News + Events

Award Winners Announced

Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate the 64th Australian Book Design Awards.  If you haven’t yet caught up with the winners, the full list can be found here and photos from the night are on our Facebook page.

A special congratulations to Tony Palmer who was inducted into the Australian Book Design Hall of Fame. An extended interview with Tony will be published on the site soon.

The beautiful hardback catalogue for the 2016 awards is now available for purchase. Thank you to designer Alissa Dinallo, printer OPUS Group and paper suppliers Spicers making this year’s catalogue possible.

A national touring exhibition of 2016’s shortlisted and winning books, hosted by Australian Academic Design Libraries, begins in June at the University of Tasmania’s Morris Miller Library in Hobart. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.

Thank you to all of our members, sponsors and supporters for making the third ABDA-run awards possible.

We look forward to seeing you in 2017.

Image: Alessia Ferraro Photography

The 64th Australian Book Design Awards 2016

Join the Australian Book Designers Association to celebrate the most original and beautiful book designs of the year.

This year the party returns to Melbourne, with spot-on food and drink, our famous show bag and ABDA’s well-earned reputation for a sensational night out.

Our venue is Shebeen on Manchester Lane in the city. Doors will open at 7pm and the on stage proceedings will commence at 8pm.

The master of ceremonies for the evening will be comedian, musician and former librarian Josh Earl.

To view the shortlist for the 2016 Awards please click here.



This event is currently fully booked. Please click here here to join the waiting list and you will be contacted if a ticket becomes available.


Date: Friday 13 May

Time: Doors open at 7pm
On stage proceedings start at 8pm

Location: Shebeen, 36 Manchester Lane, Melbourne


Ticket Prices

ABDA Members  $75
Non Members  $90


ABDA individual membership costs $50 for one year. Click here to find out more.

Alistair Hall: Working for Monsters

These events are presented by the Australian Graphic Designers Association with partnership support from ABDA. 

Alistair Hall is the award-winning designer of the London studio: We Made This. Alistair beautifully combines a mastery of words with finely crafted design—and has an impressive list of clients including Penguin Books, Historic Royal Palaces, the UK’s National Trust and John Lewis Partnership.

As well as designing, Alistair is co-founder and art director of the children’s literacy charity Ministry of Stories, and its fantastical shop, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies. He also teaches at the highly regarded London design school Central Saint Martins.

Alistair will be presenting ‘Working For Monsters’ — a little talk about life at We Made This, and a look at the award-winning work for Hoxton Street Monster Supplies.

Event Details & Bookings


ABDA & AGDA Members  $35

Public  $65

Students  $25



Date: Thursday 14 April

Time: Doors open at 6pm, 6.30pm start

Location: Upstairs at the Provincial Hotel

299 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy



Date: Thursday 21 April

Time: Doors open at 6pm, 6.30pm start

Location: Pirie & Co Social Club

121 Pirie St, Adelaide

Expressions of Interest: Live Book Making Project


Head On Photo Festival, Sydney, 6 – 8 May 2016

Blurb Books, in partnership with the Australian Book Designers Association, is running a live book making project as part of the 2016 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney.

Four photographers will be paired with four designers, each pair will create a photobook live at a workstation set up in the Blurb Lounge (at Sydney Lower Town Hall). Festival audiences will be able to stop by to watch designers in action.

Photographers and designers will have the opportunity to meet and workshop ideas before the Festival (in person or online), but the main design work will take place on location between Friday 6 May and Sunday 8 May.

Books can be designed to any format, paper stock or finishes available on the Blurb platform. Following the Festival, Blurb will publish the final photobooks, via their international print-on-demand platform.

ABDA is currently taking expressions of interest from designers who would like to participate. Please send an email with a link to your portfolio or a PDF of selected design work to by 5pm on Thursday 31 March. First preference will be given to ABDA members.


Further Details

Designer participants will receive:

–  a one-off fee of $500 for participating in the event

– 3 copies of the final printed book

– promotion of their work via Blurb and ABDA social media and websites

Participants are expected to be on site at the Blurb Lounge (located at the Lower Town Hall, in Sydney) between 10am and 5pm on Saturday and/or Sunday, and part of Friday. However, time commitments are negotiable. You will need to bring your own laptop.

This is a public ‘performance’ so you must be willing to speak to Festival audiences who may have questions about your design process. Blurb representatives will potentially interview you about your design process, which may involve photographing or videoing you and your work for promotional posts on the Blurb and ABDA websites.

You must supply a print-ready PDF to Blurb by the end of the project.


Melbourne Drinks Night and Film Screening

Join ABDA for drinks and a free screening of the 2008 documentary
Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight.

Noted for co-founding New York Magazine and creating the “I Love NY” campaign, Milton Glaser’s artistic output is revealed in this fascinating film.

