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The most beautiful books of slovakia

The most beautiful books of slovakia

The competition for the Most Beautiful Books of Slovakia was established in 1965 with an aim to support the artistic qualities and printing standard of books’ accomplishment. Since 1993 the principal organizer has been BIBIANA with an assistance of the co-organizers, i.e. the Ministry of Culture SR, the Ministry of Education SR, the Slovak National Library and the Slovak Printing Union. 
Submitted books are judged by an expert jury in view of their artistic and printing values considering the interplay of all components of the book entirety. Each year the jury appoints a collection of up to 20 titles which are pronounced the Most Beautiful Books of Slovakia. All involved subjects (authors, publisher and printer) are delivered a Diploma for the chosen books. 
Besides, the jury grants a set of special prizes to creators of selected books:
  • Award of the Ministry of Culture SR to the publisher for an overall artistic and technical quality of the book; 
  • Award of the Ministry of Culture SR to the author for outstanding book illustrations;
  • Award of the Ministry of Culture SR to the author for an outstanding book design;
  • Award of the Ministry of Culture SR to the publisher for a bibliophilic book;
  • Award of the Ministry of Education SR to the publisher for a textbook; 
  • BIBIANA Award to the publisher for the most beautiful children’s book; 
  • Award of the Slovak Printing Union to the printing house for an outstanding printing processing;
  • Award of the Slovak National Library for a student thesis. 



During the 19th and 20th of February, the international jury of the nationwide competition The Most Beautiful Books of Slovakia (NKS), which consisted of experts from the field of graphic design and visual communication, met in BIBIANA. In total, they judged more than 200 original book titles submitted to the national competition.

As it follows from the new statute of the NKS competition, the two-day (Monday/Tuesday) evaluation session brought together all five members of the international jury, who were approved by the Executive Committee of the competition (Zuzana Liptáková, Barbara Brathová, Pavel Sibyla, Maroš Schmidt) - representatives of the institutions directly involved in the organisation of the NKS competition. The meeting was also attended by members of the Association of Polygraphy in Slovakia, who awarded a non-statutory prize to the printer for the quality of the complex polygraphic processing of the book.

In the 32nd edition, the judges evaluated the books only on the based of their overall visual and book design, without any reference to the genre of the book. In the first round, each juror and jury member independently selected 15 titles (5x15) based on their own preferences.

After the lunch break, the jury continued as a joint team and voted for the jury president - Lucia Žatkuliakova. Then the team of the jury started presenting the titles they had selected. They evaluated the books together in a professional but critical discussion and found possible overlaps. Their discussion resulted in a collection of twenty nominated books. The evaluation of the submitted book titles was carried out in accordance with the terms and conditions of the competition.

During the second day of the session, the judges began early in the morning to hold detailed discussions about each book in the nominated collection. They carefully evaluated the titles not only visually, but also in terms of content - they tried to get to know the publications as much as possible in order to understand the overall concept of the titles, as the content often determines the visual aspect of the book.

The international jury tried to create a balance - a varied palette in terms of genre, team, publishing house, creative approach, typography or format. As the statute shows, the jury also took the opportunity to award a special prize for an exceptional and innovative achievement in book production - the Jury Prize. Once the winning collection was compiled, the members of the jury began to prepare short reflections on the nominated and winning books, which the organizing team of the competition will subsequently work with in printed materials, on social networks and offer to the media. The winning collection The Most Beautiful Books of Slovakia 2023 will be presented on 23 April 2024 during a ceremony at the Slovak National Gallery. We will gradually publish the shortlist on our social networks.