AIGA juries select exemplary work in communication and book design

“365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 31” and “50 Books/50 Covers of 2009” show the changing nature of visual communication design

NEW YORK—June 17, 2010. Can a slick animation help motivate a community to assist a local school in need of funding? Does a book have to be bound, or made of paper at all, to be considered a publication? This year's selections for AIGA's annual design competitions reflect the changing landscape of communication design and book design, in which designers are pushing boundaries by experimenting with format, context, materials and even their traditional role in society.

Earlier this year AIGA, the professional association for design, invited an exemplary group of designers from all disciplines to come to the National Design Center in New York City to judge the competition entries. Over the course of two weeks, a panel of 16 jurors reviewed more than 2,300 entries in the categories of Branding, Informing, Entertaining, Experimenting, Promoting and Packaging to select the best in communication design for “365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 31.” Experts in publishing and book design met separately to review entries for the “50 Books/50 Covers of 2009” competition, reviewing more than 800 entries over the course of several days.

“AIGA's design competitions have a long legacy and have adapted to the opportunities for design even as they continue to honor its craft,” says AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé. “Communication design emerged from the printed book, yet has evolved into so many other forms, which may include time, motion and space, as well as print. Both '365' and '50 Books/50 Covers' competitions represent the hallmarks of design excellence across disciplines and join together the most exceptional work of 2009.”

AIGA's “365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 31” is part of a 40-year tradition that forms an authoritative source of the best in communication design. The selections—including motion graphics, websites, magazines, packaging, environmental graphics and more—represent exemplary visual communications work from around the world. All works selected will be housed in the AIGA Archives collection at the Denver Art Museum, in addition to being included in the AIGA Design Archives online.

For more than 85 years, the “AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers Competition” has identified and celebrated the best design work in the field. All works selected for the competition are housed in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library within Columbia University's Butler Library and at the Denver Art Museum, in addition to being included in the online AIGA Design Archives.

Jurors commented on the process of judging this year's selections:

“AIGA '365' showcases the best of contemporary American design. This annual survey at once provides inspiration to designers and our clients, a demonstration of what can be achieved through the power of collaboration, and a historical record that will serve as a valuable tool for future generations of practitioners.”—Alexander Isley, principal, Alexander Isley, Inc.

“It was interesting to see work from all over the globe—what's being done, how media has merged and how design is used to communicate. I think it's important for AIGA to continue providing designers this window onto the world of design, especially at a time when what we see is so often what we understand.”—Paula Savage Hansen, CEO, SAVAGE

“Entries this year in the space category exemplify the range of expertise needed to generate a successful environmental graphic design project. It was refreshing to see lower budget projects commingling with higher budget ones, reminding us that the concept is key.”—Jill Ayers, Design 360

Selections from both competitions will be featured in upcoming traveling exhibitions—beginning at the AIGA National Design Center in New York with the “365” show opening in late September, followed by the “50 Books/50 Covers” show in early December—as well as uploaded to the AIGA Design Archives online and added to the permanent collection of the Denver Art Museum.

See the selected works

“365: AIGA Annual Design Competition 31” selections can be seen at

“AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers of 2009” selections can be seen at

About AIGA

AIGA, the professional association for design, stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. AIGA's mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design, and is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution.

For further information, please contact:Jennifer Bender
AIGA | the professional association for design
Tel 212 710 3136 Fax 212 807 1799