On 5 July, AIGA – the professional association for design – announced the winners of its annual book and book cover competition, which has been running since its inception as the Fifty Books of the Year competition in 1923. This year the event saw over 487 entries, with the jury experiencing “extreme difficulty” when making the final selection due to the quantity and quality of entries.
Among the winners was a typographically driven submission from Laura Coombs, the designer behind Mindy Seu’s archival project Cyberfeminism Index. Rodrigo Corral’s peachy cover for Butts by Heather Radke also received high praise from the jury; “Stopped me in the bookstore. Clear, arresting, funny, simple,” says the jury. As did Bloco Gráfico’s design for Abdias Nascimento: A Panamefrican Artist, which used typography to further highlight the artist’s work. Readers can find the full gallery of winning entries here.
Some of the most popular techniques for book and editorial design last year were exposed bindings and mixed paper choices; tactile and craft-led experiments could also be found throughout.
AIGA 50 Books | 50 Covers chair Andrew Satake Blauvelt also pointed to the increased diversity in subject matter across categories this year. “This was apparent to me among the cookbooks for instance, which focused on diasporic cuisine or in the number of exhibition catalogues devoted to artists of colour, for instance.”
“The strongest covers really connected to the content of the book, while the book designs displayed a penchant for material choices that really emphasised the physicality or object quality of the book,” says Andrew.
Everything Studio: Making Water by Laura Jaramillo (Copyright © Futurepoem)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.