50 Books | 50 Covers competition

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AIGA + Design Observer announce the call for entries for 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2017.

This time-honored competition aims to identify the 50 best-designed books and book covers of 2017. The juror-selections from the 50 Books | 50 Covers competition exemplify the best current work in book and book cover design. Entries are open to anyone for books published in 2017. Enter now!

AIGA members enjoy a discount on entry fees as an exclusive member benefit. Not a member? Join before you begin.

Entry fees per book Until February 14 After February 14
AIGA members $45 $70
Nonmembers $70 $95

Deadlines: 11:59 p.m. Eastern

Application period and how to enter

The call for entries opened on December 4, 2017. Entries submitted after February 14, 2018 will incur a $25 late fee per book and/or book cover. Late fees will be added automatically to entries submitted after 11:59 p.m. Eastern. All entries must be submitted by the final deadline of February 28, 2018 to be considered by the jurors. All deadlines are final. Do not mail books to the AIGA or Design Observer offices; instructions will be provided.

Visit the online system for deadlines and eligibility, file prep and shipping, fees and payment, and terms and conditions. View the growing list of completed entries on Design Observer. Jurors will be announced in January.

Entrants will be notified in summer 2018 if their work is selected by the jurors. Watch this space for updates.

Still have questions? Visit contact information and FAQs.

About 50 Books | 50 Covers

This survey of the best in book design represents perhaps the longest-standing legacy in American graphic design. Beginning in 1923, the Fifty Books of the Year competition was a yearly mainstay of AIGA. As dust jackets became more common, covers were added to the competition. In 2012, Design Observer, in partnership with AIGA, began hosting the competition and through a new joint venture, we are delighted to usher in another year of amazing book and cover design.

Books selected from this year’s competition will be included in the AIGA Design Archives—the extensive archive contains inspiration from book design competitions dating back to 1924. Selections will also be published on Design Observer. Physical copies will be housed at the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University as well as the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University's Butler Library (RBML) for future generations to enjoy.

Past selections

Past selections from AIGA’s book design competitions have been added to the AIGA Design Archives—one of the richest online resources available to those who practice, study, and appreciate great design—as well as the physical archives at the Denver Art Museum (1980–2012) and at the RBML at Columbia University's Butler Library in New York City.

2016
See the 2016 book selections, and the 2016 book cover selections.
Press release for juror selections from the 2016 competiton.
View the collection in the AIGA Design Archives.

2015
See the 2015 book selections, and the 2015 book cover selections.

2014
See the 2014 book selections, and the 2014 book cover selections.

2013
See the 2013 book selections, the 2013 book cover selections.

2012
See the 2012 book selections, the 2012 book cover selections.

2011
See the 2011 book selections, the 2011 book cover selections.

Selections prior to 2011 can be found in the AIGA Design Archives.