AIGA Celebrates the Best Book Design in America

“50 Books/50 Covers of 2011” results announced with Design Observer and Designers & Books

NEW YORK—October 1, 2012. Throughout its nearly 100-year existence, AIGA has recognized excellence in graphic design. Many forms, formats and trends have been brought to the public through competitions, exhibitions, case studies and publications—an endeavor befitting of “the professional association for design,” whose mission includes demonstrating design’s power. One of the best-known competitions is “50 Books/50 Covers,” which showcases book design of the highest quality and impact.

AIGA partnered with Design Observer and Designers & Books this year to open the debate to a broader audience; anyone with an opinion on book and book cover design was able to submit nominations online, as long as the book was published in 2011. In addition, the three partners created a 37-person advisory board to augment public selections with curatorial review and recommendations.

“We shifted away from a typical competition structure in order to make it a more inclusive process that captures the breadth of incredible design in publishing; anyone could nominate a book for its cover design or overall design,” explains AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé.

Among this year’s honorees are an anthology of works by new American writers adorned with only a pencil; a service and prayer book for the Church of England, in which typography takes the place of expected graphics; Stefan G. Bucher’s richly illustrated DIY guide for creatives; a book called Bed for which the title’s letters are mattresses; a reimagining of Jack Kerouac’s collection of works; and a bold interpretation of David Foster Wallace’s posthumously published unfinished novel. See all 50 book selections and 50 cover selections online.

While “50 Books/50 Covers” has taken a variety of formats over the years, AIGA has taken pride in playing a role in this important opportunity to celebrate achievement in book design. All selections will be added to the AIGA Design Archives, the authoritative digital online collection of design excellence, and included in the online archives of Design Observer and Designers & Books.

Published October 4, 2012
AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.