This competition by Design Observer continues a tradition that dates back to 1922, when American Institute of Graphic Arts, then only six years old, mounted the first “Fifty Books of the Year” exhibition. According to Design Observer, the books this year demonstrate astonishing attention to craft, as well as startling ambitions to disrupt expectations about what constitutes a “traditional” book in the first place.
Every year since 1924, Design Observer has chosen the best 50 book covers of the previous year. Each year a 35-person advisory board nominates books for consideration. Nominations are also open to the public in online voting. Design Observer’s editors create a jury to judge the nominations and pick the 50 winning book covers.