Tuesday, March 15, 2011


When I saw the AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers show at 164 Fifth Avenue (up till April 8), I mentally gave the exhibit design a 50/50 vote. The stadium set-up implied that physical books have become a spectator sport (not totally off the mark to those who obtain content digitally). Striving to wrangle content into a decently-functioning eBook, I was nonetheless sorry to see that the exhibit's metaphor (and the gorgeous books) downplayed the function of books.

When the AIGA quietly eliminated the book/cover show,* it seemed that physical books lost the game. Thanks to a petition—which garnered a lot of support in very little time—started by Christopher Sergio and Catherine Casalino of Grand Central Publishing, the AIGA reinstated the show, with a thoughtful and open-minded response. Ric Grefé's online essay explains thinking and re-thinking, and nails the importance of book design in communication. . . . we understand the passions around this fundamental and central demonstration of the art and craft of communication design, regardless of the area in which many designers work each day. . . It's worth reading Ric's entire essay.

Although I know/feel/fear that BTD didn't design or produce a book that would be worthy of inclusion in an AIGA show—or push the envelope à la Sagmeister's wonderful sculptural package (left), I might just enter the best of a tricky year if for no other reason than to show support. Book a metaphor, book as object, book as vessel to hold LOTS of info, ebook done with craft—are all worthy of honor.

*Full disclosure: An astute Barbara Glauber pointed out the elimination, which I hadn't noticed.

1 comment:

Suzanne Dell'Orto said...

What book are you planning to include? I was looking and looking for the dates for this show, but was unable to find the information (thanks for posting). But is the info online somewhere?