Tang Prize 2018 Diploma Unveiling, “The Road Not Taken”
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2018 Tang Prize Diploma Unveiling took place on June 2nd at Xinyi eslite. Dutch book designer Irma Boom is commissioned to design the diploma. Hundreds of people attended the event, including the Head Representative of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office, Guy Wittich, and Taiwan Design Center Deputy CEO, Shu-tin Ai.

Boom is a world renowned book designer, named the “Best Book Designer” by the New York Times in 2010. She has won the Golden Medal of the World Most Beautiful Book not just once, but three times. She is also the youngest recipient of the German Book Design award “Gutenberg Prize”. More than 300 books are designed by Boom. Boom’s creativity has never failed to impress.

Boom used her favorite poet’s poem “The Road Not Taken” as her design concept for the 2018 Tang Prize Diploma. Tang Prize laureates don’t look for the obvious but step on the road not taken. They dare to think of the unthought-of and hence discover a new path. Abstract and original, the diploma design is paper art in its simplicity. Folding is more like an action, giving a new perspective of looking a piece of paper.

Boom made a last minute change of the diploma colors. At the beginning, blue was used for Biopharmaceutical Science, and yellow the Rule of Law. For Boom, blue is a reliable color. It represents trust, and Rule of Law should provide this trust base. Yellow, on the other hand, is more active and bright just like chemical reactions the scientists do. Sinology has always been red because this is the color of Chinese culture. And green is a broadly recognized color for the nature, a sustainable environment.

Boom uses paper from a Swedish manufacturer. According to Boom, this supplier replants the trees that have been cut down for making papers. The audience asked why not folds the paper into a more complicated way. “Keep it simple is more challenging than making it complicated, and it has to fit into the case,” said Boom.

The diploma celebrates the Tang Prize for its bold and independent spirit in the 21st century. Tang Prize laureates don’t look for the obvious but step on the road not taken. They dare to think of the unthought-of and hence discover a new path. The four prize categories are folded into their own unique way, pointing to different directions that lead to greater diversity. Conventional A4 size paper is folded to break its regular outlines.

Mr. Wittich said “as the representative of the Netherlands, I am more than excited to be here to celebrate the design of our national pride, Ms. Irma Boom. In Chinese, a book (書), also means an important piece of document, and a diploma (證書), shows the cultural significance people add to a piece of paper. The artistic contribution from Ms. Boom to the Tang Prize marks the mutual appreciation of material memories in both the Chinese culture and the Dutch culture.”

CEO of the Tang Prize Foundation said, “Boom successfully attracts more people to pick up and read books. This is phenomenal in the digital era. The 2018 Tang Prize diploma bears Boom’s original spirit, just like the Tang Prize laureates.”

Diploma Unveiling is just the start of the grand 2018 Tang Prize Week. June 18-21 the 2018 Tang Prize laureates will be announced. The Award Ceremony is in September. Boom’s book will be displayed at Not Just Library. Know more at Tang Prize Official Website.