Annual Show Celebrates the Best in University Press Design
New York, New York and Washington, DC—The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) proudly announces its 2019 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show with a new web site devoted to this year’s selections. The 65 outstanding examples of university press publications are currently on virtual display at https://design.up.hcommons.org/.
These exemplary books will debut in a hands-on display during the AUPresses annual meeting June 11-13 in Detroit, with an accompanying printed catalog. Members of the 2019 Show jury will also be present to discuss their selections and the field of publication design in general.
Since 1965, this show has honored the university publishing community’s design and production professionals. It recognizes meritorious achievement in design, production, and manufacture of books, jackets, covers, and journals, and also serves as a focus of discussion and a source of ideas for intelligent, creative, and resourceful bookmaking.
Open to AUPresses member publishers worldwide, this year’s competition attracted more than 600 submissions, all published during 2018, in these categories:
• Scholarly typographic books / Scholarly illustrated books
• Trade typographic books / Trade illustrated books
• Poetry and literature books
• Reference books
• Jackets and covers (of books and journals)
“Academic [book] covers need to go beyond being a decorative accessory, to serve as a window onto the possible explorations within,” observed juror Na Kim, a freelance illustrator and a senior designer at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. “Rich with information, they dare us to visualize the relationship between music and mathematics, for example, and to ponder the philosophical and cultural impacts of Beyoncé in the modern age. They succeed at the laborious task of tackling difficult topics with nuance and demand our attention through bold colors and typography. The designers featured in this [show and] catalog took risks, and the results were sublime.”
Rounding out this year’s jury were:
- Matt Avery, founder of the design studio Monograph and formerly with the University of Chicago Press, where he served as the designer of record for the 17th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style.
- Nicole Caputo, a graphic designer specializing in books, the creative director of Counterpoint Press, art director of Catapult, and cofounder of She Designs Books, an organization that celebrates women in book design.
- Sara T. Sauers, a practicing book designer and printer who received the Carl Hertzog Award for excellence in book design in 2002 and who teaches at the University of Iowa Center for the Book in the MFA in Book Arts program.
Avery and Sauers considered the book and journal entries, identifying 37 selections from a field of 234 submissions. “Ultimately, it was important that, whatever the approach to the design, it be well suited to the book,” Avery concluded. “It’s often been noted—but bears repeating—that university press designers are asked to do a lot with precious few resources. It is still exciting and inspiring to see what can be done with a standard trim and a typeface or two.”
Caputo and Kim selected the top 28 jackets and covers from 387 entries. “We ended up [selecting] a broad range of covers spanning a variety of subjects and styles and an even number of covers designed by women and by men,” Caputo reported. “Typography, legibility, color palette, originality, concept, type and image pairing, risk taking, and image selections that respected the subject matter were all taken into account.”
The jurors provided comments about each selection for the show’s print catalog, and they will gather to discuss their process and talk with university press design and production personnel during the AUPresses annual meeting, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center on June 12. “The jurors and committee have worked hard to make this year’s show a success,” said Karen Copp, chair of the Book, Jacket, and Journal Show Committee, and associate director and design and production manager at the University of Iowa Press. “I’m so impressed with the quality and creativity of the selections and am excited about sharing the show with the university press community and beyond.”
The show will enjoy a long life after its debut in Detroit: a traveling exhibit will be scheduled between September 2019 through June 2020. “In its traveling version, the AUPresses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show has been part of my teaching at the University of Iowa for more than ten years,” Sauers noted. “It’s an opportunity to show students real-world examples of materials and techniques. A collection of the show catalogs dating from the late 1980s is in our book arts program library—a useful and ongoing reference for students and instructors.”
About the Association of University Presses
AUPresses is an organization of 151 international nonprofit scholarly publishers. Since 1937, the Association of University Presses advances the essential role of a global community of publishers whose mission is to ensure academic excellence and cultivate knowledge. The Association holds integrity, diversity, stewardship, and intellectual freedom as core values. AUPresses members are active across many scholarly disciplines, including the humanities, arts, and sciences, publish significant regional and literary work, and are innovators in the world of digital publishing.