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    Jamie Keenan: Jürgen Fauth — Kino (detail)

Graphic Design: Design Observer honour best book designs of last year

Posted by Rob Alderson,

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.

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    Everything Studio: Sina Najafi — Curiosity and Method: Ten Years of Cabinet Magazine

Book Design Winners (Selection)

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    Kayla Jang, Ludwig Janoff and Paula Scher: Type Directors Club —Typography 33

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    Claudia Clat and Elena Carl/Spin: Adrian Shaughnessy — Herb Lubalin

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    Placement: Danielle Aubert, Lana Cavar, Natasha Chandani —Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies: Lafayette Park, Detroit

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    James Goggin and Scott Reinhard: Helen Molesworth — This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s
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    Lucienne Roberts, Rebecca Wright and John McGill: Lucienne Roberts, Rebecca Wright — Page 1: Great Expectations / Seventy graphic solutions

Book Cover Design Winners (Selection)

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    Jessica Hische: Dave Eggers — A Hologram For The King

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    Christopher King: Tao Lin — Shoplifting from American Apparel

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    Paul Soulellis: Paul Soulellis — Stripped (Sixty-Six Sunsets Stripped)

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    Jennifer Carrow/Rodrigo Corral: Tupelo Hassman — Girlchild

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    Studio Firth: Adam Thirlwell — Kapow!

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    Damon Murray and Stephen Sorrell: D.T. MAx — Every Love Story Is A Ghost Story: A Life Of David Foster Wallace

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    Paul Woterink: Michael Dawkes — The Sardinians

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    Scot Bendall, Richard Carey, Jon Lyen: Ned Beauman — The Teleportation Accident

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    Jamie Keenan: Jürgen Fauth — Kino

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Posted by Rob Alderson

Editor-in-Chief Rob oversees editorial across all three It’s Nice That platforms; online, print and events. He has a background in newspaper journalism and a particular interest in art, advertising and photography. He is the main host of the Studio Audience podcast.