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50 Books/50 Covers


Information & Guidelines Judges & Advisors Nominate a Book Nominations Winners


The selections from the 50 Books/50 Covers competition exemplify the best current work in book and book cover design. Entries are open to anyone through the process outlined below.

How to Enter a Book
1. Go to the entry page.
2. Log in or register with Design Observer.
3. Enter the book information.
4. Choose if your entry should be judged as a cover, a book, or both.
5. Design Observer will review your submission. If it meets our elgibility requirements (listed below), we will alert you via email to finalize the entry.
6. Once your entry has been accepted, finalize the information, upload images and pay for your submission.
7. If you are entering a book to be judged in the 50 Books portion of the competition, send a physical copy of the book to Design Observer.

The fee is $45 per book. There is no separate cost to enter a book into both 50 Books and 50 Covers.

A book must consist of at least 24 pages.

Printed books must be either case-bound or paperbound between covers. (Portfolios of loose pages do not qualify.) Digitally produced books are eligible.

Books and book covers produced between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 are eligible. Generally, ©2013 will be indicative of publication date.

Except in the case of limited-edition books, print runs should be in excess of 25 copies.

Entries should be for sale to the general public, or, if offered gratis, should not be publications whose primary purpose is to advertise or serve as an annual report or other corporate literature. Student publications are eligible.

Entries from all countries are eligible. In order for the jury to understand the content and context, entries that are in languages other than English must include an English translation, or be a translation of a book previously published in English.

Books can only be entered once.

For a book to be considered in the 50 Books competition, a physical copy must be mailed in. Only physical books in our possession will ultimately be judged. Book covers entered in the 50 Covers competition will be judged on the digital file uploaded during the nomination process: physical copies do not need to be submitted. We are unable to return books.

The competition will accept online entries from December 20, 2013 - February 20, 2014. All images must be uploaded and fees paid by March 1, 2014. All books entered into the 50 Books competition and sent to Design Observer for judging must be postmarked by March 5, 2014.

We will review entries within 2 business days and send notification if the entry has been accepted and the entry process can be continued.

Eligible entries will appear on the Design Observer site and email will be sent to the entrant once all online steps are completed.

For books entered into the 50 Books competition, an email confirmation will be sent when the book has been received.

We will notify the entry nominator if the book is a winner in the spring of 2014.

Permission to Reproduce Work
By submitting work to the competition, the entrant acknowledges the right of Design Observer, AIGA and Designers & Books to use accepted work for reproduction in competitions-related publications; on its websites; in any exhibition of the competitions’ selections; and for educational and promotional purposes.

Still have questions?
Please contact Betsy Vardell, managing editor of Design Observer.