Students are responsible for curating the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) Book Design Awards website and ensuring it is the hub of information and news about the award, its nominees and winners. They source, edit, format and upload content about the nominated designers and their work, publicise the awards, and of course make sure it’s updated on the dot when the winners are announced. More goes on behind the scenes to keep the website running smoothly than you ever see from the front end – particularly when those last-minute updates have to be made from the awards ceremony!
Publicising the PANZ Book Design Awards
The core market for the Book Design Awards is within the book and design communities, so students have been working on ways to generate more buzz around the shortlisting and awards within these groups.
In 2013, students asked the designers shortlisted for the Young Designer of the Year to produce something that showcased their design work. They shared these fantastic videos through social media:
Susan Wood was the project manager for the group of students working on the 2014 PANZ Book Design Awards website and publicity programme, and she describes the process here.
Our first task involved updating the website with all of the information about the books shortlisted for the awards, which was much trickier than I had anticipated! We had to source, upload and format all information for each shortlisted book, as well as the profiles of the shortlisted young designers and the judges. Luckily I had the amazing Katie Sims and Briar Lawry in the group to help with all the scary HTML coding.
To create interest in the awards and to drive more people to the website, we launched Book Look, in which we asked designers and book industry folks to tell us about a book that had caught their eye, and posted these on the website and on Facebook. Following the lead of last year’s group we asked the three shortlisted young designers to make a brief animation about their design process — you can see these videos below. We created a scrolling slideshow of the shortlisted titles, and one for the winners once they were announced.
We had to update all of the information on the website to be able to be published as soon as the awards ceremony was over, as well as the judges’ comments on each title. Thankfully, we had Katie back in Wellington to make this happen, while Briar and I helped out at the ceremony in Auckland – me in charge of the PowerPoint announcing the winners (an unnerving task – if I were to go too fast I would ruin the surprise) and Briar handing out prizes. It was a buzzing and happy night, and we all felt like we had done a good job by the end of it.