Shortlisted Books

Akiko Chan
  • Emerging Designer of the Year
  • Winner

Designed by
Akiko Chan
Category
Emerging Designer of the Year
Year
2020
Publisher
Black Inc.

About the Designer

Akiko Chan is a designer and art director based in Melbourne, Australia. She currently works part-time at Schwartz Books and has a freelance practice that focuses on publication and identity design. Driven by content, Akiko uses a wide range of image-making and typographic approaches to find bespoke solutions. When she’s not sitting in front a screen, you’ll find her experimenting in the kitchen or spending time with her pets.

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Design Rationale

Akiko Chan has been working at Black Inc. Books as a designer since late 2018. Prior to that, she worked at branding agencies and in-house studios, as well as freelancing for her own clients. A passion for print and publication projects had always been a common thread throughout her career. Akiko worked in New York City for a few years in marketing for publishing – however she did not have experience in designing books until a position came up at Black Inc. Books.

2019 was the first year that Akiko saw her covers in bookstores. Black Inc. provided the unique chance to work on a variety of books including fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, and to contribute to a critical conversation. Present Tense was a big highlight, a project a long time in the making – which provided the opportunity to be closely involved in all parts of the book making process.

Akiko believes in book design as an inherently collaborative process. Her approach is to immerse herself in the content, and let a cover reveal itself. She tries not to give everything away – allowing the audience to complete the picture. A believer in experimentation, she often incorporates custom image-making, illustration or lettering in her design process.