Seto Library series named one of best designed books in the world

The Seto Library, designed by Agnes Ratas (Courtesy of the Seto Institute)
3/4/2015 11:21 AM
Category: Culture

A book series in the Seto language, close to the Estonian language, is one of the winners of the annual book design competition "Best Book Design from all over the World," held in Leipzig by Stiftung Buchkunst since 1963.

This year's main prize, the "Goldene Letter," went to "Untitled (September Magazine) Paul Elliman, 2013" from Belgium, while the Seto Library (Seto Kirävara) series, designed by Agnes Ratas, received an honorary appreciation.

The book series is published by the Seto Institute, which is dedicated to the cultivation and documentation of the distinctive Seto language in the south east of Estonia, which today is spoken by a mere few thousand people. The series aims to publish the full library of Seto books, including poetry, songs, biographies, the gospels and folklore.

The minimalist design makes use of the traditional patterns from the national costumes, including embroidery and geometric textile ornaments. The covers of the books are printed in white with red lettering and said geometric ornaments on the spines, the hue varying from volume to volume. The robust style of the edges, which slightly protrude over the book block, embraces the rustic traditions of the Setukese people.

The international jury, which convenes in Leipzig every February, selected 14 outstanding designs from about 600 books from more than 30 countries. The other 12 awarded books came from the Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Japan, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Estonia has taken part of the competition since 2000. In 2013, Ivar Sakk's design of "From Aa to Zz. The Concise History of Typography" was awarded a bronze medal.

M. Oll

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