The Most Beautiful Books of the Year
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Rainer Knapas

Kunskapens rike. Helsingfors universitetsbibliotek - Nationalbiblioteket 1640-2010
Tiedon valtakunnassa. Helsingin yliopiston kirjasto - Kansalliskirjasto 1640-2010

Published by Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland / The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland
Printed and bound by Kariston Kirjapaino Oy
Reproduced by Kari Lahtinen
Graphic design Markus Itkonen
Paper Arctic Matt 130 g/m2, Geltex
Typeface Freya, Fjodor

This book, published in both Finnish and Swedish, is an impressive overview of the history of the National Library of Finland, extending over several centuries. The huge and rich set of information in the book includes photographs, reproductions of books, ex libris bookplates and newspapers, and architectural drawings. These are harmoniously arranged and paced on the approximately 450 pages of the book. The book´s red cloth covers and black endpages make up a dignified whole.

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Made in Helsinki

Published by Helsinki City Museum
Printed by Aldus Oy
Bound by Finnreklama Oy
Reproduced by BEE2 Oy
Graphic design Dog Design
Photography István Bolgár, Juho Nurmi
Paper Galerie Volume 1.1 135 g/m2
Typeface Utopia Std

Harbinger staff, heteka bed, whistle braid, women´s graduation cap and Iisibiisi overalls are among the pearls of Helsinki crafts. Made in Helsinki is a confidently built package - richly illustrated, clearly outlined, carefully laid out, printed and bound. It offers new information on Helsinki´s history of design in an easy to understand form.

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Valdemar Melanko


Published by The Finnish Literature Society
Printed by Kariston Kirjapaino Oy
Graphic design Timo Numminen
Paper MultiDesign Ivory 130 g/m2
Typeface Scala, Futura

The black, pocket-sized notebook with rounded corners shows a peephole into a windy landscape where gentlemen meet in a somewhat blurred image. The visual techniques in the book skillfully create an impression of documentary film and the sometimes even harsh esthetics of newspapers and official reports. The mostly black and white typography is elegantly spiked with clever use of red, which subtly reflects the private nature of the letters.

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Harri Pälviranta

Toden tuntua galleriassa

Published by Aalto ARTS Books / Musta Taide
Printed by Otavan Kirjapaino Oy
Graphic design Jyri Konttinen
Photography Harri Pälviranta
Paper Galerie Art Matt 150 g/m2, Cyclus Offset 115 g/m2
Typeface Vendetta, Caslon Fina Stencil, Nimbus Sans

In this book that deals with violence the visual style supporting the theme - the illustrations themselves, the strong red color and the fragmented typography - is finely balanced with the classically refined layout of the text. Enough space has been left white, like in the gallery of its context. The materials are pleasant. The exhibition panoramas, extending to four pages, the coloring of the page edges and the bullet holes on the cover render a fine appearance first rate.

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Jyrki Vainonen


Published by Atena Kustannus Oy
Printed and bound by Bookwell Oy
Graphic design Elina Warsta / Solmu
Illustration Elina Warsta
Paper Edixion 100 g/m2
Typeface Filosofia

Written with heart and soul, a warm and endearing little book about birds and bird boxes. The round hole in the cover looks as if it was made for a coal tit to fly through. The bird eggs on the front endpages have hatched when we reach the end. The book´s cloth spine and gray cardboard cover reflect the spirit of the book nicely.

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Toivo Viljamaa (transl.)

Territorium Wirmoënse. Gregorius Halleniuksen Mynämäen kihlakunnan kuvaus

Published by Maahenki Oy
Printed by Kariston Kirjapaino Oy
Graphic design Patrik Söderlund
Photography Heli Konttinen, Pekka Heikkilä
Paper Munken Pure 150 g/m2
Typeface Adobe Garamond Pro

The elegant cover with its graphic reminisces of drizzle painting and folder label tempt the reader to take this book in hand. The gentle paper material, the scarce but warm color scale, the stylish, old-fashioned, Antiqua-based typography and careful layout lead the reader into a historical journey to Mynämäki. The beautiful reproduced illustrations offer delightful glimpses in between the text mass. The old maps and also typographically exquisite documents are simply fascinating.

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