About this project
For Those Of You Who Don't Know about 50 Books | 50 Covers
Established in 1923 by the American Institute of Graphic Arts as "Fifty Books,” the 50 Books | 50 Covers competition is now the longest continually running design competition in the United States. Since 2011, Design Observer has hosted it. And in 2015, for the first time, we are publishing a book and mounting an exhibition to commemorate the competition winners. To learn more about the book and exhibition, keep reading.
For Those Of You Who Do
Why do we need your support? Two reasons. First, and most importantly, we want to keep the entry fees as low as possible. We reduced the fee dramatically when we took over the competition, and think that lower fees mean that more people have the opportunity to enter. But it's not enough to cover the competition costs, and the costs related to printing the book and mounting the exhibition. Second, we feel that the design community as a whole benefits from great book design, and should be supported by us all.
About the Book
We’re producing the ultimate “book of books” to catalog the winners of this year’s 50 | 50 competition.
Publisher, author, and previous 50 Books | 50 Covers recipient Dave Eggers will introduce the book. Photographer George Baier IV, who has photographed countless authors and book jacket projects himself, has thoughtfully taken pictures of every book and cover winner. Mohawk has generously donated the finest paper. And with Blurb, we will be printing our book, offset, locally, here in the United States. We are in the final phases of design and production, we will ship the book soon. The book over 300 pages long and will ship in October.
About the Exhibition
In conjunction with the book, an exhibition featuring the current winners will open at the AIGA Design Conference this October, in New Orleans. While a number of partners and AIGA chapters have expressed interest in having the exhibition travel to them, the bottom line remains clear: it's not cheap to build and ship an exhibition. Raising more money means we can mobilize our efforts for greater impact: simply put, this means more people—from students to educators, designers to the general public—will have the opportunity to see the actual books themselves. What's better than getting to hold a beautifully, carefully designed book in your hands?
Some of the winners of this year's competition.
The following images are 2014 selections, photographed by George Baier.
At Design Observer we make no secret of our love for books. In 2015 alone, we initiated the Thesis Book Project—a platform to share and promote final degree publications from all over the world; we launched a publishing imprint, Observer Editions; and are releasing the first issue of a new journal, Observer Quarterly.
We believe that books matter. We want to put these books in as many hands as possible, and we need your help.
Risks and challenges
Our project is well under way. We have judged the competition, photographed all the books, designed our catalog, printed test pages, and have begun to design the exhibit in New Orleans. However, there are factors outside of our control, including printing snafus, shipping delays, and weather. We are hopeful that none of these potential issues will arise, but if they do we will let all our backers know immediately what our new plans are.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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