Since 1923 the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has celebrated excellence in

book design with an annual design competition called 50 Books / 50 Covers. Each Spring,

the one hundred best book designs of the previous year are chosen from nearly a thousand

entries. The competition is fierce, and the results are often contentious—but there is no

higher recognition of achievement for a design, or a designer, in book publishing. (You can

take a peek at some recent 50/50 competitions on AIGA's website here and here.)

This year—after nine-decades—AIGA has decided to quietly discontinue the 50/50


Their decision was made without public announcement or explanation, and implemented

without fanfare. The usual 50/50 deadline came and went, but the “Call For Entries” never

went out. The presumption seemed to be that no one would notice its loss.

But people have noticed. And as it turns out, many of us care. In the few short days since

the design community first realized what was going on, people have expressed the desire

to preserve a competition dedicated solely to excellence in book design. There has been

a common consensus that even in the digital age celebrating the physical book is important.

That is why we have created this website and online petition—to help spread the word

even further, to give voice to a larger audience, and to perhaps see if enough momentum

might be built to save the 50 Books / 50 Covers competition.  

If you are a fan of design in any medium, or of reading in any format, we ask you to help

us take a stand for the combination of both forms of expression.

Please sign the petition below asking AIGA to reconsider its decision to end 50/50.

Help us save this resource and living legacy of design excellence.

Thank you!

Christopher Sergio  &  Catherine Casalino

Sign the petition below, and help keep great book design in the spotlight!

Save 50/50

WE THE UNDERSIGNED wish to express our commitment to the celebration of design excellence in books.

We hope to see 50 Books/50 Covers endure in both format and spirit as a stand-alone book competition.

The petition is now CLOSED, but click the link below to view signatures.


We want to hear from you!

We would love to hear from those who wish to share their thoughts about the importance

of celebrating book design.

Please email us at

UPDATE: AIGA has decided to reinstate the 50 Books / 50 Covers competition for 2011.

After having the petition online for only 4 days, AIGA heard your voices loud and clear, and kicked

into full-gear to bring 50/50 back as quickly as possible. Please see their statement here.

We are so incredibly grateful for each and every one of you, and the effort you have expended to bring us all to this success. Thank you!

You can enter this year’s 50/50 contest here. So get your best designs of 2010 ready, because the late and final deadline for entries is April 21, 2011.

You can view the original petition website and signatures below. Thanks!