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The 2022 National Book Festival Poster and Designer Gail Anderson

We’re ecstatic to unveil the poster for the 2022 National Book Festival, designed by artist, writer and educator Gail Anderson. Original artwork has traditionally been the visual centerpiece of the festival, and this year is no exception as we make our return to the Washington Convention Center and celebrate being together.

“Books Bring Us Together,” 2022 Library of Congress National Book Festival poster by Gail Anderson

You can download a high-resolution PDF of the poster, plus view and download other festival posters through the years from our National Book Festival poster gallery. More details about printed versions of the poster will be available closer to the date of the festival.

Anderson shares some thoughts on the design process and her vision for capturing the theme of this year’s festival, “Books Bring Us Together.”

Q: Tell us a bit about your background as an artist.
I’ve been making books and magazines since I was a kid, starting with a small “Partridge Family” fan magazine, complete with fold-out posters. And I wrote long, angst-ridden pre-teen books that I never showed anyone, of course. I am currently chair of BFA design and BFA advertising at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. I spent years living the dream as senior art director at Rolling Stone and creating theater posters at an advertising agency called SpotCo. I’m immersed in education these days, but I need to keep the design side of my brain busy, too.

Q: What interested you in contributing to this year’s National Book Festival?
I’m an audiobook person these days because I drive back and forth to the city from upstate New York a lot. Books—in any form—are my friends, and my heart will always be in the actual printed book. My house is filled to the rafters, so it’s probably good that I’m embracing a form that takes no physical space now. Either way, how could I say no to a project that is book related?!?

Headshot of Gail Anderson

Designer Gail Anderson. Photo credit: Nir Arieli

Q: What was your creative process for translating the theme of this year’s festival, “Books Bring Us Together,” into the idea for the poster? What was your inspiration?
Books can be a wonderful solitary experience, but they can also build community. I’ve never gotten up the nerve to join a book club, but I think that’s such a cool idea. My friend, Joe Newton, who worked on the poster with me, belongs to one in Brooklyn, and the thought of having a glass of wine and chatting about a book just seems like a perfect evening. And think of someone like David Sedaris whose readings are events. I want to be friends with him, and in some ways feel like I already am because of his books. The idea of a stack of books becoming a lighthearted house-o-books kind of designed itself.

Q: Tell us about a book project you are proud of.
I’m working with a friend, Michele Washington, on a book about Black designers. I’m excited about that, though we have so much work to do that it makes my stomach churn just to think about it. And there was a fun little book about emotive contemporary typography that Steve Heller and I co-authored a few years back, called “Type Speaks,” that still makes me smile.

Anderson is an American Institute of Graphics Arts (AIGA) medalist, a recipient of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement and a member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Council for the U.S. Postal Service.

11 Comments

  1. John
    August 4, 2022 at 11:41 am

    Awesome poster! Will there be tote bags as well?

    • Leah Knobel
      August 4, 2022 at 3:32 pm

      Information on National Book Festival tote bags will be available closer to the festival.

  2. TL Minix
    August 4, 2022 at 3:03 pm

    Is festival live only?

  3. SUBRATA DAS
    August 4, 2022 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks

  4. Sandra R.
    August 4, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    I’m so excited to see this beautiful poster!!! I can’t wait to get it in my hands and hang it up on my classroom wall!!

  5. Stephen Roberts
    August 5, 2022 at 8:36 am

    Will masks be required for people who attend the National Book Festival?

    • Leah Knobel
      August 5, 2022 at 10:12 am

      The Library will announce safety precautions related to COVID-19 a few weeks before the festival. Continue to follow the blog for updates!

  6. Anthony
    August 15, 2022 at 1:09 pm

    Great job on the beautiful poster!

  7. Jessi
    August 16, 2022 at 1:38 pm

    Will the app be updated with authors, their speaking times, their signing times, and their signing line numbers like in previous years?

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