10 Book Designers to Watch
These award-winning covers caught our eye with their hot hues (think pink and orange), modern graphics and twists on classic tales.
The designers of award-winning book covers may be bringing their craft and visionary work to a room near you. The winners of the 2017 50 Books 50 Covers competition by AIGA, the professional association for design, and Design Observer represent clever and timeless elements that could inspire interiors.
The cobalt blue and pink that Minnesota designer Abby Haddican used for “L'Heure Bleue, Or The Judy Poems” are all the rage right now, says Libby Castro, co-owner with her husband, Patrick, of LP/w Design Studios, a graphics and interiors firm based in Wisconsin. Plus, the typeface is thoughtful and bold.
“Light pinks, dusty pinks, rose color and rose gold are all showing up in inspiration for interiors,” she says.
Jessica Helfand’s “Design: The Invention of Desire” shows “restrained simplicity” and “perfect details,” as described by Gail Anderson. Isn’t that something to strive for in your home, too?
Manuja Waldia’s illustrations and design for “The Pelican Shakespeare” represent a fresh approach to Shakespeare, writes Helfand, a founding editor of Design Observer. Whether you think it looks like a tattoo, neon sign or wire frame design, the art by Waldia, who is from India but now lives in Oregon, lend a “contemporary aura to classic literature,” she writes.
The art director for that series, Penguin Creative Director Paul Buckley also is the art director and designer for “Penguin Orange,” a series that includes “The Joy Luck Club,” “The Snow Leopard” and “East of Eden.” Not only is the orange recognizable with Penguin books, but it’s a hue that people have embraced in fashion and interior design.
“We like the classic, bold print juxtaposed with the modern typeface and symbolism,” Castro says.
Janet Hansen’s design for “The Bed Moved” is amusing and eye-catching, writes Michael Carabetta, a judge for 50 Books 50 Covers. Hansen is a senior designer at Alfred A. Knopf, the publisher.
“While the concept of shuffled type is not new, it is served up in a fresh manner that arrests the eye and compels you to work out what it says. And making something new (again) is in part, what design does,” he writes.
The concept by Canadian designer Stefan Canuel for “Chris Cran, Sincerely Yours” is modern and cool, writes juror Gail Anderson.
Stanford University Press
The husband-and-wife team of Mitch Goldstein and Anne Jordan, based in Rochester, New York, has designed two award-winning books, “Impossible Modernism” and “Dada Presentism: An Essay on Art and History.”
Impossible modernism is a “spatially playful exploration of typography,” writes Hefland. For the Dada book, “the modern execution kind of turns it on its head, which I love,” writes juror Gail Anderson.
"House is a House is a House is a House is a House: Architectures and Collaborations of Johnston Marklee"
"House is a House is a House is a House is a House: Architectures and Collaborations of Johnston Marklee" by Reto Geiser is published by Basel Birkhäuse. The designers are Noëmi Mollet and Reto Geiser.
MG&Co., a Houston-based design practice, is led by Noemi Mollet and Reto Geiser, who also are trained architects. With “House is a House is a House is a House is a House,” we couldn’t resist spotlighting their work because the book features the work of Los Angeles-based Johnston Marklee. From the cover, the text is “dynamically articulated and highly legible,” writes Helfand.
The combination of the traditional typeface and handwriting in “The Great William” reflects a popular trend in design. Designer Matt Avery — a principal designer at University of Chicago Press — was the illustrator, along with Megan Avery, of a book that blends classic and contemporary.
“I think it is refreshing for people to see handmade work in a world so digital,” Castro says.