AIGA and Design Observer partner on “50 Books/50 Covers”

Filed Under: About AIGA , Press release

NEW YORK—February 17, 2012. Today AIGA, the professional association for design, announced a partnership with Design Observer to sustain the legacy of its signature competition, “50 Books/50 Covers,” while reaching new audiences for participation and the celebration of book design. Design Observer will expand its support of this renowned AIGA competition through a partnership with Designers & Books, a website showcasing books that esteemed members of the design community identify as personally important, meaningful and formative.

“‘50 Books/50 Covers,’ in a variety of formats, has been an important opportunity to recognize book design of the highest quality and impact for nearly a century. AIGA has played a proud and consistent role in this celebration. This partnership offers a chance to reach even further into communities that love design and love books,” said Richard Grefé, executive director of AIGA.

“For more than twenty years we have been strong supporters of the ‘50 Books/50 Covers’ competition and exhibition. It is a great honor to think that we can use the broad reach of the Design Observer platform to support and expand this legacy,” noted William Drenttel, publisher and editorial director of the Design Observer Group.

William Drenttel of Design Observer and Steve Kroeter of Designers & Books will serve as co-chairs of the 2012 competition. The processes and criteria will remain similar to recent years: A call for entries for the 2012 competition, honoring books and covers from 2011, will be released in April with a June deadline for submissions.

Generally, the schedule will continue to be a call for entries in the early spring with a deadline in late spring, judging in early summer and announcements in the fall. All selections will be added to the AIGA Design Archives, the authoritative digital online collection of design excellence, as well as included in the online archives of Design Observer and Designers & Books.

About AIGA

AIGA is the professional association for design, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA today serves more than 22,000 members through 66 chapters and 200 student groups throughout the United States. AIGA stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers. Learn more at

About Design Observer Group

Design Observer Group is the leading website for design writing and criticism. With expansive coverage of design in all its forms—graphic design to product design, architecture to urban planning—Design Observer champions ideas and critical thinking about design, visual culture and social innovation. The Design Observer Group is led by William Drenttel, editorial director and publisher.

About Designers & Books

Designers & Books is devoted to publishing lists of books that esteemed members of the design community identify as personally important, meaningful, and formative—books that have shaped their values, their worldview, and their ideas about design. The mission of Designers & Books is to foster conversations that will challenge students, stimulate emerging designers, energize established designers, and be of value and interest to all members of the design community.