AIGA prize for book covers

18 July 2019

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Thonik’s cover design for unlocked #3.1, unlocked # 3.2 and unlocked # 3.3, a recently published three-part catalogue of the Rabobank Art Collection, is honoured as one of 50 best-designed bookcovers of 2018 by the AIGA. 

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Thonik chose three iconic pieces for the covers. Yinka Shonibare’s Pursuit (2007), two mannequins in Dutch Wax printed cotton, can be seen as representing the human condition. Fernando Sanchez Castillo’s Tank Man, Made in China, 2016 exemplifies the social and disruptive role art can play. Jan Schoonhoven’s white paper-maché grid painting is both conceptual and poetic.

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Three very different icons, with very different meanings, are designed into a triptych to cover three storylines in the Rabobank art collection. The books have hard cover binding. The paper, Munken Kristall Rough, is not laminated, so as to give tactility to the soft pastell colors of the design.

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 The AIGA Fifty Books of the Year competition began in 1923. This survey of the best in book design represents the longest-standing legacy in American graphic design. Selections are included in the AIGA Design Archives, a searchable database of historical images documenting nearly 100 years of design excellence from this time-honored tradition. Physical copies of the winners become part the Rare Book and Manuscript Library collection at Columbia University’s Butler Library in New York City for future generations to study and enjoy. The jury was chaired by Jessica Helfand.

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