News + Events

Panel Discussion: Compelling Book Design – Re-thinking the Cover


Wednesday, 24 March, 2021
Panel Discussion: Compelling Book Design – Re-thinking the Cover 


Think book design is just about creating the perfect book cover? Words, pages, cover, spine, ink – book design includes many elements and a good design needs to bring everything together in a way that grabs the readers’ attention and compels them to explore more.
Each year ABDA presents the Australian Book Design Awards which recognise the bravest and brightest, the most original and beautiful books published in Australia. During Geelong Design Week, long-time committee member and award-winning book designer, Pooja Desai from the Australian Book Designers Association, and Head of Design at Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, will join us to discuss everything that goes into book design and to profile the winners of the 68th Australian Book Design Awards 2020.
The novel Death of a Typographerdesigned by Stephen Banham  and written by Nick Gadd – was shortlisted for Best Designed Literary Fiction Cover and won the 2020 ABDA Designers’ Choice for Cover of the Year. Stephen and Nick will both be on the panel to discuss the importance of book design from an author/narrative perspective and the unique collaborative relationship between the two.
We will also be joined by local award-winning book designer Vaughan Mossop, whose new Geelong-based publishing company Somekind Press is breaking the mould when it comes to contemporary book design and has flipped the traditional publishing model on its head, in a bid to help local, national and international restaurants and cafes develop an extra income stream during the pandemic.
This event is presented free of charge, however bookings are essential.
Where: Geelong Library & Heritage Centre, Geelong Library and Heritage Centre, Little Malop Street, Geelong
When: Wednesday, 24 March, 2021
Time: 6.30pm–7.30pm
Bookings Essential: 

Confidants, Mentors & Communities – NGV Book Fair Panel

How do book designers work with other collaborators? How are creative relationships fostered and mentored?

Join Trisha Garner in a panel discussion with award-winning designer Michelle Mackintosh and two long-term collaborators, Mary Small, founding publisher of Plum, Pan Macmillan, and Julia Ostro, cook and author.

Hear them discuss their careers, the importance of community and how they create creatively fulfilling work together.


Date: Sunday 28 March 2021

Time: 3pm–4pm

Event: NGV Melbourne Art Book Fair

Venue: Rooftop Bar, Curtain House, Level 7, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Cost: $5. Limited tickets available through Eventbrite.

2021 Australian Book Design Awards Longlist Announced!


69th Australian Book Design Awards Longlist Announcement!

ABDA is thrilled to present the longlist for the 69th Australian Book Design Awards. Please join us in celebrating the bravest and brightest, the most original and beautiful books published in Australia in 2020.

You can download the longlist here

The shortlist will be announced in April 2021 and the winners of the Australian Book Design Awards will be announced at a Digital Awards Ceremony later this year. We hope you will be able to join us then.

And stay tuned for details on how to vote for the Designers’ Choice Awards soon.

Category update: due to exceptionally low entries, the Best Designed Primary/Secondary and Tertiary Education Book awards will not be presented this year. We hope that they will return in 2022. However, the response to the Student Design category was such that we are delighted to award two student categories this year.

Meet the Judges


Meet the Judges

The ABDA Committee is delighted to announce the judges for the 2021 Book Design Awards. With experience across a wide range of publishing and design platforms, we’re thrilled to have them on board to uncover the best and brightest, most original and beautiful designs of the past year in Australian publishing. The judges have been busy judging over 400 entries (a new record for us!) for the awards. Keep your eyes on our website and social media for the announcement of this year’s longlisted and shortlisted entries. And you can learn more about the judges here.

ABDA End of Year Christmas Drinks

It’s time to celebrate a cracker of a year!
Join your ABDA chums for a festive tipple to round out the Association’s sixth year.
All book collaborators are welcome! (that means you, editors, publishers, illustrators, etc.)
Light snacks provided – Drinks at bar prices.

Email to reserve your spot today!


Date: Thursday 5 December 2019
Time: 6pm–8pm

Sydney Venue: GDR (inside/behind Redfern Continental)
180 Redfern Street, Redfern, Map

Melbourne Venue: Father’s Office, QV Melbourne
249 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, Map

Please RSVP to let us know you are coming by Tuesday 3 December.

Benja Harney’s Paperform Workshop Sydney

ABDA are teaming up with Benja Harney for a paperform workshop like no other!

Take this rare opportunity to enter the Paperform studio and see first hand where the paper magic happens. Over 3 hours, participants will explore the numerous and dynamic techniques of the humble medium of paper forms – cut, fold, construct and dream.

Starting with the basics, we will build our skills through the workshop creating sculptural paper assets that combine into dynamic and unique forms which participants will take home with them at the end of the class.

This is a workshop for inventive people who have good dexterity and like to think outside the creative box!

Benja Harney is a paper engineer. Working both in Australia and internationally, he is renowned as a pioneer in his field. As a professional creative, artist and educator, over the last 12 years Harney has led his Sydney-based studio, Paperform, to develop a body of work that pushes the possibilities of the paper medium.

Pop-up books, paper sculpture, installation, illustration, packaging, fine art, fashion, animation, set design – Harney makes anything and everything possible within this endlessly inventive material.

Tickets are strictly limited so don’t miss out!

Friends of ABDA

1Your details


Date: Saturday 30 November
Time: 12pm – 3pm (please arrive 15 mins early).
Venue: Paperform Studio, Surry Hills
Cost: ABDA Members $110 | Non Members $130
To book email:

Dodgy Paper Making Workshop Melbourne

Have you ever wanted to learn how to make beautiful hand-made paper?

ABDA are teaming up with Dodgy Paper in Melbourne, to run a two hour workshop teaching you the ins and outs of hand-made paper making.

The Pulp Professor Dodgy Roger of Dodgy Paper will guide you through the process of making hand-made paper. From pulping, to pulling and pressing we will make a batch of Dodgy Paper using your scraps/waste or what is on hand at Dodgy Paper.

A small amount of paper waste/scraps.
This could be printing waste, old book/magazine pages, recycling. Anything that was paper can be made into paper again.

Please wear clothes that don’t mind getting a bit pulpy, or splashed with water.
Also please wear thick/warm clothes and shoes if the weather is cold as the warehouse gets chilly.

Spaces are strictly limited, don’t miss out book now!


DATE: Saturday 26 October

TIME: 11am – 1pm

COST: ABDA Members $50/Non Members $55

VENUE: Dodgy Paper, 1 Verve Street, Richmond

TO BOOK: email to secure your place.

Production Officer Sydney University Press

Production Officer Sydney University Press

  • Exciting opportunity for an experienced Production Officer to manage book production for Sydney University Press
  • Located at Camperdown Campus
  • Full-time continuing, remuneration package, $101,898 to $109,850 p.a (which includes salary, leave loading and 17% superannuation)

About the opportunity

We are looking for a Production Officer who uses creative, conceptual and information design skills to create and typeset compelling designs in print and digital formats for each book accepted for publication by Sydney University Press. You will apply your expertise to produce marketing collateral across a variety of print and digital media.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Production Officer who demonstrates:

  • High level skills and understanding of book production and design workflows, and production software and tools including Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator) and web design
  • Demonstrated project management skills to manage production schedules for several concurrent complex publishing projects
  • Technical understanding of electronic publishing standards such as XML, HTML, ePub etc and implementation in the production process
  • Proven ability to build and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external clients ensuring that clients’ needs are met while exercising tact and diplomacy
  • Adaptability and willingness to adjust to changing priorities
  • High level attention to detail in editorial processes

About us

The Scholarly Publishing team is part of the Access Services division of the University Library. The primary responsibilities of the team are Sydney University Press (SUP) and its scholarly book publishing program, and journal publishing support for Sydney Open Journals. Since 2005, SUP has published over 200 new research titles in the fields of animal studies, archaeology, Australian literature, copyright, education, history, public health, public and social policy, urban planning, social work, healthy ageing and Indigenous issues. In July 2018 the SUP team won a Vice-Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence for Outstanding Contribution to the University Community. For further information visit

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion, and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australias first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 7600 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.

The University of Sydney encourages part-time and flexible working arrangements, which will be considered for this role.

For further information and to apply please see the position description.

Closing date: 11:30pm, Monday 9 September 2019

Bookalope Designer

Bookalope are looking for a hands-on book designer.

Bookalope have developed a set of AI-assisted tools that help with the analysis, clean-up, and conversion of book manuscripts to various file formats for publishing and continued production. In order to expand their offering to customers with respect to styling choices, they are looking for a book designer who can help build a number of book designs for ebooks, print, and InDesign.

Being comfortable with CSS is a requirement, as well as using InDesign to create layouts.

For more information, please take a look at their website, Medium or email

Introducing the new ABDA Committee 2019/2020

The 2019 Annual General Meeting of Australian Book Designers Association Inc. was held on Monday 12 August.

The following ABDA members were elected to serve on the committee for the next 12 months:

President Hannah Janzen

Vice President Astred Hicks

Secretary Pooja Desai

Treasurer Andy Warren

Committee Members

The Annual Report of the Association, as presented at the AGM, can be download here (PDF).

If you have any questions about the committee, the annual report or anything else, please get in touch via