By Nico Pascual
Image: Design Observer
In an age where reading is done increasingly on screens, there still is value in a well-designed book. The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) in partnership with The Design Observer Group collaborated in a competition which celebrates the best of print design. The annual competition had over 700 submissions and they just listed the top 50 book and book cover designs for the past year. Filipino Graphic Designer AJ Dimarucot was included in this final list and he submitted this design for Cyrus Copeland’s book Off The Radar.
The contest was judged by design veterans Michael Bierut, Jessica Helfand, and Barbara Glauber, and they felt like this year’s crop attained and exceeded their expectations of what a book should be like. In their official website, they mentioned that a book’s design is more than just an enticing package sitting on a bookshelf, but it also serves as a ‘telegraphic icon’ in online marketing and online libraries. These winning entries challenge what a book should look and feel like, and that isn’t something that can be fully understood in its digital form. After all, there have been countless studies on the print vs. digital debate, especially when it comes to reading. There are obvious tactile differences to each form, but ultimately the question is this: do you prefer reading on printed material or on a screen?
This study on the Scientific American makes a case for the former. In an informative analogy, they imagined a printed book as a topographical map and argued that a book would be easier to mentally navigate than a screen. “Turning the pages of a paper book is like leaving one footprint after another on the trail—there’s a rhythm to it and a visible record of how far one has traveled.”
Check out some of our favorite designs from the competition below. View the entire list here.