September 7–October 12, 2000
If the book had been invented after the laptop, it would
have been hailed as a great breakthrough.
Granted, a book too difficult to read is useless. But the
attitude that printing must serve only the function of readability
is like saying that the only function of clothing is to cover
nakedness or that the only use of architecture is to provide
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds
alive on the shelves.
My belief in print is a belief in ink on paper. Everyone
complains that it has all been done before, but we haven't even
Since 1923, the AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers competition has
recognized excellence in book design and production. The entries
include books and book covers designed between January 1 and
December 31 of the previous year. Categories range from trade,
reference and juvenile books to university and museum publications
and include limited-edition and special-format books.
Each year a set of the selected entries is donated to the Rare
Book and Manuscript Library of Columbia University, which houses
the AIGA collection of award-winning books dating back to 1923. The
selections also travel to Germany, where they are entered in the
Leipzig International Book Design competition, and then exhibited
at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
“For the book designer, the marriage of form and content is a
creative consummation. This marriage can be a glorious union that
somehow becomes more than the sum of its parts—or it can be a
tortured coupling. This exhibition reveals some of the ways this
synthesis can be achieved and celebrates the vibrancy that a
thoughtfully designed book conveys to a reader.
Since content informs the creative choices underlying each
book's design, we have divided the exhibition into categories that
a reader or designer would find relevant. We avoided such terms as
”general trade“ and the like, which have limited usefulness outside
of a marketing meeting.”
AIGA’s chapters allow our members to form powerful social and
professional bonds through conferences, competitions, lectures and
Section: About AIGA -
Learn more about AIGA’s national conferences and events, and access videos from select conferences and awards events.
Section: Events and Competitions -
Conference , Event
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