CompetitionBook Arsenal


The most beautiful books of the year will be chosen in Ukraine on June 2. The competition for the best book design is initiated and conducted for the third time by the Goethe-Institut Ukraine in cooperation with the VIII International Book Arsenal Festival and the Chytomo cultural and publishing project. The project is supported by the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Buchkunst Foundation.

“This year we expect many high-quality and valuable books with aesthetic and innovative design,” says Beate Köhler, director of the Goethe-Institut Ukraine. – Three years ago we only dreamed that Ukrainian books would be exhibited among the most beautiful books of the world at the Frankfurt Book Fair. I believe that this competition has a direct impact on the emergence of new ambitious publishers, whose artistic and innovative publications are an important alternative to a mass product.”

Olesia Ostrovska-Luta, director general of Mystetskyi Arsenal, tells about the future of the winning books:  “In the autumn of 2018, the winners of the best book design contest will be presented at the Ukrainian national stand in Frankfurt.  Also these books will be included in the collection The Most Beautiful Books of the World, which is formed by the Buchkunst Foundation and presented at the Leipzig Book Fair. It’s nice when our winning books then take prizes at the most important contests of the world. For instance, books Loudly, Softly, in a Whisper and I see so by creative workshop “Agrafka” won in a nomination for children non-fiction in BolognaRagazzi Award 2018 – one of the most prestigious awards in children’s literature in the world. It shows that we think and move in unison with the world. “

“Our goal has always been to popularize reading,” – says Iryna Baturevych, co-founder of the Chytomo cultural and publishing project. – However, it is impossible to promote something that doesn’t have its artistic expression, aesthetics and culture of intellectual consumption. At the same time, the functionality, convenience and ability to tell the story in an understandable visual language should not be neglected. Every year we witness the emergence of new books with beautiful design, and they make our stories visible to the world.  I’d like to believe that in the nearest future we’ll see more and more of such stories, and the contest The best book design will contribute to this.”

By May 22, Ukrainian publishers may submit to the contest books created by Ukrainian designers or illustrators and published between April 2017 and May 2018. By May 1, books must be registered through an online form. It must be the first time when book is submitted to the contest. One publisher can submit up to 5 books.

To participate in the competition you need:

  1. Fill out the Google form before 01.05:
  2. From 1.05 to 22.05, books that will take part in the competition should be brought or sent to the Goethe-Institut Ukraine library (Kyiv, Voloska St., 12/4) labeled “The Best Book Design 2018”.

To participate in the nomination “The Prize of the Reader’s Choice” please fill out this form:

Prize fund

The Goethe-Insitut Ukraine provides lump-sum allowances to cover travel expenses for visiting the Frankfurt Book Fair for the person who contributed most to the artistic embodiment of the winning book (publication concept, cover design, illustration, book architectonics, layout, font design, etc.). The Frankfurt Book Fair provides a 6-day entry ticket Business Club Wochenticket (equivalent to 1050 euros) to the winner and an entry ticket to the designer (illustrator).

The expert commission does not accept:

  • book editions reproduced according to layouts of other publishing houses (purchased under license);
  • books that contain unlicensed content contradicting current copyright and intellectual property legislation;
  • books that promote violence and cruelty, racial, ethnic or religious intolerance and discrimination, contain gender or other stereotypes that degrade the honor and dignity of any social group or individuals;
  • books published by unregistered publishers, and that were published before April 2017.

Shortlisted publishers are required to provide 3 copies of their books: one copy will be added to the collection of the most beautiful books at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the second one for the Buchkunst fund, and the third one for the Book Arsenal Fund.


Mariya Shubchyk, Goethe-Institut Ukraine
[email protected]

Kateryna Levchenko, Book Arsenal Festival
[email protected]

Iryna Baturevych, Chytomo
[email protected]