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Top Shelf

AUGUST 31, 2018


Entries are judged by top industry designers for their merits in appropriateness for the market, level of conceptual thinking, and quality of execution. 

We are pleased to introduce an impressive cast of experts who are renown creatives in the art of book design, who will graciously lend their time and expertise to the Top Shelf program this year.



Gabriele Wilson runs a New York and now Berlin based studio, where she creates publications, packaging and identities for an array of clients that includes Abrams, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, MoMA, Penguin Random House, The Phoenicia Diner, The Poetry Society of America, SONY, the United Nations, and Rizzoli. Prior to opening her own studio, she worked as a jacket designer at Alfred A. Knopf.

Gabriele’s work has been featured in various publications, including By Its Cover: Modern American Book Design, Communication Arts, New Vintage Type, Print, the AIGA 365 and 50 Books/50 Covers competitions and the 2013-2016 New York Times Best Covers selections. She has been a keynote speaker, judge and guest lecturer for American Association of University Presses, California College of Arts, School of Visual Arts, Type Director’s Club, Typographics NYC, Typo St. Gallen–Switzerland and recently the Museum of the City of New York’s Paul Rand Everything is Design exhibition.

Gabriele was an adjunct faculty member at Parsons School of Design for 13 years and a former Education Chair for the AIGA NY board of directors. She is a graduate of The College of Wooster and Parsons School of Design and originally from Concord, Massachusetts.


Sarah is the CEO of Darling Media and Editor-in-Chief of Darling Magazine. She has a BA from Concordia University in Studio Art and started her career in film and fashion, which led her to become a professional model and actress with Wilhelmina, a top agency in Los Angeles. She has modeled in national campaigns for clients such as Target, InStyle Magazine, Budweiser, and many more. In this industry she found a passion to broaden the ideals of “beauty” and create an authentic and elevated conversation for women, which has now become Darling—a multi-media company that hosts impactful live experiences and positively redefines female-driven digital, social and print content. Sarah is now a cultural influencer and has been interviewed on outlets such as CNN, NBC, Refinery 29 and Huffington Post and speaks nationally on the movement of Darling. 


Nate is a Design Director at Instrument in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys projects that combine creative thinking and technology to reach people at scale for clients like Dropbox, Facebook, Nike, Levi’s, Netflix and others. Before joining Instrument, he worked as an Art Director at Facebook, a freelance Film Director, and a book cover designer. Nate’s work has been recognized by Fast Company, Adweek, Creativity Online, The Next Web, Print Magazine, Eye Magazine, and Graphis. In his spare time—increasingly rare with his two daughters— Nate pretends to be a photographer, a ukulele enthusiast, and a bourbon connoisseur. 

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