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Judging

Jurors for 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2021 will be announced in January 2022.

Jurors for this competition will evaluate each work’s integrated design approach, including concept, innovation and visual elements such as typography, illustration, and/or information design. To learn more about how the judges approach the competition, listen to recent jury chair Jessica Helfand on an episode of Monocle Weekly.

In recent decades, jurors have included Antonio Alcalá, Michael Bierut, Andrew Blauvelt, Michael Carabetta, Arthur Cherry, Richard Eckersley, Vanessa Eckstein, Barbara Glauber, Carin Goldberg, Hilary Greenbaum, Jessica Helfand, Maricris Herrera, Jerry Herring, David High, Yasuyo Iguchi, Chip Kidd, Lisa Lucas, Eric Madsen, Peter Mendelsund, Jennifer Morla, Lars Müller, Silas Munro, Franc Nunoo-Quarcoo, Molly Renda, Jill Shimabukuro, Lucille Tenazas, Cheryl Towler Weese, Jack Woody, and many more.

Read what Michael Bierut had to say in the Design Week article, “‘Books remain stubbornly, thrillingly relevant’: the enduring value of book design” (January 2020), and The New Yorker, “Who Isn’t a Sucker for a Foldout?” (October 2020).

“What. A. Year. Books became our best friends as we curled up near the fireplace (or radiator), seeking comfort in something familiar and good. We celebrate the best of the best designs that drew us into the written page in a year that seemed mostly like bad sci-fi.” —Gail Anderson, chair 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020

Gail Anderson, chair 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020

Gail Anderson is an NYC-based designer, educator, and writer. She is Chair of BFA Design and BFA Advertising at the School of Visual Arts and the creative director at Visual Arts Press. Anderson has served as senior art director at Rolling Stone, creative director of design at SpotCo, and as a designer at The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and Vintage Books. She has taught at the School of Visual Arts for 30 years and has coauthored 15 books on design, typography, and illustration with Steven Heller.

Anderson serves on the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the US Postal Service and the advisory boards of Poster House and The One Club for Creativity. She is an AIGA Medalist and the 2018 recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award for Design. Her work is represented in the Library of Congress’s permanent collections, the Milton Glaser Design Archives, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Morla, Juror 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020

Jennifer Morla is President and Creative Director of Morla Design, San Francisco, California. With over 300 awards of excellence, she has been recognized by virtually every organization in the field of visual communication. She is the recipient of design's most honored awards: The Cooper Hewitt/Smithsonian National Design Award and the AIGA Medal.

Since opening Morla Design in 1984, she has continued to pair wit and elegance on everything from motion graphics and branding to retail environments and textiles. Clients include Levi Strauss, Herman Miller, Apple, Stanford University, San Jose Museum of Art, the Mexican Museum and Design Within Reach. Morla lectures and judges internationally and has taught senior design at California College of the Arts for over 20 years.

Her book, Morla : Design, published by Letterform Archive, offers insight into her creative process and shares 150 of her studio’s projects in print, branding, packaging, web, and environmental design.

 

 

 

 

Paul Sahre, Juror 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020

Paul Sahre is one of the most influential graphic designers working today. He has doggedly remained independent, operating his own practice since 1997. He is a frequent visual contributor to The New York Times, designed book covers for authors such as Chuck Klosterman, Malcolm Gladwell and Clarice Lispector, authored books (including his design memoir: Two Dimensional Man), and built and destroyed a life-sized monster truck hearse for the band They Might Be Giants. Sahre teaches graphic design at the School of Visual Arts in New York and lectures extensively all over the world.

 

 

 

 

Kelly Walters, Juror 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2020

Kelly Walters is a designer, educator and researcher whose work investigates Black cultural vernacular in mainstream media. She is founder of Bright Polka Dot, an interdisciplinary design practice that works across platforms to create exhibitions, installations, publications and digital design experiences for cultural and commercial institutions. The work of Bright Polka Dot and Walters has been recognized by Graphis, It’s Nice That, Communication Arts, The One Club and AIGA Eye on Design. In her ongoing design research, she interrogates the complexities of identity formation, systems of value and the shared vernacular in and around Black visual culture. She is the author of Black, Brown + Latinx Designers: Conversations on Design and Race and the Associate Director of the BFA Communication Design Program at Parsons School of Design in New York.

 

 

 

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