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Designers at the Design Exchange

The Alcuin Awards for book design were officially handed out earlier this year in Vancouver, but the organizers decided to hold a smaller reception in Toronto on July 13 that also coincided with the start of an book design exhibit at the Design Exchange. (Photos by Frank Yang.)

Checking out the wares.

Linda Gustafson, organizer of the Toronto event.

Globe and Mail books editor Martin Levin was the host, and he let his opinions be known. “I have one beef with Canadian book design … too much sepia.”

Kids Can Press designer Karen Powers accepted two awards for Mixed Beasts and The Highwayman.

Tim Inkster, accepting an award P.K. Page’s A Brazilian Alphabet for the Younger Reader.

After the awards were handed out, a panel discussion ensued. Among the panelists was freelance book designer Paul Hodgson of Cundari SFP, a branding a communications agency.

Panelist and bookbinder Reg Beatty.

Freelance art director Ingrid Paulson spoke on the panel about why marketing often wins out over art when it comes to book design. “When books are done as works of art, they may sit too quietly on the shelf.”