The Most Beautiful Books of the Year
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Art books and picture books


Nina Hauki

Avoin kirja - An Open Book

Published by Musta Taide
Printed by Erweko Oy
Bound by Mestarinkirja Esko Salonen, Master Bookbinder
Reproduced by Timo Lagerström
Graphic design Minna Luoma / Candy Graphics, Nina Hauki
Photography Nina Hauki
Paper Galerie Scandia 2000 Smooth Natural 150 & 240 g/m2
Typeface Adobe Garamond Pro, hand lettering

A wistful description of letting go, longing and survival. The serenely told story opens up into a photographic portraiture. The dramaturgy is soft, calm and, despite the small size of the pictures, strong. The intensity is supported by a balanced typography. Fringed interleaves crown it off.

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Virpi Nikkari (ed.) - Veikko Halmetoja - Leena Krohn - Taina Myllyharju

Ari Pelkonen - Vuoden nuori taiteilija 2012: Two Stories

Published by Tampere Art Museum
Printed and 1st edition bound by Vammalan Kirjapaino Oy
2nd edition bound by Finnreklama Oy
Graphic design Liisa Seppo, Ari Pelkonen
Photography Jari Kuusenaho
Paper Munken Lynx 150 g/m2
Typeface Myriad Pro

You almost don´t feel like opening this solidly squared book because just touching and looking at the cover is such a pleasurable experience. The front and back covers are coarse white, the spine is smooth, and a pattern referring to the artist´s laborious drawing technique is inlaid in the front cover. A stunning dramaturgical gesture is the pitch-black curtain on the first three endpages. The rightful stars inside the book are the photos of the artist´s works, beautifully reoccurring on matte paper.

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EMMA Work Group - Jaume Plensa

Jaume Plensa - In the Midst of Dreams

Published by EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art
Printed by Lönnberg Painot Oy
Bound by Finnreklama Oy
Reproduced by Asko Rokala / BEE2
Graphic design Dog Design
Photography Ari Karttunen
Paper Arctic Volume 150 g/m2
Typeface Plantin Std, Truth FB

The design of a book has succeeded when the works it features and the visualization of the book itself meet in harmony. Plensa´s works, conceptual and at the same time esthetic, settle themselves in a peaceful continuum. Framed with generous white borders, the pictures alternate with the artist´s poems. The typography thrives without drawing too much attention to itself. The photograph inlaid in the black cloth on the spine and the foil-printed text add the finishing touches to the book.

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Nina Roos

Published by Parvs Publishing

Printed and bound by Kariston Kirjapaino Oy
Reproduced by Jussi Tiainen
Graphic design Anders Ljungman
Paper Arctic Matt 100 g/m2
Typeface Berthold Akzidenz-Grotesk

The materials and colors of the book are in tune with the artist´s color schemes. The fearless typography of the cover title bows to no one. The layout is almost architectural in its descriptiveness and white space is used in a balanced way. The print quality is exquisite. The binding of the cover is out of the ordinary: the cover is partly "cut clean" and brown carton has been chosen as the material of the jacket, with a four-color cover picture printed on it. The technical realization of the cover refers poignantly to the multi-layered nature of Roos´s works.

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Pirkko Tuukkanen (ed.)

Elina Merenmies - Salaista iloa - Hemlig glädje - Secret Joy

Published by Finnish Art Society
Printed by Finepress Oy
Bound by Finnreklama Oy
Reproduced by Jussi Tiainen
Graphic design Patrik Söderlund
Photography Jussi Tiainen, Jussi Koivunen / Sara Hildén Art Museum
Paper Galerie Art Matt 170 g/m2, Edixion Offset 170 g/m2
Typeface Athelas

Merenmies´s powerful line drawing, turned into foil on the cover, emerges with a mysterious glimmer from the dark bluish gray cloth. The colorscape of the cover is boldly kept dark; the illustration, typography and cloth material all blend beautifully. The darkness continues in the printed endpages, from where a thick set of branches opens out in tones of brown and black. Inside the book the darkness is contrasted with pure white. With the large page size, the layout breathes and the calm typography lets the pictures speak.

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