Te Papa Press books share top honour at design awards

Judges were unable to separate the excellence of two recent Te Papa Press titles, announcing them joint winners of their category in the prestigious Museums Australasia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards (MAPDA), presented in an online ceremony this week.

Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance, designed by Gideon Keith of Seven, and Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania, designed by Alan Deare of Area Design, shared top honours in the book section for level B (large) institutions.

Another New Zealand institution, Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū, took out the other level in the book section for their Little Books of Art (series 2).

The 2020 judges commended Protest Tautohetohe for its great paper stock. “It felt cheap, which is perfect and reflective of the ephemeral nature of the content.” They were impressed by the clever use of texture and embossed patterns on the cover of Crafting Aotearoa, and its outstanding photography.

“It was a thrill to have two finalist books in the same category, but also a bit odd given that we love their designers equally,” says Te Papa Press publisher Nicola Legat. “I think Gideon and Alan had been doing some gentle sledging of each other. So to have the two best Kiwis share the win in this category is a great outcome. They are both outstanding books, and they each had challenging design complexities which were robustly addressed and perfectly resolved by the design approach.”

Another Te Papa Press title, Māui's Taonga Tales: A Treasury of Stories from Aotearoa and the Pacific, designed by Jodi Wicksteed of Bolster Design, was given a Highly Commended mention in the children’s book category.

The MAPDAs are an annual celebration that acknowledges excellence and quality in design of publications and multimedia produced for the museums and galleries sector across Australia and New Zealand. Organisers said the innovation and creativity displayed in all of the entries continue to astound and inspire the judges. “As always, there were some hard decisions to make, which only reflects how outstanding the work produced by the cultural sector continues to be despite current challenges.”

Success at the MAPDAs is not a new experience for the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and its press. Another Te Papa title, Tatau: The History of Sāmoan Tattooing, designed by Arch MacDonnell of Inhouse, took out the same book category in the 2019 awards. Both Tatau and Protest Tautohetohe: Objects of Resistance, Persistence and Defiance also won the Illustrated Non-Fiction category in the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards (in 2019 and 2020 respectively). Crafting Aotearoa was a finalist in the same category.

Full list of 2020 MAPDA winners

Issued on behalf of Te Papa Press by Marketing and Communications Consultant Belinda Cooke.

E: belinda.e.cooke@gmail.com
M: 021 481044