Cal Poly Graphic Communication Institute

Cal Poly Graphic Communication Students Win Bookbuilders West Awards

Three Cal Poly Graphic Communication students were awarded scholarships at the 2011 Bookbuilders West Scholarship Competition. Christina Dillon, Daniel Triassi and Jeannie Nguyen each won $500 for their book design projects.

Student competitors were asked to select, design and produce a limited-edition book. The submissions are judged on creativity, presentation and meeting design objectives.

The books were designed for Cal Poly Professor Lorraine Donegan’s Book Design Technology course.

“The students paid attention to every detail in designing their books, from the choice of typeface to the stitching of their pages and binding of the book,” Donegan said. “Each project is unique based on the relationship the designer has with the book. It’s fun to watch them fall in love with books and develop a deep appreciation for book design and production. We are very pleased to be recognized by the Bookbuilders West panel of judges.”

Dillon designed and produced “Pride and Prejudice.” She became deeply involved in the project. “I love thinking that by designing a beautiful book, I am contributing to a reader's experience with the book itself,” she said.

Triassi designed and produced “The Hardy Boys, Tower of Treasure.” He illustrated the book with a mix of nostalgic and timeless design, including his own illustrations. “The illustrations are representative of 1950s and ’60s design aesthetic yet are still current today based on their clarity and simplicity,” Triassi said.

Nguyen designed and produced “Ella Minnow Pea,” a novel based on a society in which letter writing is the principal form of communication.

“Jeannie’s creative typography and unique bookbinding wowed the judges,” Donegan said. “She bound the letters into a book covered with a vintage graphic reminiscent of an international airmail envelope.”

Bookbuilders West focuses on the design, typography, production and manufacture of books. Bookbuilders West assembled an impressive panel of judges: Michael Carabetta, creative director, Chronicle Books; Leslie Cohen, freelance production director; Rob Ehle, art director, Stanford University Press, and Alistair Fein, senior designer, McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

“Under professor Donegan’s leadership, our students excel each year in the Bookbuilders West competition,” said Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department. “Part of this success has to do with the philosophical undergirding built into our curriculum that books and reading remain a significant core value of our free society in expressing ideas and in distributing information in print – perhaps the most viable, pervasive, meaningful and detailed form of mass communication that has ever existed. Our students take this premise very seriously.”

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