This sympathetic little book in stapled exercise-book format is the catalogue for the prize for painting awarded annually to four artists by the Dutch monarch. Notwithstanding this attention from such an important quarter but in tune with the fact that the prize is for aspiring young artists, designer Ian Brown has gone for an unobtrusive and restrained cahier, complete with rounded corners. Inside are notes on the incipient careers of the four burgeoning talents. Brown has elected not so much to reflect the hype surrounding so much promise but instead to take the artists’ not yet matured unfolding fragility and give it shape as an interim advance on the future. In the thoughtfully designed main matter we see the monochrome of the introductory texts replaced by colour in the images: from left to right the double-page spread of the majestic main hall of the Palace on the Dam, where the prize is presented each year, takes on more and more colour, shifting gradually from fairly coarse monochrome half-tone to red and blue and green, after which the four laureates’ paintings take over.
The panel thought this catalogue with its unassuming grey cover was striking in its simplicity, as well as being effective and beautiful in its structure and rhythm.