These are the best book covers of 2021 that you (probably) haven’t seen. ‹ Literary Center

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June 29, 2022, 2:52 p.m.

Today AIGA, the professional design association, announced the winners of its annual 50 Books | Contest of 50 covers. Lawyers Silas Munro (jury chair), Laura Coombs, Brian Johnson and Kimberly Varella reviewed 605 book and cover design proposals from 29 countries to arrive at their final list.

“In a challenging year that faced an ongoing pandemic, the aftermath of a global take on systemic oppression, high-profile international conflict, designer burnout and economic hardship, one wonders how a design contest focused on books and book covers is relevant. As a former 50-pound judge | 50 Covers competition, I got a sense of the meticulous, subtle and corny conversations that can take place during such a competition,” Munro said in a statement. “At the same time, books have a kind of value, relevance and grounding that we need in our current messy moment. . . Overall, the thoughtful consideration of material, typography, and image across the themes of inspiring culture and social transformations through the books and their design shed light on the darkness of 2022.” Winning drawings will be part of the AIGA Collection at Columbia University’s Butler Library’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Some highlights from the winner’s circle below; or see the full list here.


Book and cover design by Paula Tinoco


Book and cover design by Studio Loes Claessens


Creative direction by Gustavo Piqueira and Samia Jacintho; zansky illustration


Cover design and illustration by Túlio Cerquize


Book and cover design by Honza Zamojski


Book and cover design by Kimberly Varella


Cover design by Emma Campion and Peet Pienaar


Book and cover design by Vic Liu, illustration by Vic Liu; Lafayette Matthews; A.Andrews


Book and cover design by Lucinda Hitchcock and Cara Buzzell


Book and cover design by Kimberly Varella

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