Exhibition: AIGA 50 BOOKS/50 COVERS 30

10 December 2009
19 February 2010
New York, United States
This time-honored competition aims to identify the 50 best-designed books and book covers that have been designed, produced and used in the marketplace between 1 January and 31 December of 2008, as chosen by distinguished jurors. As such, they become part of the AIGA Design Archives, a searchable visual database of exemplary design, they are exhibited at the AIGA National Design Center in New York and offered as a traveling exhibition for display across the country. The physical artifacts comprise the AIGA Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum. A second set of the awarded books and covers becomes part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection at the Butler Library, Columbia University, New York.

Public exhibition

The "50 Books/50 Covers" exhibition will be on display from 10 December 2009 to 19 February 2010.


AIGA National Design Center
164 Fifth Avenue
New York City
United States


Gallery hours at the AIGA National Design Center are Monday through Thursday, 11:00-18:00, and Friday, 11:00-17:00. Admission is free and open to the public.

Call for entries

The call for entries for the AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers 30 is now closed.


  • A book must consist of at least 48 pages (except for children¹s books).
  • A book must be either case-bound or paperbound between covers. Portfolios of loose pages do not qualify.
  • Books and book covers designed and/or produced between 1 January and 31 December of the previous year are eligible.
  • Except in the case of limited-edition books, print runs should be in excess of 250 copies.
  • Entries should be for sale to the general public, or, if offered gratis, should not be publications whose primary purpose is to advertise or serve as an annual report or other corporate literature.
  • Following AIGA's membership in Icograda (International Council of Graphic Design Associations) and in keeping with a deepening commitment to demonstrating the importance of diversity, entries from all countries will be eligible for AIGA competitions for the first time in AIGA's history. In order for the jury to understand the content and context, entries that are
  • in languages other than English must include a brief English translation.
  • Submit only actual work; no photographs accepted. We regret that entries cannot be returned.


Each entry must fit one of the categories listed below. If you are unsure, select the category that most closely describes your entry. Judges retain
the right to reclassify entries from one category to another or to select only components of the submission for honors.
  • Literature and nonfiction (books you read)
  • Text-driven books including fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
  • Image-driven books (books you look at)
  • Architecture, design and photography titles.
  • Limited-edition and fine-press books (books that are objects)
  • Collectors' editions, fine editions and books whose quality of production, innovation or experimentation is of paramount importance. Limited-edition
  • books must be numbered.
  • Instructional books and textbooks (books that teach)
  • How-to books, cookbooks, craft and hobby books, and books used for instruction in schools-from elementary and high school texts to college,
  • technical, and vocational titles.
  • Reference books (books you consult)
  • Encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries and guides.
  • Children's books
  • Books published primarily for young audiences, not including textbooks.

Jurors for this competition will evaluate each work's integrated design approach, including concept, innovation and visual elements such as typography, illustration and/or information design. If you prefer a piece to be judged solely on the strength of any one of these elements, please submit it to the appropriate category in 365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions (separate entry fees and submission requirements apply).


Full submission requirements can be found on AIGA's website.


AIGA's suite of competitions is widely recognised as the most discerning statement on design excellence today, extending a legacy that began more than 90 years ago. By means of the competitions, AIGA creates an authoritative chronicle of outstanding design solutions, each demonstrating the process of designing, the role of the designer and the value of design.

Visit the AIGA website for more details related to categories, eligibility, submission requirements, fees, and more.

For further information or questions, please contact:

Gabriela Mirensky
164 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
United States
T: +1 212 710 3143
F: +1 212 807 1799
W: http://www.aiga.org
News & Views