50 Books | 50 Covers

This time-honored competition aims to identify the 50 best-designed books and book covers. To celebrate powerful and compelling book design, we’re calling all designers, publishers, and authors to enter their most inspired creations from this incredible year.

Call for Entries: AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2021 identity. A flutter of books floats across the image containing the AIGA logo and thw words 50 Books | 50 Covers

Press Release

The AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2021 call for entries is open!

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Call for Entries: AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2021 identity. A flutter of books floats across the image containing the AIGA logo and thw words 50 Books | 50 Covers

Add your creations to the stacks.

The call for entries are open for the annual AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers competition, recognizing the best of book and book cover design from around the world. Enter before February 3, to avoid late fees.

Enter Now

The exciting part about opening any new book for the first time is the power it has to influence your relationship to typography or images—by its placement, position or scale on a single page.

Kelly Walters

50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020 Juror

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About AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers

This survey of 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. AIGA is delighted to usher in another year of amazing book and cover design.

Even in an era of digital books and Insta stories, AIGA understands the timeless, magnetic power of design to engage readers and encourage them to turn the page. That is why the AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers competition continues to recognize the best of book and book cover design from around the world. Selections from past 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. From 2012–2018 Design Observer hosted the competition with AIGA through a joint venture and winners can be seen on Design Observer (2011–2017). Recent winner galleries include: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2018, and 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2019, and this year's 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020.

Competition Details

     All deadlines are at 11:59 p.m. ET.

    Entry Fees
    (per book)

    Early Discount Deadline:
    December 30, 2021

    Regular Deadline:
    February 3, 2022

    Final Deadline:
    February 15, 2022

    AIGA Members

    $70

    $85

    $110

    Nonmembers

    $100

    $115

    $140

     

    Join before December 31, 2021 to lock in your membership rate at the 2021 prices. On January 1, 2022, we will be introducing a new membership structure that will better reflect the value of membership and career pathways of our members. 

    If work is selected by the jurors, entrants will be notified in May 2022.

    Juror selections will be published on the competition website. Physical copies will be housed at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University's Butler Library (RBML) for future generations to enjoy.

    Jurors will be announced in January 2022.

    Visit contact information and FAQs. Office hours for support are 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. EST (Monday-Friday).

    AIGA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. As the largest professional membership association for design, AIGA connects and builds community through advocacy, education, professional research, and vital career resources. All entry fees from 50 Books | 50 Covers go towards AIGA's programs.

    Learn more

     


    Great book design is the conceptual structure that captures and illuminates the editorial content of the author.

    Jennifer Morla

    50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020 Juror

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    Call for Entries

    Enter the 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2021 Competition!

    Enter Now

    Resources

    Contact Us:

    Competitions

    Meet the Jurors for 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020

    Jurors for 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2021 will be announced in January 2022.

    Portrait of Gail Anderson by Nir Arieli

    Jury Chair

    Gail Anderson

    Portrait of Jennifer Morla

    Jennifer Morla

    Portrait of Paul Sahre

    Paul Sahre

    Portrait of Kelly Walters

    Kelly Walters

    50 Books | 50 Covers Winner Kyle Meyer Interwoven

    50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020 Winners

    With 696 entries from 36 countries, the juror-selections from this year's 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020 competition exemplify the best current work from a year marked by unparalleled change.

    Explore the Gallery

    What. A. Year. Books became our best friends as we curled up near the fireplace seeking comfort in something familiar. We celebrate the best of the best designs that drew us into the written pages.

    Gail Anderson

    50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020 Jury Chair

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    Building Partnerships With A Vibrant Community

    The National Partnership Program is about leadership, relevance, and impact—with, within, and through design—to build and sustain programs, initiatives, and resources that champion a more contemporary and inclusive profession.