This is a free event for ABDA members and friends. Seats are very limited and bookings are essential.

If you have any questions please email


  • Wednesday 24 February 2016
  • Drinks from 7pm; film screening starts at 8pm
  • Longplay Cinema & Bar
    318 St Georges Road
    Fitzroy North, Melbourne
    (Tram No. 11, Stop 24)

The Australian Book Design Hall of Fame:
Call for Nominations

ABDA is inviting nominations for the Australian Book Design Hall of Fame.

Since the Hall of Fame was first established in 1994, the Award has been presented to designers whose body of work and role in the book industry has made a significant contribution to book design in Australia.

The current members of the Hall of Fame are W.H. Chong, Sandy Cull, Deborah Brash, George Dale, Harry Williamson, Arthur Stokes, Alec Bolton and Patrick Coyle.



To nominate a designer for the Hall of Fame please provide:

  • the name and contact information of the person you wish to nominate.
  • a 500-word statement about the nominee’s contribution to the industry. This may include their support of others in the industry; their contribution to training/mentoring; involvement in industry events promoting design; design education; and any other outstanding contributions and qualities.
  • three letters of support for the nomination from colleagues and/or people in the industry, each to be no more than 300 words.

All information should be emailed to by no later than 5pm on
Monday 15 February 2016.


A special advisory panel will be convened to assist the ABDA Committee in the selection process.

If you have any questions about the Hall of Fame or the nomination process, please contact Claire via



End of Year Drinks

Join the Australian Book Designers Association’s committee, members and friends and celebrate the organisation’s second year.

Events will be held simultaneously in Sydney and Melbourne.

Everyone is welcome; drinks at bar prices.


Date: Thursday 10 December 2015

Time: 6pm – 9pm


Sydney Venue
84-86 Mary Street
Surry Hills


Melbourne Venue
Handsome Steven’s House of Refreshment
397 Brunswick Street
(enter via Leicester Street)

Australian Book Design Awards 2016

The ABDA Committee is delighted to announce that entries for the 64th Australian Book Design Awards are now open.

The competition is open to books designed and published for the first time in Australia between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015.

Entries are open in sixteen categories, including Young Designer of the Year, Best Designed Scholarly and Reference Book (new for 2016), and the revamped Best Designed Independent Book for titles with a print run of less than 1000 copies.

For full entry details please visit the Awards page or download the Submission Guidelines (PDF).

Entries for the Awards close on Friday 18 December 2015.

If you have any questions about the Awards please email

Artist Books with Monica Oppen

ABDA members and friends are invited to join us at UTS in Sydney for a special presentation by book artist, binder and printmaker Monica Oppen.

Monica is the creator of Bibliotheca Librorum apud Artificem, a private collection of books made by printmakers, photographers, photomonteurs, painters, writers and poets.

Monica will present and discuss a selection of recent books from artists including Peter Malutzki, Ines von Ketelhodt, Ulrike Stoltz and Uta Schneider.

This is a free event but places are strictly limited and bookings are essential.



Date: Thursday 26 November

Time: Refreshments from 5.30pm for a 6pm start

Address: Level 7, Studio 735, UTS School of Design, 702 Harris Street, Ultimo (Sydney)


Welcome to the New ABDA Website

The Australian Book Designers Association was formed in 2014 to safeguard the future of the longest running design awards in Australia: the annual Book Design Awards, held annually since 1952.

The Awards recognise excellence in Australian book design, but also afford an opportunity for the book design community to gather in the one place. For many of us, the most enjoyable part of the Awards event is spending time among our peers – to network, but more importantly to socialise with like-minded individuals. Book designers are a curious, well-read and passionate bunch, but often we work alone or in small teams, so it’s good to feel part of a community.

In the process of taking over the Awards, the initial committee of volunteers began discussing how to expand beyond a single annual event. A central hub for the book design community was sorely lacking. The ABDA mission, developed over many long conversations, includes the following promise:

ABDA will provide a virtual home for its members, offering news, forums, educational events and more. ABDA will be a dynamic network for industry professionals.

This website is the foundation for our evolving, engaged book design community. It is a space to discover news and events and to read articles by and about book designers. It is a site for publishers to advertise jobs and to find designers, and for ABDA members to showcase our work to the world.

The site gives us national (and international) reach, and we extend a warm welcome to designers from cities other than Melbourne and Sydney who have been unable to attend events.

Take some time to browse the archive and the member profiles. Read the blog – there will be regular posts, fresh ideas and provocative discussions from our members. Check upcoming events – they’re for you. And don’t forget: spread the word! ABDA is an emerging non-profit organisation, we rely on the participation of our members to expand and develop our association.

Zoë Sadokierski, President, Australian Book Designers Association


Image designed by W.H. Chong