News + Events

Voting for Designers’ Choice Awards is Now Open!

One of our beloved traditions each year is the ABDA Designers’ Choice Awards which under normal circumstances would be voted for on the Awards Night. However, due to the Covid-19 Pandemic we are hosting a Digital Awards Ceremony once again this year. This means voting for the Designers’ Choice Awards will also be online this year.
We understand that online voting is not the same as being able to hold a beautiful book, feel that perfect stock and appreciate the subtle art of a carefully selected embellishment. But we have done everything we can to show you as much as possible about each Shortlisted book, and this gives you a little insight into how our Judges view and judge your submissions for Round 1 voting each year!
Who can vote in the Designers’ Choice Awards?
The Designers’ Choice Awards voting is only open to Professional Individual Members – because they are by nature the designers’ choice! These coveted awards enable peers and design colleagues to assess and vote on each other’s work in a show of support and celebration of the best of the best designs each year.
What can you vote for?
There are four award categories this year:
  • The Booktopia Designers’ Choice Cover of the Year
  • The Hachette Australia Designers’ Choice Book of the Year
  • The OPUS Group Designers’ Choice Children’s/Young Adult Cover of the Year
  • Designers’ Choice Children’s/Young Adult Book of the Year
Why is the voting form set up as shortlists?
The books eligible for each award are set up in Shortlists for each category to assist you in casting your vote. In an effort to work toward clarity and equity there are four categories: two for BOOKS and two for COVERS. The entire 2021 Book Design Shortlist is represented (except for student work and the emerging designer’s body of work) across the four categories and each one contains titles that are judged on their Cover design alone, or the whole Book package.
How do I view the books?
In order to get a better understanding of the BOOK and COVER categories, you can download the Shortlist document here where you can click on each title which will take you to the ABDA website and show you the entry details for this title.
How do I vote?
To access the voting form click here, fill out the voting form and select one book from each category.
Please note: voting closes: 8pm, Sunday 18th April, 2021
The Designers’ Choice Awards will be announced during the Book Design Awards Broadcast on June 24 and published in this year’s printed catalogue.

2021 Australian Book Design Awards Shortlist Announced!


2021 Australian Book Design Awards Shortlist Announced!

Congratulations to all of this year’s shortlisted designers! Our hard working judges have whittled down what was already an extremely impressive longlist, taking into account each book’s merits, and reflecting on the concept, development and finished product, to come up with a shortlist of original, brave, creative and beautiful books. A list that shows that the Australian book design community is amongst the best in the world.

The full shortlist is available for download here. Awards branded assets are available for download here for promotional purposes.

The winners of the Australian Book Design Awards will be announced at the 69th Australian Book Design Awards ceremony which will be streamed live to you on all your devices on Thursday, June 24. We hope you will be able to join us then.

And professional members; make sure your membership is up to date so you are eligible to vote for the Designers’ Choice Awards:
  • The OPUS Designers’ Choice Children’s/Young Adult Cover of the Year 2021
  • Designers’ Choice Children’s/Young Adult Book of the Year 2021
  • The Booktopia Designers’ Choice Cover of the Year 2021
  • The Hachette Designers’ Choice Book of the Year 2021
Stay tuned for more information about the Designers’ Choice awards coming to you soon and, if you need to check your membership status, just email Simon on

Book Design Awards Longlist Stickers

How do you spot a well designed book?

By searching for an ABDA sticker, of course! Stickers are now available for all longlisted books in the 69th Australian Book Design Awards. Created to assist publishers and booksellers promote each title’s award nominated status, these eye-catching stickers also raise the profile of the significance book design plays in publishing and bookselling. ABDA will be in touch using the Call for Entries contact details supplied when each project was originally submitted, so if you have progressed in this year’s awards, keep an eye out for instructions on how to access these stickers. General inquires are welcomed via

Thursday June 24 – Save the Date!

Thursday June 24 — Save This Date in Your Diary!

We are excited to announce the Australian book design industry’s night of nights: Thursday, June 24 will see the 69th Australian Book Design Awards streamed live to you on all your devices. Join us to celebrate the most imaginative, the most beautiful and the most adventurous books published last year. Look out for further announcements as we get closer to this very special day!

And coming next week will be news of this year’s Designers’ Choice awards where ABDA members get to have their say. Professional ABDA Members will be eligible to vote on:

  • Designers’ Choice Best Designed Children’s/Young Adult Book of the Year
  • Designers’ Choice Best Designed Children’s/Young Adult Cover of the Year
  • Designers’ Choice Best Designed Cover of the Year
  • Designers’ Choice Best Designed Book of the Year
Make sure your membership is up to date so you are eligible to vote! More details to come next week! If you’re not sure if you have a valid membership, contact Simon at


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!


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: