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Design Contest

We Judge Books by Their Cover


  We Judge Books by Their Cover

Book cover design contest with a grand prize of a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card.

There are few things that can hurt the popularity of a good book like a bad cover. Yet a great book cover can appear to leap off the shelf; it calls to the unsuspecting passersby, sparks a wild and unrestrainable curiosity, it demands in a coy and inexplicable way that its pages be read, that this pile of paper has something to say.

At Langsdale, we like a good book cover as much as the next library. And that’s why we have teamed up the School of Communication Design, for the One Maryland One Book project, to host a juried contest to find the best student design for this year’s featured book, The Cellist of Sarajevo. The contest is open to all University of Baltimore students, and requires only that you design a stunning cover to dress this important book. The winner will receive a $50 Barnes and Noble gift card, and the top three runners up will have their entries exhibited at Langsdale Library.

Deadline: Monday, September 24, 2012

New Deadline: Wednesday, September 26, 2012

To enter, send your book cover, sized at 9”x 6.5” and formatted as a PDF or JPG*, to Adam Shutz ( All contestants are asked to focus on the front cover, but we will accept entries that include the entire book jacket (front, spine and back cover) if the cover concept warrants (that is, if the cover image wraps around the spine or the overall concept is enhanced by including the entire jacket). Make sure to include your name, address, phone number, as well as your major and expected year of graduation in the body of your email. Please, DO NOT include any personal information anywhere on the entry itself. All submissions will be judged blind.

The winners will be announced Tuesday, October 2nd at 7:30pm, during the Cellist of Sarajevo panel discussion in the Lucy and Vernon Wright Theater of the Student Center.

*Please do not send InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop files


Jeffrey Hoover (associate professor, School of Communications Design)

Stephen Matanle (associate professor, School of Communications Design)