The 14th Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design

By on January 24, 2014

The Friends of the Library recently announced the recipient of the 14th Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design.  Judges Gerald Lange, Professor Antonio Castro, and Lorez Curlin Retta chose designers Arlyn Nathan and Tom Leech to receive the prestigious award for the book, Jack Thorp’s Songs of the Cowboys by Jack Thorp, published by The Press at the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They also awarded two honorable mentions: Carolee Campbell for Lives of Artists by W.S. Merwin (2013) from Ninja Press in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The other went to J.B. Bryan and Tom Leech for O’Keeffe Stories by Margaret Wood (2012) from The Press at the Palace of the Governors.  The books will be exhibited in the University Library for two months after the award ceremony.  Nathan and Leech will receive a $1,000 cash prize, a framed certificate, a bronze medal, and national exposure.  The book will be placed permanently in the Carl Hertzog Collection located on the 6th floor of the UTEP Library.  The lecture and ceremony, followed by a reception, will be held at 2pm, on Sunday, March 9th, at the El Paso Natural Gas Conference Center at UTEP.


The history of the award goes back to 1989 when Library Director Robert A. Seal and the Associates of the University Library (now known as the Friends of the Library) established a lecture series.  Two years later, in 1991, the first award was given to Gerald Lange-USC Press for a book titled The Letter of Columbus on His Discovery of the New World.  The creation of the award was an attempt to encourage artisans and demonstrate the importance of fine printing as an art. The lecture and award are named for Carl Hertzog, book designer and printer.  Hertzog had a great love of books and regarded printing as a fine art.


Three Judges are chosen who all share a common, creative background as well as a great love for book arts and design.  The panel includes a person involved in the arts, a second from the publishing world, and a bibliophile.  All work to meticulously select a designer to receive the award. Books and pamphlets are accepted and must have a minimum print run of 25 copies.  The judges make their decision after three rounds of judging during which they pay close attention to binding, title page, paper, typography, and layout.


For a complete list of contest guidelines as well as the history of the award and past winners and runner-ups, visit the links below.

Winner of 14th Carl Hertzog Award Announced

 Carl Hertzog Award for Excellence in Book Design

Texas State Historical Association

All photos by Yvette Delgado


Posted in: History