Harvey-Girard (Les éditions de la Pastèque);

Third Prize: ISABELLE ARSENAULT & KELLY HILL | designers of Colette’s Lost Pet, by Isabelle Arsenault (Tundra Books).

Honourable Mentions: MICHAEL SOLOMON | designer of Alphabet Thief , by Bill Richardson (Groundwood Books), & TERESA BUBELA & MARK HOFFMANN | designers of You Can Read, by Helaine Becker (Orca Book Publishers).


First prize: JOHANNA MARCADÉ-MOT & IGOR HOFBAUER | designers of Mister Morgen, by Igor Hofbauer (Conundrum Press);

Second prize: JILLIAN TAMAKI | designer of Boundless, by Jillian Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly);

Third prize: MIMI POND | designer of The Customer is Always Wrong, by Mimi Pond (Drawn & Quarterly).

Honourable Mention: RUTH LEE-MUI & JEFF LEMIRE | designers of Roughneck, by Jeff Lemire (Simon and Schuster).


First prize: MICHAEL TOROSIAN | designer of The Ballad of Soames Bantry, by Michael Torosian … [et al.] (Lumiere Press & The Howard Greenberg Gallery);

Second prize: NATALIE OLSEN | designer of The Ghost Box, edited by Patton Oswalt (Hingston & Olsen Publishing);

Third Prize (tie): FRANCES HUNTER | designer of Oscar Cahén, by Roald Nasgaard … [et al.] (Beaverbrook Art Gallery & The Cahén Archives);

Third Prize (tie): PASCALE SÉVIGNY-VALLIÈRES | designer of Une année sans lumière, by Pascale Sévigny-Vallières (Pascale Sévigny-Vallières).


First prize: STEFAN CANUEL | designer of Geoffrey Farmer: a Way Out of the Mirror, by Kitty Scott (National Gallery of Canada & Mousse Publishing);

Second prize: MÉLANIE LAVIOLETTE | designer of Colosses: Mémoires de portiers et récits de bars, by Jean-Sébastien Martel … [et al.] (Sid Lee Collective);

Third prize: PAPRIKA | designers of Art In Canada, by Marc Mayer (National Gallery of Canada).

Honourable Mention: JESSICA SULLIVAN | designer of We’ll All Become Stories, by Rebecca Basciano … [et al.] (Figure 1 Publishing).


First prize: NATALIE OLSEN | designer of Dear Ghost, by Catherine Owen (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers);

Second prize: JENNIFER GRIFFITHS | designer of Admission Requirements, by Phoebe Wang (McClelland & Stewart);

Third prize: MARK BYK | designer of Faunics, by Jack Davis (Pedlar Press).

Honourable Mentions: DAVID GEE & TROY CUNNINGHAM | designers of Quick: Aphorisms, by George Murray (ECW Press), and MATTHEW STEVENS & SHIRLEY CAMIA | designers of Children Shouldn’t Use Knives, and Other Tales, by Shirley Camia (At Bay Press).


First prize (tie): JENNIFER GRIFFITHS | designer of Lost in September, by Kathleen Winter (Knopf Canada);

First prize (tie): JENNIFER GRIFFITHS | designer of The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, by Heather Smith (Penguin Teen Canada);

Second prize: TERRI NIMMO | designer of The Only Café, by Linden MacIntyre (Random House Canada);

Third prize: KELLY HILL | designer of Demi-Gods, by Eliza Robertson (Hamish Hamilton).


First prize: JESSICA SULLIVAN | designer of They Desire a Better Country | Ils désirent une patrie meilleure, by Lawrence Scanlan (Figure 1 Publishing);

Second prize: LARA MINJA | designer of The Language of Family, edited by Michelle van der Merwe (Royal BC Museum);

Third prize: CS RICHARDSON | designer of The Inconvenient Indian (Illustrated edition), by Thomas King (Doubleday Canada).


First prize: CS RICHARDSON & LAUREN PETERS-COLLAER | designers of Birds Art Life, by Kyo Maclear (Doubleday Canada);

Second prize: ALAN BROWNOFF | designer of Remembering Air India, edited by Chandrima Chakraborty … [et al.] (The University of Alberta Press);

Third prize: DUNCAN NOEL CAMPBELL | designer of Memoirs of a Muhindi, by Mansoor Ladha (University of Regina Press).

Honourable Mentions: INGRID PAULSON | designer of History of Science in Society, by Andrew Ede & Lesley B. Cormack (University of Toronto Press), and NAOMI MACDOUGALL | designer of The Orwell Tapes, by Stephen Wadhams (Locarno Press).


First prize: TERRI NIMMO | designer of The Preservatory, by Lee Murphy (Appetite by Random House);

Second prize: JENNIFER GRIFFITHS | designer of The First Mess Cookbook, by Laura Wright (Penguin Canada);

Third prize: JENNIFER GRIFFITHS | designer of The Inviting Life, by Laura Calder (Appetite by Random House).

Honourable Mention: NATALIE OLSEN | designer of The Okanagan Table, by Rod Butters (Figure 1 Publishing).