'The 25 Most Beautiful Books of China 2017' Winners Announced
Sun Xingzhi
DATE:  Nov 15 2017
/ SOURCE:  Yicai
'The 25 Most Beautiful Books of China 2017' Winners Announced 'The 25 Most Beautiful Books of China 2017' Winners Announced

(Yicai Global) Nov. 15 -- China's publishing houses have named this year's most beautiful book designs, most of which appear to be plain, elegant and stylistic. The winners of "The Most Beautiful Books of China 2017" competition have been announced, with 25 books selected for the title. The most beautiful books of China feature a perfect design with simple style to portray their artistic conception.

The 25 books printed by 22 publishing houses across the country have been hailed as the most beautiful book designs in China this year, and will join the 2018 competition of "The Most Beautiful Books of the World" to be held in Leipzig, Germany, representing China's book publishing industry.

They were selected out of a total of 312 books submitted to the jury, covering literature, art, science and technology, education, life, children, and other genres. The competition kicked off in June and the winners have been announced on Nov. 13.

The Most Beautiful Books of China competition has been hosted by the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication for 15 years in a row. Since its founding in 2003, the competition has focused on prioritizing the entirety of book designs while paying attention to such elements as perfect integration of content and form, developing a book design in line with the function of book itself, the harmonized effect of design style and comfortable feel, and the employment of techniques as important elements of design.

A Collection of Love Poems Composed by Wen Aiyi

With spines divided into four lines, this book is endowed with a refreshing feature in hardcover. Its cover has the numbers "5" and "2" on it, representing 52 weeks in a year. Notably, their respective vertical stroke and horizontal stroke were lost, leaving the readers wrapped in a mist of thoughts. Between its 52 Tongzi (an ancient binding style with the lining page and fly page bound together) are the orange insets printed with a love poem. Such poem written on a white Tongzi page by a comprehensive crushing technique is an indication of the pure and burning love.  This book, equipped with exquisite materials, elegant style and innovative design, differentiates itself from others.

Is It Wrong?

It is a picture book full of childish delight, which is in simple and vivid sculpt, with bright fresh colors and humorous plots. The contents were beautifully expressed using different colors in odd and even pages and different fonts. The whole book displays both fresh modernity and a strong oriental appeal.

Colorful Childhood: Illustrations of Excellent Centurial Children's Books in China

The book is a collection of the books the children tempted to read in the past century. Reflecting various forms and eras, it is very comprehensive and embodies clear context inheritance in children's education. The book is precious with an atmospheric layout and a generous format arrangement and is full of historical sense. The designer of the book is very inventive by making the children's books mentioned in this work overlap.  The statistical chronology attached to the book is very unique with a reference value for academic researches, and the form of multiple charts provides a complete interpretation of various information related to the publication of children's books.  

Letter Paper Calendar of 2018

The main contents of the book are a variety of letter paper with woodblock watermarks. The small envelops in the book are printed with concise designs, echoing with the design on the letter paper throughout pages. There is a real letter paper with a woodblock watermark in the book jacket, which is interesting and highlights the features of letter paper.

I Thought It's Love

The book is of the size of a palm, which interprets a love poem.  The charm of love has been presented through the use of colors of a special paper, and the comparison of the purity of bright colors.  With a back seal cover and a unique text layout, it is novel and easy to turn the pages. The point in the lower right corner of the inner page corresponds to the feeling of touching the book surface and combines with the theme of the book.  The poems become more readable with spacious and clear pages, the gentle words in grey color and interesting illustrations.

Teaching Archives

The rich forms of the book are in line with the design of teaching archive. It uses various kinds of paper, and the composing and the display of the text in the book are unique. In print, white is the first color to be printed on the gray paper, followed by a four-color printing. White is printed twice to restore the original colors, showing a high degree of saturation, which is exquisite. The design is divided into three levels, which are integrated into one book, representing a feeling of layering. The different lengths of paper are used reasonably, while a strong contrast is exposed between the colored fluorescent paper and the gray paper used in the main text. The structure of the book is designed reasonably, which is a unique teaching archive.

