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)
- Sam Pilling, Hattie Newman, Phil Sharp and Kit Caless at Nicer Tuesdays September
- Stephanie Unger’s instinctive illustrations use bright colours and simple shapes
- Graphic designer Timo Lenzen fuses hyperreal, architectural forms with vivid colours
- Nobrow co-founder Sam Arthur shares his favourite books
- Photographer Laura Pannack finds inspiration in a Romanian folk tale
- Ho Tam, the one-man-band publisher
- “Nymphomaniac” photographer Casper Sejersen's explosive images
- Anja Wicki's sarcastically sweet comic illustrations
- Logo Pizza is selling 50 ready-made logos that increase in price with each one sold
- Google and INT Works commission 19 illustrators to create over 500 works for Allo app launch
- The Gentlewoman’s art director, Veronica Ditting gives us a peek at her bookshelf