Penguin Random House UK announces shortlist for Student Design Award


Penguin Random House UK has today revealed 30 book cover designs shortlisted as part of its annual Student Design Award.

The Student Design Award aims to find the next generation of book cover designers by giving students the opportunity to experience real cover design briefs first-hand.

The competition sees aspiring student designers reimagine iconic book covers across the award’s three categories: Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction and Children’s. This year’s book titles are:

  • Adult Fiction Cover Award – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Adult Non-Fiction Cover Award – In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • Children’s Cover Award – The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend

The 30 cover designs (10 shortlisted in each category) were chosen from more than 2,100 submissions.

The winners in each of the three categories will receive a work placement within the Penguin Random House UK design studios, as well as a £1,000 cash prize.

Art Directors from Penguin Random House will now provide each of the shortlisted designers with detailed feedback on their covers, giving the students the chance to refine and resubmit their designs before the final judging takes place in June.

The judging panel is made up of Art Directors from across Penguin Random House UK as well as guest judges from the design and publishing industry, including Sarah Hyndman, David Pearson, Chris Packham and Rathna Ramanthan.

Announcing the shortlisted designs, Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House, said:

“At Penguin Random House we have a proud design heritage and many of our covers are recognised the world over. Designers play a vital role in bringing to life some of the world's best-loved books and helping to tell our authors’ stories.

“This award celebrates standout cover design and offers valuable experience to passionate and creative young people. I am always impressed with the quality of submissions and this year’s designers have produced some fantastic designs.”

Commenting on the shortlisted designs, John Hamilton, Art Director, Penguin General, said:

“All of the judges have been hugely impressed by this year’s designs and overwhelmed by the number of submissions.

“Based on the quality of entries, I’m confident we will see lots of these students working in the UK’s creative industries in the future and hope that the Design Award will inspire them to consider a career in book cover design.”

Now in its eleventh year, the Student Design Award continues to grow in popularity, with submissions in 2017 increasing by over 500 applications compared to 2016.  

The award is free to enter and open to all students studying on a Further Education or Higher Education course, regardless of their degree or institution.

Past entrants have attributed the award to their future success, with a number of them going on to work in the publishing industry. 

Shortlisted student designers:

Adult Fiction Cover Award

Yusuf Athman – University Centre, Stockport College

Maria Isabelle Becker – Central Saint Martins, UAL

Klara Block – Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University

Cristina Cid – Swansea College of Art, UWTSD

Madalyn Farley – Kingston University

Joss Humberstone – Glasgow School of Art

Max Low – Hereford College of Arts

Linde Raats – University of the West of Scotland (Erasmus) / Artevelde University College Ghent

Harry Woodgate – Arts University Bournemouth

Lemeng Xue – Nottingham Trent University


Adult Non-Fiction Cover Award

Matthew Barnard – University of Northampton

Silje Bergum – University of Hertfordshire

Eva Freeman – London College of Communication, UAL

Lina Jabbari – University of Greenwich

Elliot Lee – University of Northampton

Connor Lyon – Cardiff Metropolitan University

José María González Sánchez – Falmouth University

Sophie Smart – Sheffield Hallam University

Luke Smith – Coventry University

Joel Williams – Cardiff Metropolitan University

Children’s Cover Award

Carly Ayre – University of Northampton

Emily Chaffer – Leeds College of Art

Tin Sum Tiffany Chau – University of Gloucestershire

Paulina Chromik – Plymouth College of Art

Beth Ewens – Leeds College of Art

Holly Knowles – University of Hertfordshire

Alysha Moxom – Bath Spa University

Charlotte Murray – Cardiff Metropolitan University

Joseph Wheeler – Central Saint Martin’s, UAL

Stuart Wilson – Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University

Press Enquiries

For more information on this story please get in touch via our media contacts.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more