Win a six-month mentorship with a designer in the Penguin Design Studios, as well as a design kit package worth £1,000.

Do you want a career in design or illustration, but are yet to land your first role?

Do you think you could reimagine a cover of a bestselling book?

Would you like to experience real book cover design briefs first-hand?

The Penguin Cover Design Award is your opportunity to take on the role of a book cover designer and build your portfolio.

The three titles for the 2022 Cover Design Award

The briefs

Who can enter?

For the first time, we’re encouraging all aspiring designers and illustrators in the UK and Ireland to enter the Penguin Cover Design Award, regardless of higher education status.

We’re looking for UK and Ireland-based designers and illustrators who haven’t yet had significant experience in a paid creative role – that includes anyone aged 18 or over who is yet to break into the creative industry, students from all subjects and recent graduates.

By significant experience, we mean one year or more (cumulatively) in an in-house or freelancer paid role, as a creative.

See the Eligibility page and the Terms and Conditions for full details of entry requirements.

How do I get started?

Read the briefs to find out which one (or more) you’re interested in exploring further, start your research, and get designing!

Make sure to download the design template and cover copy for your chosen category and to read the submission details for how your PDF file should be set up and named.

You may enter up to one design in each category.

When do I submit my entry?

All entries must be submitted digitally via our submissions form, which will be open for entries from Wednesday, 1 December 2021 until Tuesday, 1 March 2022 at 14.00 (GMT).

To make the process as close to the way our designers work, once the judges have selected the shortlist, the Art Directors will email the shortlisted entrants with individual feedback and further art direction on their cover designs.

To proceed to the next stage of the competition, shortlisted entrants will need to resubmit their work, taking the Art Directors’ comments into consideration, before the final round of judging. See our submission details for what you will need to submit at this stage.

What could I win?

The three winners will be offered a six-month mentorship with a designer at Penguin Random House, plus a design kit package and inspiration tools worth £1,000.

The runners-up will recieve design kit packages worth £500, and £350.

Important dates

Opening date for entries – Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Closing date for entries – 14.00 (GMT) on Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Shortlist announcement – Thursday, 28 April 2022

Closing date for shortlisted student’s final submissions – Thursday, 12 May 2022

Winners announced – June 2022

Get creative inspiration from the Student Design Award

A note from Tom Weldon, Penguin Random House CEO

'Standout cover design is an integral part of the success of a book and Penguin Random House has created thousands of iconic book covers throughout the years. The vital role of illustrators and designers in the production of some of the world's best-loved adult and children's books has created and defined the identity of our UK publishing lists.

We value creativity and design incredibly highly, and started the Penguin Random House Student Design Award fifteen years ago to encourage the next generation of designers to use their amazing talents to help us tell our authors' stories.

I am always impressed with the quality of submissions and I look forward to seeing what this year’s talent has to offer.'  

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