Stand by to fill your boots because the daddy of design blogs has unveiled both its 50 best book designs and 50 best book covers of last year. Continuing a tradition first started by the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1922, Design Observer has honoured 100 titles it believes encapsulate the best examples of a craft fighting for its future in the digital age.
“It is clear from the winning entries that designers and publishers are not just resigned to the new world but are actively challenging it,” Design Observer wrote in a blog post. "The books this year demonstrate astonishing attention to craft, as well as startling ambitions to disrupt expectations about what constitutes a “traditional” book in the first place.
“Covers as well do double and triple duty, functioning not just as alluring packaging on the bookstore shelf, but as telegraphic icons in the realm of online marketing and sortable rubrics in online libraries.”
It went on: “The designers who selected the fifty best books 92 years ago would be baffled, and perhaps even outraged, by some of the examples of the craft we honour today. Yet one hopes that they would recognise a familiar commitment to the authors, the readers, and the common culture that make these achievements so valuable, and so indispensable today.”
There were some things we knew and some we didn’t but a special mention to Everything Studio whose design for Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine by Sina Najafi was given the nod in both categories.
Book Design Winners (Selection)
Book Cover Design Winners (Selection)
- Photographer Trent Davis Bailey documents rural American community The North Fork
- Like a warm embrace, it's Best of the Web!
- Swedish illustrator Malin Rosenqvist creates textural works about psychology and powerful women
- Animator Jimmy Simpson creates technology-inspired ident for MTV
- Leander Assmann's illustrations are full of paired-back shapes and patterns
- Illustrator Andrey Kasay invites us into his surreal yet amusing world
- Grope Sans: a very rude typeface by Bompas & Parr
- Japanese graphic designer Ryu Mieno creates type-heavy works fizzing with energy
- The reductive and exacting work of graphic designer Laura Prim
- Why creative education for advertising is stuck in the dark ages
- Leipzig-based graphic designer Anja Kaiser takes us through her portfolio
- Nicolas Jaar releases Network, a book inspired by radio