Thursday, September 3, 2009
Designed by typographer, designer and friend Catherine Griffith, tonight my book A Short History of Photography, published in New Zealand by Random House as a co-publication with British publisher Dewi Lewis, won the 2009 Publishers Association of New Zealand Award for best cover design.
The judges had this to say about Catherine's design.
"The default cover seemed to be one with a strong image and some neutral, but embossed type. We were not looking for this type of cover, but rather ones that grabbed us through the intelligent application of design. Catherine Griffith's cover for A Short History of Photography is the perfect example of this, and was actually the clearest winner in any category. It is visually striking and conceptually brilliant. Having "a history of photography" without a photograph on the cover is itself breaking every unwritten rule - and yet it was necessary. Harvey Benge's photos are a collection of pieces that pay homage to the greats of photography. As such, no one image could encapsulate the book. Instead, the cover acts as the index so that, whilst browsing the images, one turns back to the list of names on the cover for clues as to who is being referenced. It is a novel concept - but one that came out of a clear and logical analysis of the problem posed by a unique book. Griffiths even manages her own take on the concept with some typographic homages of her own.... A Short History of Photography elicits a broad smile when you realise what is going on."
It was a pleasure to work with Catherine on this project and accept the award on her behalf. As I type Catherine is in Paris enjoying the last days of summer.
Posted by Harvey's Blog at 9:57 PM