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

Date
27 June 2013
Reading Time
2 minute read

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.

Above

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

Above

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

Above

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

Above

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

Above
James Goggin and Scott Reinhard: Helen Molesworth — This Will Have Been: Art, Love, and Politics in the 1980s
Above

Lucienne Roberts, Rebecca Wright and John McGill: Lucienne Roberts, Rebecca Wright — Page 1: Great Expectations / Seventy graphic solutions

Above

Jessica Hische: Dave Eggers — A Hologram For The King

Above

Christopher King: Tao Lin — Shoplifting from American Apparel

Above

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

Above

Jennifer Carrow/Rodrigo Corral: Tupelo Hassman — Girlchild

Above

Studio Firth: Adam Thirlwell — Kapow!

Above

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

Above

Paul Woterink: Michael Dawkes — The Sardinians

Above

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

Above

Jamie Keenan: Jürgen Fauth — Kino

Share Article

About the Author

Rob Alderson

Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.