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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