Annual Show Celebrates the Best in University Press Design
May 5, 2020 (New York, NY, and Washington, DC)—The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) proudly announces the selections for its 2020 Book, Jacket, and Journal Show. The 84 outstanding examples of university press publications are currently on virtual display at https://design.up.hcommons.org/.
Now in its 55th year, this show honors the university publishing community’s design and production professionals. It recognizes 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 publishing.
Open to AUPresses member publishers worldwide, this year’s competition attracted more than 650 submissions, all published during 2019, 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)
“The AUPresses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show is one of the oldest design shows around,” said Joel W. Coggins, design and production manager at University of Pittsburgh Press and chair of the Book, Jacket, and Journal Show Committee. “Every year we get to see the incredible talent, ingenuity, and knowledge of university press design and production departments on full display.”
This year’s jurors:
- Thomas Eykemans is the design director at Lucia|Marquand, co-founder of the Seattle Art Book Fair, and previously a senior designer at the University of Washington Press.
- Sue Hall is a freelance designer based in Raleigh, NC, and cofounder of the AIGA chapter there. She was journals designer and art director for Duke University Press from 1995 to 2018.
- Lucinda Hitchcock is a book designer, writer, typographer, and graphic design professor and department head at the Rhode Island School of Design.
- Anne Twomey is creative director of Celadon Books, former vice president and creative director of Grand Central Publishing, and former vice president and executive art director at St. Martin’s Press.
Hall and Hitchcock considered the book and journal entries, identifying 44 selections from a field of 239 submissions. “We reviewed the entries from the inside out, focusing on how well the format, typography, and layout served the content,” Hall reported. “Frontmatter and backmatter pages got the same scrutiny as chapter openings, and graphic consistency was paramount. Beyond these basic criteria, journals were judged on consistency between issues and the perceived sustainability of the design.”
“I have been designing books for 20 years and still haven’t tired of opening a new book to see how someone has tackled a table of contents or a copyright page or an overly long footnote,” Hitchcock said. “Bravo to all who brought these books into being. Each and every one represents hours of devoted labor, and it shows!”
Eykemans and Twomey selected the top 40 jackets and covers from 419 entries. “It is tempting to simply judge a book by its cover, but our task was transposed to judge the covers by their books,” Eykemans noted. “I was heartened to find that many designers are actively and thoughtfully engaging their subjects, resulting in a diverse array of innovative typographic approaches, creative solutions, colorful palettes, and unusual material selections.”
“Academic book covers have certainly gone mainstream!” Twomey said. “More covers appeared to be designed with one of the considerations for trade books—design to stand out in the stores and online.”
The jurors provided comments about each selection for the show’s print catalog and are expected to gather to discuss their process during the AUPresses virtual annual meeting in June. As in past years, the show is also expected to be made available as a traveling exhibition throughout the coming academic year, as conditions following the COVID-19 pandemic allow.
“The hard work and expertise of our jurors, the committee, and the AUPresses office staff have made another incredible show come together, even under the added stress of the pandemic,” show committee chair Coggins concluded.
About the Association of University Presses
AUPresses is an organization of nearly 160 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 intellectual freedom, integrity, stewardship, and equity and inclusion 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.