Dear Contestants,

We welcome your decision to participate in the 13th year of our contest, and, as in previous years, we offer you some advice. With it you can avoid making mistakes in creating contest works and achieve better results.

A good ex libris is based on a well-performed design that represents a creative connection of picture and text parts. How to proceed in creation of a design? The picture part is based on the selected topic, and that is why you should look for the signs that are specific to it. The text part is unambiguous. You know who the ex libris is created for /write his/her name and surname/, and you also know that you have to write the designation of EXLIBRIS, EX LIBRIS or its variations FROM BOOKS, BOOK, LIBRARY in your own language on a contest work. The text parts should be connected to the picture part in an artful way so that they create an ex libris composition. You should look for such art elements that will depict it and freshen it up. Selection of a type of writing is very important, it should be legible, reasonably big and placed in the space. You should select the surface type of writing, and should not underestimate its role. Connection of the picture and text in an artistic way is typical for a good ex libris.

The text and picture parts form together a format /size/ of a book plate. The size of an ex libris is not allowed to exceed the size 13 x 9 cm. We recommend that you should create designs, and also original works, in a smaller size. It is more suitable for using in practice, ex libris is mainly designated for books. Keep this fact in mind.

Place the design on a drawing paper of format A5 (21 x 15 cm). Draw diagonals by a pencil and determine the middle of the surface. Draw a rectangle round the middle with the size not larger than a maximum size of your future work / 13 x 9 cm/. Start your composition of the picture and text parts from the middle. After finishing your proposal, decide if it will be with a frame, or you will keep the outlines created by the composition. The composition can have different shapes: square, rectangular, circle, oval, triangular or polygonal.

The contest design has to be worked out by Indian ink using a pen or a brush in such a form that will predetermine your decision what graphic techniques you want to use for your proposal. You can choose from lino-engraving, lino-cut, wood-cut, wood-engraving, paper-engraving, by a dry needle, plastic-engraving or etching.. Mässer plate is also successful at creation of designs. Creation of a design that cannot be technically realised in practice is a very common mistake. Remember that linear pen-and-ink drawing is suitable for a dry needle, combination of surfaces is typical for lino-engraving, lino -cut, plastic-engraving, and other similar techniques.

If you create your design by a white tempera or a white pastel on a dark piece of paper, you will see immediately which lines or places you will remove by a graver or knife. And do not only finish with the design, try to create a matrix according to it for printing the original ex libris. It should be the aim of your effort, mainly with students of art schools. Printing out the original on a graphic press is a perfect adventure when you suddenly can see the result of your effort.

We have chosen the topic "WONDERS OF MY COUNTRY" for the 13th year of the international contest EX LIBRIS HLOHOVEC. It is a great opportunity to express your imagination, because each of you can grasp this topic in a unique way. Important buildings created by people, which have persisted for centuries, are usually presented as wonders. The typical buildings include e.g. the pyramids, the Great Wall of China, magnificent religious buildings scattered across the planet, bridges of bold curves which take your breath away, or old castles standing proudly on high rocks. However, we want you to think about what is unique to you and your nearest region.

In addition to creations of human geniuses in the form of stunning buildings and structures, we also meet the creatures of nature that are unique and unrepeatable. There may be a rock of beautiful shapes standing nearby , or a river or brook create magical landscape .For someone it can be a wonder if you see a modest plant that does not grow in any other areas, a group of trees inspiring your imagination, or a modest church standing alone away from houses. Somebody considers music and musical instruments for the greatest wonder, another can not hear a word said against books as the greatest miracle, and others give priority to sports. Creations of artists astonish us, we admire their sculptures and paintings, but we can consider a modest ornament of a national costume or folk architecture for a wonder. Somewhere in your country, birds, which we do not know here and that are undisclosed for us, have their nests. For some, a pet is the largest wonder, or a toy that you have enjoyed for years. Others give priority to technical wonders developed by science. We are sure there are some of you who admire unexplored depths of the sea, full of unknown creatures, or space distances.

You have in your hands the topic which is extremely broad and it can be processed in many ways. As usual, a book can be your best helper. Books include wisdom of many generations, you can find inspiration for you ex libris creation on their pages. Feel free to talk about your feelings and ideas for book plates with your parents or teachers. You will surely find such ways of expressing the competitive topic which will bring joy to you and to the professional jury during the assessment of your works. We are looking forward to your works and meeting the best of you in Hlohovec.

           Organisational Committee of the contest