The best-designed books and book covers of 2013
NEW YORK—September 18, 2014. AIGA, Design Observer and Designers & Books today published results of the 2013 “50 Books/50 Covers” competition. A panel of jurors including Michael Bierut, partner at the New York
design firm Pentagram; Jessica Helfand, founding editor of Design
Observer; and Peter Mendelsund, associate art director of Alfred A. Knopf
Books chose 50 outstanding books and 50 exceptional covers.
This is the oldest continuously operating graphic design competition in the United States. Dating back to 1922, when the American Institute of Graphic Arts was barely a half a dozen years old, the "Fifty Books of the Year" exhibition went right to the heart of what the then-fledgling profession held dear: the design and production of books. More than 90 years later, that passion is still evident.
2013's book submissions ranged from the conventional to the radical. While the radical entries—small run experimental pieces that challenge not only our ideas of what a book is, but what reading is—were endlessly fascinating, the enduring hold of traditional publishing, against all odds, was inspiring in its own way. From well-produced, beautifully illustrated volumes on significant artists produced on behalf of major museums, to cookbooks that made the act of cooking (or for that matter eating) seem like an afterthought, designers and publishers are still translating abstract ideas and incorporeal experience into tangible objects of desire.
Covers, too, seemed more powerful than ever this year. Has the near collapse of traditional book retailing, with every inch of shelf space a battlefield, led to a more desperate time calling for desperate—but definitely ever more creative—measures? The competition for attention may have found a new arena, that finite picture field we carry in our pockets, but the requirement remains that a cover somehow summarize in a split second a work that may have taken its author months or even years to create. This years winners do this with devastating effectiveness.
Books refuse to go away quietly. In fact, they refuse to go away at all. The submissions to 2013's “50 Books/50 Covers” show demonstrate once again the hold that the printed word—printed in ink, on paper, and bound between covers—continues to hold on our imagination.
AIGA, the professional association for design, advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, inspire designers and the public, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all. Learn more at aiga.org/about.
For further information, please contact AIGA | the professional association for design
Call for entries: Nominate books and book covers worthy
of consideration to this year’s
“50 Books/50 Covers Competition,” hosted by Design Observer.
Section: Events and Competitions -
Join AIGA in New York City as we take a closer look at redesigning business for the future. Guarantee your spot now! The deadline for online registration is October 17, 2014.
In 2014, AIGA turns 100! Get involved with chapter activities, attend an upcoming event, or contribute to an online archive of design history. Celebrate AIGA by celebrating design.
Section: About AIGA -
history, AIGA news
AIGA’s chapters allow our members to form powerful social and
professional bonds through conferences, competitions, lectures and
Section: About AIGA -
This social media campaign focused exclusively on motivating young voters with content that encouraged them to take action in the 60 days leading up voter referendums on marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
Section: Why Design -
branding, editorial design, identity design, interaction design, web design, diversity, social issues, strategy, digital media, Design for Good
Join us at our Annual Town Hall Meeting. AIGA AZ Town Hall meetings happen only once a year and provide the opportunity for everyone from the community to meet the board!
Michael R. Glowacki
AIGA West Michigan
AIGA Central Pennsylvania
One can steal ideas, but no one can steal execution or passion -#timferris
Regram from #aigadesign
23 hours ago
@thethumbprint @AdobeSummit Will these glowing reviews sway you? ??Hope to see you at #AIGAdesign in Vegas https://t.co/7Uo5Z0MnCp
4 days ago
5 Questions with Orange Element
May 23, 2016
Revised AIGA Baltimore Chapter Bylaws: For Your Vote
May 22, 2016
AIGA AZ Annual Town Hall Meeting
May 18, 2016
Feed Forward Feedback