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.