Designing Motherhood takes home prestigious AIGA 50 Books / 50 Covers design award


The award honors the 50 best-designed books and book covers of the year, including Designing Motherhood by Michelle Millar Fisher and Amber Winick for the 2021 award season

We are thrilled that Designing Motherhood: Things that Make and Break our Births by Michelle Millar Fisher and Amber Winick and designed by Lana Cavar and Natasha Chandani has been recognized by AIGA in their annual 50 Books / 50 Covers design award honoring the 50 best-designed books and covers of the year. The pool of entries for 2021 was comprised of over 600 applicants from 29 countries.

“It’s no surprise to see this fantastic book recognized by the AIGA,” said Victoria Hindley, acquisitions editor at the MIT Press. “As a commissioning editor of politically-engaged visual and material culture, I’m concerned with how the book, as a physical object, performs the knowledge within its covers. Designing Motherhood does so brilliantly.”

Designing Motherhood features more than eighty designs—iconic, conceptual, archaic, titillating, emotionally charged, or just plain strange—that have defined the relationships between people and babies during the past century. While birth often brings great joy, making babies is a knotty enterprise. The designed objects that surround us when it comes to menstruation, birth control, conception, pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood vary as oddly, messily, and dramatically as the stereotypes suggest—and each object tells a story. 

“First off, kudos to the publishers for making public such an important topic, and to the designers for meeting the task so brilliantly,” wrote Kimberly Varella, juror for the AIGA award founder of the award-winning Los Angeles-based design studio Content Object. “Such great choices in materiality, use of type, and color palette. You get exactly what the book is about without being bludgeoned over the head with didactic dogmatic representation.”

“The union of form and content shines in the careful typographical interpretations, in the color palette, through the materials, and in the pacing and cadence on every page,” Hindley added. “This is a real book lover’s book, which also proves that addressing critical and urgent issues like reproductive justice is in no way counter to excellent design.”

Explore spreads from the book below, courtesy of the AIGA 50 Books / 50 Covers site:


Learn more about Designing Motherhood