Gerhard Steidl

photograph by Koto Bolofo

Steidl Japanese Photobook Award

Steidl Book Award Japan

On the occasion of the travelling exhibition“Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947‒2016”coming to Tokyo University of the Arts in November 2016 Steidl Publishers and the Tokyo Art Book Fair are initiating a new annual publishing prize, the Steidl Japanese Photobook Award.


By inviting Japan-based artists and photographers to make a book with him, publisher and printer Gerhard Steidl wishes to support the production of new work within the medium of the art- and photobook
“As a young man Robert Frank made his own book maquettes, which were the starting point for the importance of the photobook in his work. So it made sense to create an award that would encourage young people to do the same: to handcraft photobooks and realize the potential of the book as a photographic medium.”(Gerhard Steidl)


Gerhard Steidl will personally review every submitted book dummy. From September 16-19, 2016 a pre-selection of the submitted books will be on view at the Tokyo Art Book Fair. Five finalists will be invited to individual review sessions held in Tokyo with Gerhard Steidl and the winning project is to be published by Steidl Publishers in Germany. The winner will be announced at the opening of the exhibition “Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947–2016” at Tokyo University of the Arts on November 10.

About Steidl

Gerhard Steidl began working as a designer and printer in 1967. He started out printing posters for art exhibitions, and very soon Joseph Beuys and other artists were among his customers. In 1972, the first Steidl book, Befragung der documenta (Questioning documenta) was published. From political non-fiction he expanded into literature and selected art and photography books.


Since 1993, Steidl has held the worldwide rights to the work of Nobel Prize laureate Günter Grass. Celebrating some of the most distinctive voices in contemporary literature, Steidl publishes German literature as well as translations from French, English and Icelandic. In 1996, Steidl started his own photo book program. Today, some of the most renowned photographers and artists across the globe are part of the Steidl program, including Joel Sternfeld, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Robert Adams, Karl Lagerfeld, Lewis Baltz, Ed Ruscha, Roni Horn, and Juergen Teller, to name but a few.


All Steidl books are designed and produced under the same roof. Every title gets its own special format and book design. Gerhard Steidl himself whose passion for paper is legendary chooses the paper and the linen and personally sees to every step of the production, from layout to printing. He virtually has his hand on every book that has written Steidl on the cover.


What began as a backyard enterprise has evolved into one of the world’s most sophisticated and distinguished printing and publishing companies. Whether fashion, art or literature, Steidl sees himself as the artist’s and author’s ally, helping him or her “to do magic”, to create an object of art and to get it out to the readers.


Gerhard Steidl is furthermore active as a curator, conceiving and producing photography exhibitions worldwide. Recent exhibitions include “Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947–2016”; Karl Lagerfeld, “The Little Black Jacket” (for Chanel); Karl Lagerfeld, “The Glory of Water” (for Fendi); and Alessandra Borghese/Alessandra d’Urso, “For Friends” (for Louis Vuitton).


2016.11.05 Sat

  ゲルハルト氏による最終選考を終え、13作品のショートリストから、 8名のファイナリストが決定いたしました!   ファイナリストは、来週11/9に開催されるゲルハルト氏による対面レビューを行い、翌11/10にグランプリが発表されます。どの作品がグランプ…

2016.10.24 Mon

  ▼Short List (13artists)[ENTRY NO. Author /Title]56 Mi-Yeon/I and Thou3251 Eri Yamamoto/It’s raining today.3273 TAKUMI HASEGAWA/Takumi met Celebrities of the WORLD3375 GENTARO ISHIZUKA/GOLD RUSH ALASKA3376 Toru Komatsu/a distant…

2016.10.13 Thu

  先月開催された The Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016 での特別展示も大盛況だったSTEIDL BOOK AWARD JAPAN。いよいよゲルハルト氏による審査が行われます。 10月21日(金),22日(土)の2日間にわたり、ゲルハルト氏がSBAJの審査のために来日! 約700件のすべての応募作品…

2016.09.13 Tue

  8月末に応募作品がすべて揃った [Steidl Book Award Japan]。The Tokyo Art Book Fair 2016 の会場では、応募された作品から150点を並べる、特別展示を開催します。展示と審査に先立ち、すべての応募作品を閲覧したブックフェアメンバーを代表して、ディレク…

2016.06.02 Thu

    What made you decide to launch the “Steidl Book Award Japan” in Tokyo?The idea came about during talks with the Tokyo University of the Arts and POST bookshop to arrange the Tokyo location for the travelling exhibition “Robert Frank…


Submission Guidelines

The award is open to artists, photographers, and book designers (both professionals and amateurs) based in Japan, regardless of their nationality. Subject to submissions is a self-made mock-up for a book that has not previously been published by a publishing house. The mock-up does not have to consist of photographs only. It may contain other media such as painting, drawing, collage or text.

Submission requirements

1. June 2 – July 31, 2016
– Online registration


– Payment of submission fee (3,000 Yen) via paypal/wire transfer


Entry deadline: Sunday, July 31st,  Wednesday August 10th, 2016

Work submission start date: Friday, August 5th, 2016

Work submission deadline: Saturday, August 20th, 2016


2. Submission via mail to:
Steidl Book Award Japan 
3-20-13 VACANT, Jingumae Shibuya,
Tokyo, 150-0001



Submissions must include:
– hard copy of the book dummy
– digital copy of the book in pdf format
– artist statement and title of the work
– short biography
– contact details (address, phone number, email address)
– print-out of completed online application form and proof of payment


Please note:

The Award winner has the opportunity to publish the submitted book with Steidl Publishers. Therefore a visit to the Steidl Press in Göttingen, Germany will be required. The travel expenses will be covered by Steidl Publishers. Also accommodation in Göttingen for the duration of the production process will be provided.

About The Tokyo Art Book Fair

 The Tokyo Art Book Fair is the biggest art book fair in Asia, with over 300 publishers, gallery presses and independent creators taking part. Publishers from home and abroad come together at this annual event featuring books from all over the world. The Fair is now in its eighth year; this year’s guest country is Brazil.