A book's cover design is the window into its story, and might be the reason a reader first picks it up.
The art of conveying an entire manuscript into a single image, and making sure it's targeting the right audience, is a task taken on not just by designers, but by editors and the marketing, sales and production teams. "Collaboration is part of the whole design process", says art director for Penguin Random House Children's, Anna Billson, "From working with different teams and illustrators outside the company, to sharing inspiration or unlocking a problem, it helps us create the best possible book covers."
The author is of course consulted towards the end of the process when a proposed cover has been developed, and their opinion is hugely valuable, but ultimately the art department will make the final decision. These teams have a huge amount of expertise on what readers are looking for and what is likely to make a book sell - and know exactly how to bring that to life visually.
So, how does a book cover go from brief to bookshelf? Here, designers from across Penguin Random House take you through the journey.