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Forbes inducted into ABDA hall of fame

Book designer Alison Forbes has been announced as the 2018 inductee into the Australian Book Design Hall of Fame.

Forbes was the first full-time independent book designer in Australia, with a career that spanned more than five decades and hundreds of titles. In 1955, she designed and illustrated Alan Marshall’s autobiographical novel, I Can Jump Puddles (Puffin), which won her the Book of the Year award from the Australian Publishers Association (then the Australian Book Publishers Association), and at age 23, she became the first staff designer at Melbourne University Publishing, where she combined the part-time position with freelance commissions for a number of years.

Her books include Picnic at Hanging Rock (Joan Lindsay, Penguin), The Land that Waited (with Max Harris, Lansdowne), John Cotton’s Birds of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, 1843-1849 (Allan McEvey, Collins), The Art of the First Fleet & other Early Australian Drawings (Bernard Smith, Yale University Press) and Robin Boyd: A Life (Geoffrey Serle, Miegunyah Press).

Sun Books’ Max Harris, who worked with Forbes on several projects, said of her: ‘The meticulous Alison Forbes hasn’t lost her advanced and distinctive sense of the highest design principles’.

Forbes will be officially inducted into the ABDA hall of fame on 25 May at the ABDA awards ceremony in Melbourne.

The Australian Book Design Hall of Fame recognises ‘designers whose body of work and role in the book industry has made a significant contribution to book design in Australia’. Forbes will join current Hall of Fame members Tony Palmer, W H Chong, Sandy Cull, Deborah Brash, George Dale, Harry Williamson, Arthur Stokes, Alec Bolton and Patrick Coyle.

(Image credit: Mark Strizic, 1972.)

 

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