The 2019 Student Design Award will be launched on Tuesday 16 October 2018. Sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.

About the Student Design Award 

The Penguin Random House Student Design Award is an opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in design to experience real cover design briefs first-hand.

The competition is open to anyone studying on a Further Education or Higher Education course (part time or full time) in any subject and at any level at the time of the deadline for entries. Entrants must be aged 18 or over.  The competition is not open to graphic design professionals. Entrants must be available to take up the 4-week work placement if they win the first prize. See the Terms and Conditions for full details of entry requirements.

To make the process even more similar 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.

A letter 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 twelve 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.  


See our winning designs

A big thank you to everyone who entered the Penguin Random House Student Design Award 2018. We had a record-breaking 2,185 entries this year. Congratulations to the winning and shortlisted entrants, whose designs you can view here.

The 2018 winners are:

  • Adult Fiction Cover Award – Raemarie Lee, Kingston University (Animal Farm by George Orwell)
  • Adult Non-Fiction Cover Award – Harry Woodgate, University of Hertfordshire (A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking)
  • Children’s Cover Award – Fruzsina Czech, Ulster University (Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman)
Student Design Award winning designs 2018

The prize

  • The winner of each category has won a work placement within the Penguin Random House Design Studios as well as £1,000 in prize money
  • The winners of the 2nd prize in each category will receive a £500 cash prize 
  • The winners of the 3rd prize in each category will receive a £350 cash prize

    See the winning designs in full

"I think as an illustrator, I often feel stuck in this middle ground between creating work that is very representational or figurative, versus work that is more graphic and design-led, and I felt like this project has really helped me work out how to navigate and combine both of those approaches."

- Harry Woodgate, winner of the Penguin Adult Non-Fiction Cover Award 2018