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ECPA announces Top Shelf Awards winners at PUBu event Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 04:49 PM America/New_York

Crossway leads with five winners in annual book cover competition

The art and science of book design was celebrated Oct. 21 with the announcement of the best designs of the year produced by Christian publishers. The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) presented the Top Shelf Book Cover Awards among the industry’s design elite during the association’s PUBu event at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.  

CrazyBusy“The Top Shelf program highlights book design excellence, intelligence and beauty, and we are grateful to all who participated in the program with their quality entries,” announced ECPA President and CEO Mark Kuyper. “We also thank Faceout Studio, Color House Graphics and the 2014 judges for hundreds of volunteer hours that drove this program.”

One of the features of the program is to allow the judges to select the top designs regardless of how many there are. Last year, 10 designs were chosen, but this year, 16 stood out as the best of the best.  

“It was a difficult yet fun process reviewing so many good entries. Many of the entries were unanimously chosen by all of the judges,” said 2014 design judge Kirk DouPonce, whose has worked on thousands of covers.

DouPonce was joined by University of Chicago’s designer Isaac Tobin and renowned freelance designer Abby Weintraub. If there were a conflict of interest in the competition, a judge would refrain from scoring a particular title.

“Like words on a page, the visual cover story is meant to inform, inspire and entertain readers,” said program manager Torrey Sharp, principal of Faceout Studio and PUBu design community captain. “The cover is a first impression.  A first introduction.  When done well, it compels a reader to respond—to pick up the book and read it. We’re all in the business of telling stories that matter.  It’s exciting to see ECPA publishers wrapping their stories with amazing covers that are engaging and meaningful.”

Judge comments on each cover are featured in a print annual produced by Faceout Studio and printed by Color House Graphics.

Josh Dennis, Crossway’s senior vice president of creative, was “grateful” the design team was recognized with five awards, the highest number of winning covers for a single publisher this year.

“At Crossway, we have the privilege of working with wonderful authors and many gifted designers,” he said. “The work that was recognized would not have been possible without them. Thanks to everyone that we have the privilege to work alongside.”

“I am incredibly proud of our B&H design team,” said Jeff Godby, senior art director at B&H Publishing Group. “We could not do this without external partners so we thank Dual Identify Design and FaceOut studios. Also, the Teen to Teen Devotions were uniquely illustrated by B&H’s Diana Lawrence. It is amazing to see the amount of excellence coming out of the evangelical creative community today, and we are thankful for each of the judges publishers involved.”

The cover award winners are posted at —Johnson