Bloomsbury’s Greg Heinimann on creating beautiful book covers

Greg Heinimann discusses his career journey from Waterstones bookseller to Bloomsbury deputy creative director, plus the secret to designing an eye-catching book cover

There’s a certain irony in the fact that the rise of digital is helping revive our love of the analogue world of books. Over the last few years, and even more so during the pandemic, social media has become a vital tool for publishing houses to promote new titles. In turn, the humble book jacket is having its own moment in the spotlight, thanks to the rise of Bookstagrammers, colour coordinated ‘shelfies’ and viral cover reveals, such as the recent one for Sally Rooney’s hotly anticipated new novel, Beautiful World, Where Are You.

For people just entering the creative industries, the prospect of forging a career as a book designer may seem more intimidating than ever in this context. But Greg Heinemann’s career trajectory is living proof that dream jobs can come from unexpected places. “I wasn’t a big reader at all growing up,” he tells CR. “It wasn’t until I finished my degree course and was trying to bide time and earn some money that I worked at Waterstones as an art buyer. That was the start of my love of reading properly.”