Design Awards

Bookplate Design Award 2016

Exhibition opening and announcement of prizes

In 2016, the New Australian Bookplate Society is celebrating its tenth anniversary, and one of the ways we are marking this milestone is through the Bookplate Design Award 2016.


Finalists in the Bookplate Design Award 2016 will be exhibited in the Research Library, Art Gallery of New South Wales, from Wednesday 26 October to Friday 16 December 2016. Over 140 designs have been received from 100 applicants; they have been executed in a wide range of techniqes including digital illustration, linocut, typography, etching, monotype, drawing, watercolour and mixed media.

The Exhibition Opening will take place on the evening of Wednesday 26 October, when the winners of the following prizes will be announced. The judges are Akky van Ogtrop, President of the Print Council of Australia, and Dr Mark Ferson, President of the New Australian Bookplate Society.


Bookplate Design Award Prizes

The Geoffrey C Ingleton Prize for Best Bookplate (non-Digital design) ($500)
The Corrigan Prize for Best Bookplate (Digital design) ($500)
The President’s Prize for Best Original Linocut Bookplate ($500)
Two runners up prizes in each of the above categories ($100 each)

The Society is grateful to the sponsors of the prizes: Patrick Corrigan AM, Nicholas Ingleton, Paul Feain of Sydney Rare Book Auctions, Dr Mark Ferson and Ronald Cardwell; and to Steven Miller of the Edmund and Joanna Capon Research Library of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.



Instructions for students entering the Award

The New Australian Bookplate Society is pleased to announce its Bookplate Design Award 2016, a competition for students studying art and design in Australian tertiary institutions. Entrants are asked to submit up to 4 separate designs for bookplates using any digital or traditional printmaking technique, including solely typographical. They may also be high quality reproductions of an original executed in pen and ink, watercolour or other drawing or painting medium.There is no entry fee.

Designs must show the name of the owner (who may be imaginary, proposed or actual) and include the words indicating the purpose of the bookplate, for example 'ex libris', 'her book', 'from the library of' or similar. The first principle of bookplate design is to capture one or more aspects or characteristics of the bookplate's owner, without cluttering the design; the other key is to provide wording - of the owner's name - in a way that marries with the design in both form and style.


Here are the links to: Competition rules + Entry form (pdf)

So, what is a bookplate?

The bookplate, or ex libris, is a label giving the owner’s name pasted into a book, or on occasion used to record donation ofthe book to a library. In the western tradition, the bookplate arose in Germany not long after the invention by Johann Gutenberg of printing from moveable type around 1440-1450; the earliest known examples are woodcuts from the late fifteenth century. Since that time, bookplates have been created using the entire range of printmaking and typographic techniques available including, in the modern era, photography and computer aided design.

Examples of contemporary bookplates using a wide range of techniques are shown below as well as on the Artists' Gallery page of the website.

Examples of modern bookplates using different techniques

Digital or Computer Aided Design

Tess Morrison for Mark Taylor

Mary Keep for Susan Tomnay, 2016

Tom Ferson for himself, 2009 Mary Keep for Brenda Heagney, 2014


Tara McLeod for himself, 2006


Jennifer Rogers for John Doyle, 2011 David Frazer for Caitlin Littlewood (courtesy Robert C Littlewood)

Etching, aquatint, drypoint, etc
Gael Phillips for herself, 2008 James Fellows for himself, 2010

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