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Unveiling the 2019 National Book Festival Poster

The poster for the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival has been unveiled! This year’s poster is the work of Marian Bantjes, a designer, illustrator, typographer and writer whose work is invested in beauty and structure, and the intersection of words and graphics. She has been working in and around the design industry for 38 years, and is a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale.

Here’s what she has to say about her work on the 2019 National Book Festival poster:

I look for structure in any given project. For this, I started with the open book, on edge, with its pages radiating outward. I wanted something very sunny and bright, and so I built the structure further from these radiating lines with the idea of having words flowing out of the book. The book opens to a half-circle so I used this circle to form other parts of the structure, and divided the whole area up into sections based on this. I then developed a series of patterns used on the cupid-bow shape of an open book, and finally built some little flying books to accentuate the patterns and add a playful exuberance to the poster. The whole is a celebration and a joy.

Check out her work below, and download a high-resolution version of the poster here. You can also view and download all of the previous National Book Festival posters here. Then, make your plans for this year’s National Book Festival on August 31 in Washington, D.C.!

2019 National Book Festival Poster


  1. AerleTaree
    July 11, 2019 at 12:11 pm

    I am honored it looks lovely.

  2. Gayle
    July 11, 2019 at 1:45 pm

    This is a great one! Love the mix of words and graphic design. Very different from previous posters but very cool. Looking forward to this year’s event!

  3. Nancy G.
    July 11, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Gorgeous! Nice to have an abstract, graphic design for a change.

  4. Lee
    July 11, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    This is absolutely hideous. What a disappointment– I’d really been looking forward to the poster unveiling. I’d hoped for a lovely print to hang in my child’s room. It’s totally understandable to have something less child-focused this year, but WOW this is a barker.

  5. Cecilia A. Casey
    July 13, 2019 at 5:33 pm

    That is so wonderful!

  6. Robin
    July 18, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    This poster is truly superb.
    It’s fun. Stimulating.
    Draws one in.
    Its vivid colors, graphics, meandering thoughts
    entice the viewer.

  7. Jennifer Browning
    July 19, 2019 at 7:24 am

    Lovely. So glad it is not a children’s poster. This I would hang in my home. Children grow up and then the kid posters look out of place. I like the ones that you can keep forever.

  8. Anna Doebereiner
    July 22, 2019 at 8:23 pm

    So excited to see the new poster and updates on this years event! As a public school teacher I would love to have a large poster to display in my school. Our previous librarian had received a yearly print through the mail- is this still a possibility?

  9. Nadew Negussie
    August 5, 2019 at 8:07 am

    It fits for iPhone generation and lovely !!

  10. Symone E. Sylvester
    August 6, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    Wonderful graphics! Very inspirational. This amazing depiction of diversity in literacy should be placed everywhere.

  11. Dorothy L
    August 8, 2019 at 12:29 pm


  12. Linda
    August 28, 2019 at 9:38 am

    So disappointed. Not charming or filled with characters. Not interesting to post in a classroom of little ones.

  13. Beautiful harry
    August 30, 2019 at 10:32 am

    I love the poster because it captures your attention. The poster puts
    Vocabulary words on a symbolic appetite plate with a hint of global diversity. The poster is a good read! Thanks

  14. Eric
    August 30, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    How do I get one?

  15. Undercover Cat
    April 4, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Those saying the poster isn’t suitable for children should broaden their imaginations. A child might see something in this that you are missing. Give them credit to choose what sparks their curiosity and let them explore things other than “charming characters”. The world is varied and marvellous from many angles.

  16. Milka Broukhim
    May 24, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    This poster is a MASTERPIECE! BRAVO to the committee for broadening everyone’s “Visual Literacy”! A HUGE celebration for exposing the mainstream to The Power of Visual Language and many levels of its sophistication and impacts it creates. It’s just like classic music. Once you learn it, you appreciate it MORE!

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