How I Work: Vintage Creative Director Suzanne Dean

Suzanne Dean heads up the design team at Vintage, working on cover designs for contemporary and classic novels by Ian McEwan, Virginia Woolf and Haruki Murakami. Here, we talk to her about her creative process, working with authors and the key to a good book jacket 

If you’ve perused the literary fiction section of your local Waterstones lately, then there’s a good chance you’ll have come across Suzanne Dean’s work. It might even be sitting on your book shelf at home. The designer has worked at Vintage (part of Penguin Random House Group) for almost 20 years, and has created covers for iconic titles and bestsellers from The Handmaid’s Tale to the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

She has also created visual identities for Vintage series – including collections by Jane Austen, Haruki Murakami and Virginia Woolf – and recently worked on the striking cover for Ian McEwan’s new novel Machines Like Me. Alongside designing book jackets, Dean works on Vintage’s branding and oversees creative for key marketing campaigns. Here, she gives us an insight into the long – and sometimes arduous process – of creating a brilliant cover.

Suzanne Dean commissioned textile designer Aino-Maija Metsola to create paintings for Vintage Classics’ Virgina Woolf series