50 Watts announces the Polish Book Cover Contest, asking you to "Design the Polish edition of your favorite book"
First: $400 USD
Second: 1000 Polish Book Covers and Born Modern: The Life and Design of Alvin Lustig
Third: Pioneers of Spanish Graphic Design
—Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński, editors of 1000 Polish Book Covers, founders of Hipopotam Studio, and book collectors
—Peter Mendelsund, book cover designer and the man behind Jacket Mechanical
—Will Schofield aka 50 Watts aka the guy writing this
—Submission deadline: Friday May 20th
—Artwork: jpgs, about 600 px wide, sent to 50wattsContest[at]gmail[dot]com
—The submission fee is zero dollars, made payable to the Ghost of Jan Lenica
—Does the title need to be in Polish? That would be really fun, wouldn't it? (But if you can't quite master Google Translate or the accents, don't worry about it!)
—Who is eligible?: Anyone in the entire universe, not just Poland.
—What do you mean by the "Polish edition"? I'm asking you to create a fake cover in the style of the Polish book designers featured in this post and elsewhere on 50 Watts. Do I have a preference for styles from 1920 to 1985? I do, but don't let that "cramp your style."
—What is your ulterior motive? Pierogi endorsement.
—How to describe the contest to your friends to get them to submit: 50 Watts is a website giving $400 for a book cover design.
For an extremely literal example of what I'm talking about (and this is also where I got the idea for the contest), the Spanish illustrator Javier Olivares created a fake Polish book cover for one of his whimsical side-projects. The cover on the left is a real Polish book cover (I featured it in this post) and the cover on the right is Javier's fake cover. Javier kept the title/author of the Polish book, something I DON'T want you to do. For this contest, I hope contestants will look at all the many styles of Polish book design featured on 50 Watts, and design a cover for their favorite book (if I was participating, I would design a cover for my favorite book Jakob von Gunten by Robert Walser) in one of those styles.
This post is also the last of a series on the incredible, I-can't-believe-it-exists book 1000 Polish Book Covers. (The first post focused on the covers of Daniel Mroz, the second on 1970s-80s covers). Edited by husband-and-wife illustration/design team Aleksandra and Daniel Mizieliński of Hippopotam Studio, the book is a fat brick of inspiration (dimensions: 4-5/16" x 6.5" x 3"): 310 designers and illustrators, 1040 pages, 2.4 ounces, covering 100 years of Polish book cover illustration.
Here are some of my favorites.