And they have a good point — the best examples of posters, fonts, book covers, and elements of industrial designs have long become an integral part of exhibitions on par with paintings, sculptures, and drawings. The insane popularity of art books among contemporary artists (those, who treat corporeality of the book, its objective expressiveness as an invitation to experimentation) speaks in favor of the ongoing convergence of print and art.
The Ukrainian Young Book Design Awards 2020 finalists have demonstrated how complex, diverse, and conceptually balanced their approaches can be: from the birth of the idea to its embodiment in the layout of the future book. Whether it is a book cover capable of attracting attention on its own, or whether it is part of the holistic design — the dialogue of text and illustration, of the author's narrative and its visual representation by the artist, remains to be the basis of it all.
Today, when literature and exacting meanings have become available to the public thanks to the rapid spread of the Internet, the concept of a printed book has gained a brand-new meaning, which is true for writers, graphic artists, and readers. New meaning also generates new opportunities, as well as new challenges. No, the continuing love and attention for the print media do not necessarily mean that you are
out of touch, or that you stand in the way of adopting modern technology. After all, what is innovative today becomes the norm tomorrow. All the more important and unique is the ability of art to retain its place in this new reality. It is the unique visuals, eye candy-ness of sorts, that helps bring the book to the attention of the potential reader. Otherwise, it risks being lost among the incessant flow of other verbal
and visual media, which typical modern audience members find themselves part of on a daily basis.
Our exhibition of the best of the UYBDA 2020 was meant to take place live, so that not only the compositional and colorful features but also the allure of the volume and texture would be available to the early connoisseurs of these young illustrators. However, although forced, the online format has opened up
new ways of representing their works. Taking full advantage of the situation, we have supplemented basic visual materials and introductory notes with video footage, allowing for an in-depth, personality-driven
breakdown of the authors' work process. Also, we sincerely hope that each of the participating works will soon receive its deserved material embodiment: either on the bookshelf, at an exhibition, or maybe even as a piece at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.