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Organizers and judges share their impressions of Ukrainian Young Book Design Awards 2020

The Ukrainian Young Book Design Awards (UYBDA) is a story about talented book designers, courage, youth and freedom. A story that united over 400 designers from Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Israel, Hungary, Lithuania, USA and other countries. Each participant had the opportunity to submit their work in four nominations for free: Cover, Illustrations, Layout and General Concept. Young professionals from 14 to 30 years old, regardless of their specialization, nationality or country of residence participated in the contest.

Osnovy Publishing House alongside with L/Y Studio (ex Hooga.design) launched the first Ukrainian Young Book Design Awards in 2019. And 3 people became the main organizers: Dmytro Yarynych, founder of L/Y design studio and co-founder of Ukrainian Young Book Design Awards, Anna Kopylova, art director of Osnovy Publishing and Dana Pavlychko, the director of Osnovy Publishing and also the founder of Ukrainian Young Book Design Awards.


«We are interested in discovering new names in design and hearing voices not yet heard!», says Anna Kopylova, art director at Osnovy Publishing, about the UYBDA.


The organizers believe that the future depends on the design, so the competition gives everyone the opportunity to tell their story.


«You can tell stories through design. We do not restrict our participants in the topics of their works and accept applications from designers from all over the world. We value freedom and we want to hear stories that people want to tell through design», says Dmytro Yarynych, founder of L/Y design studio (ex Hooga).


This year's judges are interesting as well as organizers:


1. Anton Borzov, first designer at WhatsApp. He’s been in product design already for more than 20 years. Now he is first designer at a stealth startup about personal search.


2. Serhiy Maydukov, whose various illustrations were published in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Financial Times.


3. Olga Protasova, an illustrator and graphic designer, activist of illustrator community.


4. Varvara Perekrest, an illustrator and qualified illustration teacher, curator at Projector, worked for the British Council, Intel, Docudays UA, Depot Ireland, Ukrainian Fashion Week.


5. Olga Zhuk, the first curator of the Book Arsenal festival (2010 - 2015), headed the cultural diplomacy department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, creative director of the Dovzhenko Center.


«In my opinion, this project is super-amazing, of super-importance, since student competitions are but one of the few platforms where one can attempt new things and, maybe, propose a certain kind of super-experimental, strange things that no one have attempted in the professional field and that are of particular interest and could work out», says Varvara Perekrest.



Sergiy Maidukov added: «The professional competition is one of the prerequisites for growth. Recently, popular opinion has been that comparing oneself to someone is not helpful. This in itself, while investigating new solutions, can cause stress and incapacitate. There is always someone who does what you do, but better. Although, the desire to establish the degree of your professional capacity does not go away».



And all the judges agree that this competition is a unique opportunity for everyone, who works in the creative field and sees the future of modern books.


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, organizations have supplemented basic visual materials and introductory notes with video footage, allowing for an in-depth, personality-driven breakdown of the authors' work process.


Olga Protasova, one of the judges, says about The Ukrainian Young Book Design Awards 2020 finalists: «There are plenty of interesting, deep works with marvelous technical solutions and approaches. The participants are amazing with their selection of most unusual topics and unorthodox solutions — a fascinating watch!»



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.


«With foremost pleasure, I’ve looked through all the works – an immense number. All pieces are of high quality, which only adds to the enjoyment, yet makes the job of a judge that much harder. I’m convinced that the winners, both shortlisted and regular participants, will imbue Ukrainian design, illustration, and publishing business overall, with new life force. It was amazing!», says judge Anton Borzov.



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. And that is why it is so important to give young designers the opportunity to create new meanings and create a new book design of the modern era.


To see the best works and know more about winners check out the official site of the UYBDA 2020 and YouTube.


If you want to keep up with news and information about the competition then follow the UYBDA on social media: Facebook and Instagram.


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