This week, AIGA, the professional association for design, announced the winners of their annual 50 Books | 50 Covers competition, which this year evaluated 487 entries from 27 countries.
The jury and I were very impressed with both the quantity and quality of the entries this year, which made choosing only 50 extremely difficult,” said Andrew Satake Blauvelt, chair of AIGA’s 50 Books | 50 Covers, in a press release.
Having judged the competition before, I noticed a much greater diversity in the subject matter across all the categories, which was refreshing! This was apparent to me among the cookbooks for instance, which focused on diasporic cuisine or in the number of exhibition catalogs devoted to artists of color, 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 emphasized the physicality or object quality of the book. Among the trending techniques this year were use of exposed bindings and elaborate page sequencing and mixed paper choices. For me, there was a greater overall sophistication in book design, with a mix of aesthetically beautiful and graphically brash approaches in the final choices. While print quality and craft were high, sometimes typographic detailing stumbled.
The winning 2022 covers will become part of the AIGA collection at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia Universitys Butler Library. In the meantime, here are a few highlightsthough be sure to check out the full list here.