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About AI-AP

Established 1982

The story of American Illustration begins in Paris in 1980 at the launch of European Illustration. Editor Edward Booth-Clibborn and artist Sue Coe were talking about what was happening with illustration in the U.S. It was their opinion that the well-established organizations were no longer representative of the people working in North America. Sue encouraged Edward to bring the same idea to America. Then, in April 1981, Edward meet in New York with Robert Priest, art director of Esquire, illustrator Julian Allen, illustrator Marshall Arisman and Steven Heller, art director of The New York Times Book Review. All agreed, America was more than ready for an annual produced to the same high standards of European Illustration. The first committee was formed in Julian’s studio and the rules and then-revolutionary principles were established: Work from the U.S., Canada and abroad for North American clients would be accepted; Images would run one-image-per-page in a hard-cover book; a category for personal/unpublished work would be included; student work would be included and published alongside professional work. American Illustration and American Photography continue to be published with the same philosophy as outlined over 30 years ago.

American Illustration offers an expansive view of this ever-changing field, with images that redefine the most intriguing medium for the communication arts. With hundreds of images selected by an outstanding jury from thousands of entries, American Illustration lives up to its reputation as the best resource for cutting-edge talent that's always on the mark - and the most intriguing gallery in print. American Illustration offers a who's who in illustratioin. Work by today's masters is interspersed with pictures by students and emerging up-and-comers just beginning to make a name for themselves. For more than 30 years, top creative directors have reached for American Illustraiton for inspiration and when assigning the finest illustrators in the business. From established artists to students, American Illustration presents the images that define our time. Over the years every notable illustrator has been celebrated in these pages, from Sue Coe, Milton Glaser, Al Hirschfeld, Chris Ware and Andy Warhol, to Gary Baseman, The Clayton Brothers, David Hughes, Maira Kalman and Mark Ryden; and continues today with work by Istvan Banyai, Brian Cronin, Evah Fan, John Hendrix, Ted McGrath, Chistoph Niemann, Robert Risko, David Sandlin, Yuko Shimizu, Mark Todd, Esther Watson, Sam Weber and Olimpia Zagnoli. The books, designed with defiant irreverence, are themselves objects of beauty and debate and have been recognized by every top design competition, including the AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers, The Art Directors Club, British Design and Art Direction, The Society of Illustrators, and Print Regional Design.

A few testimonials from over the years:

"American Illustration has always taken a refreshingly oblique view of its subject, but the passage of time has indicated that the most innovative work of the last 20 years has appeared in its pages." – Milton Glaser, Illustrator and Designer

American Illustration is about freshness and innovation, featuring work that is strikingly original - both intellectually and stylistically. When I need to make an assignment, it's the first book I go to, every time. Just as important, it stands on its own as an art book - stimulating in content and beautiful to look at." – Arthur Hochstein, Art Director, TIME, juror AI14

American Illustration is more than just a directory of illustration talent, it's an inspired, well-curated event. It's a meal and a snack!" – Chris Curry, Illustration Editor, The New Yorker, juror AI13 and AI24

American Illustration stands alone in its dedication to and presentation of excellence in illustration. It's the best of the best, period." – Michael Carabatta, Design Director, Chronicle Books

An art director leaving one magazine for another once asked me, ‘Do you think I can take the American Illustrations with me?’ It’s the one source book worth stealing." – Nicholas Blechman, Art Director, The New York Times Op-Ed page. Juror AI17, 30. Desginer AI30.

Established 1985

American Photography presents the best images by established and emerging photographers selected by an outstanding jury from thousands of entries. The collection, gathered from books, magazines, promotional and personal portfolios, offers an informed view of photography today, with images that resonate through their clearly individual point of view. American Photography is a time capsule in the making and offers a who's who in photography, with images by Luc Delahaye, Lee Friedlander, Nan Goldin, Jean Paul Goude, Lauren Greenfield, Brigitte Lacombe, Vincent Laforet, Annie Leibovitz, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Spencer Platt, Martin Schoeller, and Stephanie Sinclair, to name a few. Work by today's masters is interspersed with pictures by students and emerging photographers just beginning to make a name for themselves.

American Photography, founded in 1985 after the successful launch of American Illustation three-years prior, is the leading juried annual and advocate of contemporary photography in North America and the world. Regarded by creative professionals as the number one source for today's finest image makers, American Photography is the premier showcase for editorial, advertising, fine art and experimental work. With a history of presenting the most cutting-edge images, its pages have honored work by Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and William Wegman and has proudly promoted the early careers of Sally Mann, David LaChapelle, Elinor Carucci and Steven Maisel.

The books, designed with defiant irreverence, are themselves objects of beauty and debate and have been recognized by every top design competition, including the AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers, The Art Directors Club, The British Design & Art Direction, I.D., Communication Arts, How, The One Club and Print Regional Design.

A few testimonials from over the years:

"American Photography is all about the serious mojo and represents those precious times when everything goes right, and the really good stuff makes it all the way to the printed page." – Fred Woodward, Design Director, GQ, Chair Emeritus, Jury Chair 1994-2003 and Designer AP4, AP25 and AI15

"Under the guise of an aggressively designed coffee table book, the photographs in American Photography gets under yoru skin. There’s such a disturbing reality, you sometimes don’t wat to look, but you can’t help it." – Robert Priest, Principal, Priest + Grace, Founder AI, Juror AI1, AP9, AP25, Jury Chair 1994-1997, and Designer AI1, AP9, AI20

"When you consider the breadth and quality of the photographers featured in American Photography, it's unrivaled." – Simon Barnett, Director of Photography, Newsweek, Juror AP24

"Interesting, amusing, and often downright creepy, the American Photography annuals illustrate best what contemporary photography seeks to achieve: a split-second of truth." – David Harris, Design Director, Vanity Fair, Juror AI14, AP23

"American Photography is the best photography annual published in America" – Stefan Sagmeister, Sagmeister, Inc., Juror and Designer AP15