Student Design Award 2020 shortlisted designs

Now in its fourteenth year, 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 2020 award tasked students from across the UK and beyond with redesigning the covers of three well-known bestsellers: The Night Manager by John le Carré, A Short HIstory of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson and Goodnight Mister Tom. After receiving over 2,000 entries, this year's panel of judges whittled the designs down to a shortlist of the best thirty designs.

This year's judges were made up of Art Directors across Penguin Random House UK, along with a number of well known illustrators and graphic designers, including Neil Gower; Jamie Littler and Yehrin Tong.

View all shortlisted entries, and learn more about the concepts behind them.

Ten shortlisted designs for the Adult Fiction Student Design Award

For the Adult Fiction Cover Award, students were asked to design a cover for John le Carré's The Night Manager. The judges asked students to try to avoid the usual spy and crime clichés that characterise so many books in this genre, and instead to focus on developing a clever, fresh, contemporary, and above all, original design that appeals to a broad, modern audience.

Ten shortlisted designs for the Adult Non-Fiction Student Design Award

For the Adult Non-Fiction Cover Award, students were tasked with designing a cover for A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson; the most popular science book of the twenty-first century. The brief was to design a smart but accessible book cover, which would feel timeless, confident and would appeal to a whole new generation of readers.

Ten shortlisted designs for the Children's Student Design Award

The Children's Cover Award asked students to reimagine the cover for Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian, a beloved modern children’s classic. The brief was for students to create a striking cover design with an imaginative concept and which clearly places the book for its market; encouraging children to pick the book up and buy it for themselves, as well as encouraging adults to want to buy it for them.

The winners of the 2020 award will be announced on Tuesday 22 September.

The winner of each category will receive £1,000 in prize money, while those in second and third place will receive a £500 cash prize and a £350 cash prize respectively.

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