50 Books | 50 Covers

This time-honored competition aims to identify the 50 best-designed books and book covers of 2020. The juror-selections from the 50 Books | 50 Covers competition exemplify the best current work in book and book cover design.

50 Books | 50 Covers

Coming Soon!

Winners will be announced in June. Follow us for updates.

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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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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).

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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Competition Details

    Entry Fees
    (per book)

    Early Deadline:
    February 8, 2021

    Final Deadline:
    February 18, 2021

    AIGA Members

    $55

    $80

    Nonmembers

    $85

    $110

    If work is selected by the jurors, entrants will be notified in May 2021.

    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.

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

    View the online gallery of completed entries.

    Call for Entries

    Call for entries open
    December 17, 2020

    Early entry deadline
    February 8, 2021

    Final entry deadline
    February 18, 2021

    Enter

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    Meet the Jurors

    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

    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.