Animation by Katrīna Sadovņikova

Designer Klāvs Priedītis has received the first Young Designer Award of the book art competition Zelta Ābele, which will be presented annually from now on. The jury noted Klāvs’ ability to create harmonious compositions rooted in his interest in the history of graphic design. In the Nice Touch section, the designer talks about an item that helps him discover and appreciate the nuances of book design.

Nice Touch Editorial April 19, 2024

«The profession of a designer is very much about attention and the ability to notice nuances and linger on them for a while. Wherever I go, I almost always have a backpack with me, and in one of its pockets, among the various useful tools and useless trinkets, is a magnifying glass.

When it comes to the choice of materials or the various printing techniques, it is often the details that are difficult to appreciate with the naked eye that count. However, when the book is finished, it is precisely these details that help or, on the contrary, hinder the whole experience of using the book. For example, you can try to appreciate the texture and fibre of the paper by touch, but if you have a magnifying glass handy, you can also take a closer look. It’s a different experience, and sometimes a new idea only comes to you when you can see what you couldn’t see before.

I myself use a 25-mm magnifying glass, which can magnify the image 40 times. That’s quite enough to appreciate printed works or just to have a good look at the ligatures and question marks of a typeface up close.»

Designer Klāvs Priedītis has worked in various design disciplines, but his work with books is particularly notable. His books for the publishing house Neputns, Ilmārs Šlāpins’ poetry collection Never and Uldis Briedis’ photography book Recent Times, have been nominated for the Latvain book ar prize Zelta Ābele 2023. Klāvs is an avid collector of historical and rare books, and this is also reflected in his signature style. In addition to his design practice, Klāvs hosts the radio programme Kāpēc Dizains? (Why Design?).