Judging A Book By Its Cover: 15 of Our Favorite Designs From AIGA’s 50 Books | 50 Covers Competition

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Judging a book by its cover is something you're taught not to do for obvious reasons. But, in a more literal sense, sometimes, it's that first glance at a beautifully designed cover that inspires you to discover more about its contents.

AIGA, the professional association for design, recently announced the 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020 competition results. With over 600 entries from over 36 countries, this year's competition showcases unmatched design.

This year's panel of judges included Gail Anderson (chair), Jennifer Morla, Paul Sahre, and Kelly Walters. Each cover was evaluated for its integrated design approach, including concept, innovation, and visual elements such as illustrations and typography.

"In a year where many of us felt and were disconnected in numerous ways, books provided us that connection to each other and to our world. Books play a vital role in our lives, and while our world and the ways we access and interact with stories may have changed, our appreciation for books has not," said Bennie F. Johnson, AIGA's executive director, in a press release. "I am delighted to share the winning 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020. This competition honors the best of book and cover designs, and I hope everyone is inspired by this year's winners and the stories told by each book and each cover design."

“Such great work!” said 50 Books | 50 Covers juror chair Gail Anderson in the same press release. “Not a clunker in the mix of entries. People know how high the bar is in this competition, so they choose their entries carefully. This makes the cherished 50 a bit of a stressful edit, but wow. Print books rule.”

Below you'll find 15 selections that we admire, and to view all of the 2020 winners, be sure to check out the online gallery.

Stephen Brayda

Thomas Eykemans

David Chickey

Rachel Willey

Karen Rosink

Jonathan Bush

Ben Grandgenett

Cem Eskinazi

Kaitlin Kall

Jim Tierney

Zak Tebbal

Lauren Peters-Collaer

Erin Jang

Marion Blomeyer

Alban Fischer