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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 jury chair Jessica Helfand on a recent episode of Monocle Weekly.

See what the jurors selected. Results from 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2018.


Jessica Helfand (jury chair) is a designer, artist and writer. She grew up in Paris and New York City, and received her BA and MFA from Yale where she has taught since 1996. A founding editor of Design Observer, she is the author of numerous books on design and cultural criticism including Paul Rand: American Modernist (1998), Screen: Essays on Graphic Design New Media and Visual Culture (2001), Reinventing the Wheel (2002), Scrapbooks: An American History (2008) and Design: The Invention of Desire (2016). Her next book—a visual history of the human face—will be published by MIT Press in 2019. The first-ever recipient, in 2010, of the Henry Wolf Residency at the American Academy in Rome, Jessica Helfand was awarded the AIGA medal in 2013.




Daphne Geismar plans, designs, and produces award-winning books for art museums. Her clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Yale University Press. Daphne is interested in projects and publications that use art and literature to educate the public on social issues: she developed and taught a photography and writing program for teenage mothers; she is currently working on a book of her family’s collected accounts of hiding in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands. Daphne teaches book design at the University of Connecticut and has been a visiting critic in graphic design at a number of colleges and universities. She has an MFA from Yale University.







Lucinda Hitchcock is book designer, writer, typographer, and graphic design professor and department head (on sabbatical) at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her research interests range from explorations of narrative and poetic environments and dimensional typography, to the connections between literature, automation, and the form of writing. She has a BA from Kenyon College, an MA in literature from Columbia University, and an MFA in graphic design from Yale. She is an affiliate member of The Design Office and lives with her family in Providence, RI. Her design practice produces books and other typographic material for such artistic and cultural institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Boston MFA, the deCordova Museum, Tufts University Galleries, and the RISD Museum, to name a few. Her designs have won awards and been showcased in Communication Arts, AIGA 50 Books, Print Magazine, Best of New England exhibitions, and the American Association of University Presses exhibitions and catalogues.







Henk van Assen is founding principal at HvADesign a multi-disciplinary design studio in New York City, a senior critic at Yale University School of Art and a lecturer at Parsons the New School for Design. At HcAD, he has worked on many projects in print, environmental, and screen-based media, ranging from book design to branding to web design and way finding systems. Clients include Acquavella Galleries, NY; Rizzoli, NY; Malba, Buenos Aires; the GeGo Foundation, Caracas; the Guggenheim Museum, NY; the Museum of the City of New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; FotoFest Inc., Houston; the New York Public Library; Yale University Press, New Haven, David Zwirner Galleries, NY, and the Museum of Arts and Design, NY. He was awarded multiple “AIGA 50 Best Books Awards”; several “AAUP Best Book awards”; the 2005 New York Book Show award; the American Association of Museums, Excellence Award, 2006; the Washington Book Publishers Design Effectiveness Show, 2008; and International Latino Book Awards, 2018. He has also been a juror for the AAUP 50 Best Books in 2000 and 2016.