Minecraft Adventures B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

At Powell's, we often feel like we belong to our community. Our customers send us postcards from their vacations, paintings and photographs of our stores, links to blog posts about Powell's — even the occasional request to get married in our flagship store. We love it. So we thought it would be fun to hold a design contest and let you, our customers, help shape the face of "your store."

The submissions for our design contest ran the gamut from lighthearted to thought-provoking, and entrants included emerging artists as well as seasoned graphic designers. Choosing three winners was difficult, as each design captured a unique facet of the Powell's experience. (Click here to view all top 10 finalists.)

And now... without further ado — the winners!

"City of Books and Bikes"

"Hadley Hutton is an illustrator and artist from Portland, Oregon. Her path to becoming an artist began at age seven with the bunny incident: unable to draw a bunny as beautifully as her friend Monica, she threw a Richter-scale tantrum, screaming, "I can't draw!" Somehow she found the resolve to keep drawing, right through her graduation with honors from the San Francisco Art Institute. (She has yet to perfect the bunny.)"

Hadley Hutton
(Portland, Oregon)

"Bear Essentials"
"Peggy Dolaghan lives in Portland, Oregon, with a pet orangutan named Clyde that she won in a bare-knuckle boxing match. She is currently working on two comics and a bottle of scotch."

Peggy Dolaghan
(Portland, Oregon)

"Powell's Books Octopus"
"Cathleen Green is a Brit transplant with roots in beautiful Portland, Oregon. She trained in the Visual Arts in England and currently earns her bread and butter as a graphic designer. As someone who loves a good tale, she aims to tell stories in her designs that capture the imagination and enjoyment of others."

Cathleen Green
(Portland, Oregon)

"Powell's Books Octopus"
Cathleen Green (Portland, Oregon)

"The design reflects the offbeat, unique quality of Powell's Books and is very typically 'Portland' — keeping it on the right side of weird. I chose an octopus for two reasons: first, because I recently learned that the Northwest is home to the giant Pacific octopus; and second, because it's a creature that has captured many imaginations in literature and graphic novels. The tall bike is so very Portland, I just couldn't resist. I hope the design reflects the fun and unexpected adventures you can have at Powell's Books."

  "New Favorites"
Nathan Gelgud (Brooklyn, New York)

"One of the best feelings a reader can get at Powell's is the feeling that somewhere on the shelves is your new favorite book. This is a personal design, done in a quick sketch kind of style that I hope captures the excitement of that feeling, of some authors and books I've discovered, almost by accident, just by browsing."

"Bear Essentials"
Peggy Dolaghan (Portland, Oregon)

"On my first trip to Portland, I spent a full day exploring Powell's Books. Ever since then, Powell's has been synonymous with Portland in my mind. And Portland is a pretty unique city. It transitions into the surrounding mountains, rivers, and forests almost instantly. I'd like to think the critters get some benefit from their close proximity to one of the coolest bookstores on the planet."

  "Powell's on the Brain"
Egon Selby (Portland, Oregon)

"My idea came from the many times I have just wandered around Powell's. I can never seem to get in and out of there in any less than a couple hours. Most of the time I like to just let serendipity takes its course. Frequently I'll find something interesting. Having a plan about what I'm after is necessary sometimes, but I really enjoy just searching and losing myself for a bit — becoming immersed in the whole experience, not really thinking about what else I may need to be doing. A bit of escapism, I suppose. Hence, Powell's on the brain."

Joey Edwards (Portland, Oregon)

"The City of Books... Biblioville! Every shelf a structure, every room a neighborhood, every book an essential component of the greater conversation! Citizens buy and sell books, writers and readers trade ideas, text begets text begets text. Everyone may have a different stack of books by their bed or on their coffee table, but everyone is reading and sharing! And that is a great, great thing."

  "City of Books and Bikes"
Hadley Hutton (Portland, Oregon)

"When my children were little, their grandparents would take them to Powell's, and they would tell my kids you can get as many books as you can carry out. As they grew, those stacks grew higher and higher, and soon the books were spilling over their little arms as they tried to get their heap to the checkout. I combined this idea of a large stack of books spilling over into the shape of a 'P' for Powell's, and to add just a bit more of my Portland, I threw my bike and book basket in there too. That's my Powell's, and I think it is a Powell's that many other Portlanders can identify with, or at the least, it is our dream Powell's experience."

"We're Not Just for Worms!"
Sarah Nawrocki (Bend, Oregon)

"The idea for my design just sort of came to me. I thought about the term 'bookworm' and how funny it is, and how left out the other animals must feel. To be honest, I consider myself more of a 'book bear' or a 'book bunny' — no offense to worms. It made me laugh, so I ran with it."

Mica Angela Hendricks (Copperas Cove, Texas)

"I have a very good friend who would practically LIVE in your bookstore if it were allowed. When I saw the contest, I thought of her love of the classics, like Eliot and Poe. So when I saw in the rules that a bird design had been created already, I thought it might be funny to do a bird but a tattered old raven (big, like we had when I lived in Alaska). I wanted him to be classic, but ominous, surrounded by ink splatters, as if from a desktop quill. But, also, as a play on the fact that you've already 'done' birds, I wanted him to be wearing a happy-go-lucky Powell's shirt."

"Oregon's Bookstore"
Kyle Richardson

"I really wanted to portray Powell's as Oregon's bookstore. Sure, we have national chains here, but Powell's belongs to us. All of us. (Even Sasquatch.)"

  "Powell's Pinup"
Phillip Markel (West Linn, Oregon)

"A vintage sailor tattoo of a pinup (reading, of course) is the focal point of the design. She represents literacy, strength, and independence. A pair of roses and a few birds accompany her. Roses for the Rose City and birds for... well, we love to put birds on things. The Powell's banner at the bottom completes the graphic. The colors were inspired by vintage tattoos and will pop nicely on the canvas tote (similar to skin tone). Powell's Pinup embodies what Powell's Books is: a unique, strong, Portlandian independent bookstore."

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.