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Open call for the Best Book Design Contest 2023


Applications are now open for “Best Book Design 2023”. Books that were published from January to November 2023 inclusive and were not previously entered into the Contest are accepted for participating in this Contest. Applications will be accepted until November 21, 2023, inclusive. As usual, participation is free.

The Best Book Design Contest was launched by Mystetskyi Arsenal in cooperation with Goethe-Institut Ukraine during the International Book Arsenal Festival in 2016. In 2023, the Contest will be held for the eighth time.

Winners to be chosen in five categories:

  • Text book (books with the dominating text component; poetry, prose, fiction, non-fiction)
  • Visual book (publications with the dominating visual component; publications about art, albums, photo books, catalogues, books with a significant number of images, comics, etc.)
  • Kids book (children’s and teenagers’ books of various genres and types, kids’ comics)
  • Utility book (books of mainly applied nature, non-fiction, popular science books, scientific, educational literature, guidebooks, cookbooks, specialised periodicals, etc.)
  • Experiment (self-published literature, photo books, art books and limited editions, zines, comics, etc.)

The winners are determined by the jury. Books submitted to the Contest must be created by Ukrainian designers / illustrators / artists or commissioned by Ukrainian publishers. Editions with purchased licensed content will not be considered. Up to 5 books from one publisher can be submitted for Contest participation.

The jury members of the “Best Book Design 2023” contest:

  • Agrafka art studio (Romana Romanyshyn, Andriy Lesiv)
  • Sasha Bychenko, Kultura Studio
  • Nadia Kelm, data visualiser
  • Hlib Kaporikov, Projector
  • Anna Ivanenko, seri/graph studio
  • Florian Lamm, Lamm & Kirch (Germany)
  • Przemek Dębowski, Karakter Publishing House (Poland)

Considering all books submitted to the Contest, the jury compiles a shortlist of finalists (15 books in total; 3 books for each Contest category). Based on the shortlist, the jury chooses the winners in each category (5 winners in total). Among the winners in five categories, the primary winner, the Grand Prix of the Contest, is chosen.

Ukrainian cultural workers, as well as Ukrainian book designers, publishers, and printing houses, have demonstrated incredible resilience over the past 20 months. We are proud and happy to support the Best Book Design Contest, even amidst full-scale war. This allows Ukrainian book design to be presented among the most beautiful books in the world in these harsh times

Fabian Mühlthaler, Director of the Goethe-Institut Ukraine.

Since its foundation, the Best Book Design Contest was conceived not only as a national award but also as a tool for creative search, and, what is crucial, for promoting Ukrainian publishers and designers and establishing the phenomenon of Ukrainian book art in the international professional and bibliophile communities. This contest has a more lasting impact than a one-time trendsetter event. It can provide professional development opportunities that we encourage you to take advantage of

Olga Zhuk, Deputy General Director at Mystetskyi Arsenal.

Apply for the Contest

The results of the eighth Best Book Design Contest will be announced in early December 2023 on the website and social media pages of the International Book Arsenal Festival. Finalists and winners of the Contest will represent Ukrainian book design in the “Best Book Design from All over the World” competition organised by the German Buchkunst Foundation. The winning books will also be exhibited at international book fairs in Leipzig and Frankfurt. In addition, the author of the most significant contribution to the design of the Grand Prix-winning book will be invited on a professional trip to Germany in 2024.


Before submitting an application, we advise you to read the Regulations carefully. The deadline for submitting applications and printed copies for the Contest is November 21, 2023, inclusive. Please send physical book copies by post or courier to the address of the Mystetskyi Arsenal office: NACMC “Mystetskyi Arsenal”, 10–12 Lavrska St., Kyiv, 01010. Contact person for delivery — Maryna Lymarenko, +380987087244.

The Contest is held by the International Book Arsenal Festival in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut Ukraine. The “Best Book Design 2023” contest takes place with the financial support of the German State Ministry for Culture and the Media.

The project partners the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Buchkunst Foundation.

Media partners — Telegraf.Design and Chytomo.

The hospitality partner BURSA.

Contact email for further questions and details (indicate “Best Book Design” in the subject line of the letter) — [email protected]