The Most Beautiful Swiss Books

Join us to see the winners of an annual competition recognizing the work of the most talented book designers in Switzerland.

The Most Beautiful Swiss Books Exhibition, Helmhaus Zurich, June 2019, by Diana Pfammatter

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


July 19, 2019 from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



Join us for a showcase of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books opening during the SF Art Book Fair on Thursday, June 18, 2019. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books is an annual competition recognizing the work of the most talented book designers in Switzerland. Selected by an international jury, this year includes 19 books, chosen from 388 entries, to be showcased in the exhibition. 

As always, this year’s catalogue presents the results of the annual Most Beautiful Swiss Books competition, but this time it comes as 19 separate issues. Designer Teo Schifferli has transformed the 19 winning books into vessels for the catalogue. His graphic concept explores the relationship between original and reproduction, but takes the roles of catalogue and book and swaps them round. So this year’s catalogue is not a single volume but a series of 19 – each with a print run of 160 copies, and each reproducing the entire content of one of the award-winning books and containing a second section covering the competition and the winners. Teo Schifferli has adopted a standardized approach to the reproduction process, with all the originals being enlarged or reduced to A4 format, all the original content being printed in black, and all the different papers replaced by a single standard paper. The result is a book that’s also a facsimile – a model of the original.

The Swiss Federal Office of Culture organizes the competition ‘The Most Beautiful Swiss Books’ on an annual basis. It recognizes excellence in the field of book design and production, drawing attention to remarkable and contemporary books by Swiss designers, printers, and publishers. It was established by the famous typographer and designer Jan Tschichold in 1943. The competition is open to graphic designers, publishers, and printers.

The exhibition is open M-F, 1-5pm from July 19 to September 29, 2019 (closed on August 1 and September 2, 2019).

Opening Night Program

6:00pm — doors open
7:00pm — p
resentation by Philippe Desarzens (Side Issues)
8:30pm — doors close

Side Issues

Side Issues is an independent imprint based in Zurich that was founded by Philippe Desarzens in 2013. Side Issues is dedicated to the publication of projects in the fields of art, science and design with a focus on the image in its broadest sense. It aims to give a fresh take on overlooked topics and searches for the inspiring and unexpected. It was founded as an experimental editing practice and ongoing collaborative process.

The first editorial project is a series of ten imprints that share the same format in a limited and numbered edition. Often based on a single body of images and performing like a short essay, each edition explores an under examined yet simple topic with the aim of opening up a wider field of reflexion relating to the ideas of collection and repetition. The first ten issues are conceived in collaboration with invited artists, collectors and authors.

Photo: The Most Beautiful Swiss Books Exhibition in Zurich, Switzerland. Photo Diana Pfammatter. 

Event Photos