Walking the Path to Eternal Fragrance – The 19th IBC Botanical Art Exhibition Catalogue

The design of this technology book is unconventional, which presents a perfect combination between the content and form, and the science and humanity. The material used is light and soft, and the fore edge of the book is managed by an edging machine, which perfectly displays the content.  The material, basic ideas and colors are innovative, complementing the design and making this technology book full of artistic feeling.


The dialogue between an architect and a designer is masterly separated by two perforating holes connected in a cross-bridge way to introduce the topic. With the advantage of a fore edge bevel formed by the climbing of the book, the binding way of stitching thread through the spine creates a wonderful architectural composition inside the hole. A flowing style of composing is applied to the four textures in Chinese, English, Japanese and Korean, forming a pattern of conversation. Interspersion and slicing are consistent with the theme "Intervention" showing an innovative idea and reflecting the concept of the architecture.

The Opera

The book is designed concisely with soft paper that features various textures. The man-made binding is highly unique, making each post loosely connected but not scattered. In partial white pages, pearl white ink is used to print the characters, and there are various sizes of pages in the book, revealing a bold and novel design. Various kinds of illustration methods and the elegant and smooth features of 'Kun' Opera reinforce each other.

The Record of Suzhou's Prosperity – Collected Works of Suzhou Taohuawu; Woodblock New Year Painting Exhibition

The wedge-shaped hollow-out on the cover, which embodies a woodcut knife, highly agrees with the content of the woodblock printing work of New Year prints. White space is reserved in all the adjacent pages of the color graphs, to make the main subject more prominent. The Tongzi pages which bound the lining page and fly page together is folded in the shape of M, and the Chinese and English texts contained in it help readers to appreciate the painting in better ways. The paper page, which is thin, soft and delicate, can be opened conveniently, providing a more comfortable reading experience.


The book interprets the time-honored teabook with modern design language, with content selected from the eight teabooks of "The Si Ku Quan Shu," or "Complete Library in Four Branches of Literature." Xuan paper is used for the spacing of styles, conveying a plain design. The illustrative pictures match the content, and both the materials and color of the cover are well designed.

Poetic Images of the Banished Immortal – Poetic Calligraphy and Paintings of Li Bai in Past Dynasties

The cover is carefully designed as multiple purposeful metaphors are applied to refer to the poetic genius Li Bai. With rich variety, the typesetting comprehensively applies the demonstration forms of traditional Chinese calligraphy and paintings, bringing more fascinating reading experience.

Silkworm on Ridge

It is a carefully designed book with proper arrangement of pictures and texts. The silkworm chrysalis on the cover is a finishing touch, and the large photo used in the text vividly manifests the glorious life of a silkworm, exposing a powerful visual effect. The pictures correspond with texts, bringing the sense of immersion for readers. It offers varying ways of turning the pages. The linear changes in the text layout echo the entire lifetime of a silkworm.

It's Me: Wordless Poem of a Calligrapher

The author of the book is also its designer. It exhibits Chinese characters from different perspectives. Seemingly being similar to a calligraphy work, it is presented in a way totally different from the traditional calligraphy. The rich colors and highly diversified fonts make the book look both unconventional and familiar for readers. The graphic characters are also well designed.

Hello, Chaoshan Hand-made Teapot (Rare Edition)

The die-cutting cover enables readers to enjoy various multi-layer patterns exposed after opening the book. It illustrates the core of Chaoshan hand-made teapots, namely, the tea. Different pages tell the history of tea in plain expressions, as well as historical development of teapots. The combination of photos and texts allow readers to appreciate them calmly. Each kind of pot is shown on fold pages to embody the moderate shape of those teapots.

