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Student wins book cover design competition

Liz Klaver, an 18-year old KABK student is the winner of the design competition Holland Reads, Holland Designs (Nederland Leest, Nederland Ontwerpt).

By Cassandra Pizzey / 17-11-2010

In the sixth annual edition of the competition Holland Reads, Holland Designs, contenders were asked to design a book cover for Jacoba van Velde's novel De Grote Zaal (The Big Stage).

With diverse covers to choose from ranging from photo collages to illustrations, Liz Klaver's design stood out thanks to its simple yet elegant design. The jury was impressed by the winning cover, stating: "The hand drawn lines illustrate the pure minimalism of Van Velde's writing style. Barely there but all you really need."

The novel describes the final days of an elderly woman in a senior citizens’ home, pictured on the winning cover as a graphic black-and-white line pattern. "I aimed to show the relationship between mother and daughter through fine, delicate lines," says Klaver about her design. Resembling the relationship between the main characters in the book, the lines on the cover are spaced far apart at the start, gradually becoming closer to each other.

Liz Klaver, an 18-year old student at Art Academy the Hague (KABK) was instructed to design the cover for the Holland Reads, Holland Designs competition during a typography class. "After discussing each of my designs during the lesson, this one came out the strongest," recalls Klaver. "Everyone can create their own story with the lines, and I hope everyone can rediscover their own feelings about the book through my design."

A total of 259 cover designs were submitted to the competition, of which 25 were nominated by the jury. Honarable mentions go out to Claire Schumacher, Leonie de Ruiter and Xaviera Altena.

The jury was chaired by illustrator and graphic designer Max Kisman and further comprised book cover designer Marry van Baar and Roel Klaassen from Premsela - Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion. Nederland Leest is a national initiative aimed at starting a large-scale discussion about a particular book with previous editions focusing on such classic titles as Hella S. Haasse's Oeroeg, and Twee Vrouwen by the late Harry Mulisch.

This year's event was organized by the Association of Collective Propaganda of the Dutch Book (CPNB) together with Premsela and the association The Best Dutch Book Designs.

The nominated designs will be on show at the Public Library in Amsterdam (OBA) until 12 January 2011.

Main image: Liz Klaver and her winning design
Other images top to bottom: 1. Liz Klaver, 2. Leonie de Ruiter, 3. Xaviera Altena, 4. Claire Schumacher

Click on the images to enlarge

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