New York Rights Fair, a new international rights and licensing marketplace organized by Publishers Weekly, BolognaFiere and Combined Book Exhibit, announced the winning titles from Talking Pictures: Selected Books, an inaugural juried competition honoring excellence in visual books.

Talking Pictures: Selected Books is an offshoot of Talking Pictures: The Visual Book Now, a cultural initiative and symposium to be held in conjunction with the New York Rights Fair, which will take place May 30 – June 1, 2018, at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan. The Talking Pictures: The Visual Book Now symposium was conceived by Steven Guarnaccia of the Parsons School of Design in collaboration with the Hamelin Cultural Association, an Italian cultural association focused on cultural and educational programming and visual media for children and teens.

The winning titles in the Talking Pictures visual books competition were chosen in five categories by a jury of representatives from Publishers Weekly, Parsons School of Design, and Hamelin Cultural Association. The jury chose three honoree titles and three honorary mentions in each category.

Ilaria Tontardini of the Hamelin Cultural Association and a member of the jury said, “The number and variety of books we received from publishers was astonishing, especially given that it is the first year of the program.” She also noted that the jurors were “from varied backgrounds, Italian and American, and we found a balance by discussing each book and defending our points of view. Each discussion was nourishing, and the final selections reflect that.”

Elena Pasoli from the Bologna Fair said “As the Bologna Children’s Book Fair organizers, we are very focused on picture and visual books. The idea was to bring designers and graphics arts specialists into the conversation about the book and to give these incredible pieces of work global visibility through the New York Rights Fair.”

“There is a renaissance of the visual book. In visual books—children’s books, art books, comics and particularly cookbooks—you see great innovation and energy,” said Guarnaccia. “Talking Pictures: Selected Books’ is a celebration of the visual book in all its manifestations.”

The Talking Pictures symposium is free and open to the public and will take place on May 29, 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Parsons School of Design, 66 Fifth Avenue at West 13th Street in New York City.

The winners of the Taking Pictures: Selected Books competition are listed below. A complete listing including titles that received an honorary mention can be found on the New York Rights Fair website.

Top Visual Book Honorees for 2017

Art & Photography

The Black Trilogy. Photographs by Ralph Gibson; text by Gilles Mora (University of Texas Press)

The Fire Next Time by Steve Schapiro (Taschen)

Artists Who Make Books, edited by Andrew Roth, Philip E. Aarons and Claire Lehmann (Phaidon)


Catalonia by Jose Pizarro (Hardie Grant Publishing)

Igni by Aaron Turner; photographs by Julian Kingman (Hardie Grant Publishing)

On Vegetables by Jeremy Fox with Noah Galuten; photographs by Rick Poon (Phaidon)

Children's Picture Books

Cabanes by Aurèlien Débat (Les Grandes Personnes)

Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press)

Nos Vacances by Blexbolex (Trapèze Albin Michel Jeunesse)

Comics & Graphic Novels

The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson and Landis Blair (First Second Books)

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris (Fantagraphics Books)

Paintoonist by Jerry Moriarty (Fantagraphics Books)

Architecture & Graphic Design

Lot-Ek by Ada Tolla and Guiseppe Lignano with Thomas de Monchaux (The Monacelli Press)

Star Wars Super Graphic by Tim Leong (Chronicle Books)

The Sausage of the Future by Carolien Niebling (Lars Müller Publishers)