A Letter to You

With consistent forms and contents, both the cover and text of this book are all hand-written, which offers an amicable feeling and rich emotions. The upper side of this book is not perfectly cut to imitate the bookbinding of draft paper, and it enables interaction with readers. The design style of this book is so superior to others that it makes this book a very distinctive one.

Thinking & Existence

With grey as its key color, the book features eye-catching fluorescein red pastedown pages both front and back. The text contains extremely thin pages alternatively, and the greyish-green anopisthographic headline of 'Yan Zhenqing Script' brings vitality to this book. The design of the cover headline is full of modern sense. The die-cutting position of seals varies, with the black back and the cover echoing each other. The text is in large typeface to facilitate the reading experience.

Petite Mort

This is a small book with infinite creativity. With relaxing illustrations, the seemingly easy pages contain elaborately prepared texts, which embody the thinking of designers. This book features vitality and much fun, and the accordion-binding pages with readable contents on both sides are not easy to achieve. The box holding the book is delicately designed, making this book an artware to play with and appreciate.

Farming Archive

This book employs the design of letters and stamps to accord with the theme of archive, offering a sense of specific time periods from the past. It features a plain design without complicated printing measures. With both standardized format as well as hand-written texts and binding edges inserted on the layout, it is characterized by flexible page layouts, and the unvarnished pictures also offer the sense of documents from past times.


This book is a calligraphy work with delicate design, printing, layout, and crafts, combining oriental binding and western painting styles. The exquisite layout embodies the designer's deliberation and profound skills of reflecting the original works precisely. The graceful integrated design, the properly used blank space, the contrast colors of black and white, as well as the integration of other colors all show the rich imagination of the designer, and the layout of both Chinese and English texts is distinctive and easily-read. With a cloth cover and a hardwood outer, the entire book reflects the innovative integration of both softness and rigidness, and the folding of the large-size book is perfectly achieved. This book is aimed at high-end readers, but it does deserve your money.

Realm of Painting: 100 Collections of Traveler Yu

With a hardcover, the two parts of this book open from opposite directions respectively. With a red binding cord in the bare spine, a small piece of painting is pasted in the middle, which embodies the exquisite details of the book. The three edges are roughened in harmony with the painting techniques of illustrations inside. The die-cutting black pages are deliberately interlarded in the main body, enriching the enjoyment of the black-and-white painting albums.

Stones with the Fragrance of Ink

With techniques like reverse type, amplification and Tongzi pages, the book is a breakthrough from traditional rubbing collections that only have white characters on the black background, enabling readers to learn more about the exquisiteness of rubbings from Chinese ancient stone inscriptions, which also enriches the layout.

Chinese Painting: A Poetic Childhood

The animal-shape die cutting of the jacket highlights the title of this book on the cover, which creates a combined sense of fairytale and modernization through the silver stamping. The illustrations inside are in Chinese ink painting style, the vividness of which helps young readers easily access this book. There are some characters on pages as decorations, and each part features different key colors, offering a sense of fashion.

The Explanation of Yuan Ye

This book, an ancient book of modern edition, was written by Ji Cheng in Ming Dynasty, which fully embodies the ancient Chinese style. The type setting follows the tradition, while the layout is flexible enough to offer rich reading experience to modern readers. The preface of this book is moderately designed, and the pages used for partition are variegated in texture. The entire book features a single color, and the properly matched texts and illustrations singles it out perfectly. The details of the book are also delicately arranged.  

Hometown in Dream

This book is a collection of fiction and essays by famous writer Wang Zengqi. The design of the book features some abstract conceptions and is plain and elegant. There are not too many rhetorical flourishes in this book, but it contains rich connotations. The wrinkled cloth cover echoes the flying times, and the upper and bottom edges of the book are roughened, making readers feel nostalgic. The text is placed on various kinds of paper that present different contents to offer easy searching while reading.

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Keywords:   Most Beatiful Book,Design,Binding,Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Press And Publication