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)
- “My personal work informs everything that comes after it" and other bits we learned at September's Nicer Tuesdays
- Xiang Guan’s Symbiotic Objects require a human component
- Alex Fergusson on the provocative and powerful nature of surface graphics
- Bendik Kaltenborn talks us through his retrospective book, collating ten years worth of work
- Meet music-obsessed graphic designer François Boulo
- César Pelizer’s 2D and 3D experiments are full of humour and imagination
- Vicky Grout takes us on a photographic trip through east London using Kodak's Ektra smartphone
- The Visual History of Type author Paul McNeil selects and dissects his six favourite faces
- Timo Kuilder combines clean-cut linework with limited colours in his editorial work
- David Luraschi’s strikingly simple new campaign for fashion brand Jacquemus
- How 13 designers responded to a one-word brief: water
- Nicolas Ménard creates short animation for online mortgage broker Habito