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)
- Graphic design studio Pa-i-ka always purposefully changes its creative output
- Mico Toledo's Velho Chico, illustrated by Sophy Hollington, augments Brazilian folklore
- Mak Kai Hang discusses the typographic differences within Chinese graphic design
- Rhea Dillon explores black existence and politics in her art as a “means of bringing about change”
- Kilian Vilim's film Ooze is a psychological exploration of loneliness through animation
- Set designer Sharon Samuels talks us through her work on Steve McQueen's Widows
- This is an article about Wieden+Kennedy’s clever ad campaign - No B.S
- Combining thoughtful design and big business: an interview with Made Thought
- Cornelius de Bill Baboul's latest project is "like Baudelaire in the age of McDonalds"
- Okuyama Taiki became interested in design while running a free bookshop in Tokyo
- Courtney Barnett discusses her love for illustrators, animators and her own creativity too
- “The beauty of abstraction”: Christoph Niemann on his new mural for a Berlin train station