Penguin Books, with its history of innovative and elegant book covers, is renowned for its support of graphic designers and this has recently extended to the launch of the publishing company’s first design award. Aimed at final year designers on a degree or HND art or design course, the award offers the chance for the students to experience real jacket design briefs, by designing a cover for a Penguin title. The judging panel of the first award included author Ali Smith, Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, and Gorillaz artist Jamie Hewlett.
The winner of the inaugural award is Ara Youn (London College of Communication), who won for her cover design of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, which caught the judges’ eyes for its strong concept, typography and appliation of the idea. “I focused on the character of blink, that snap judgement that happens during just a few seconds but against a background of lots of potential experiences,” explains Youn. “I expressed the blink under the unconsciousness through a double-layered cover.”
Youn’s cover contains die-cut windows on the front, and uses Helvetica font. “A beautiful idea, beautifully and stylishly achieved,” said judge Ali Smith. As winner, Youn will join the design studio at Penguin on a six week work placement, working with Penguin’s design directors Jim Stoddart and John Hamilton, and also receive a £1000 cash prize.
Second and third places went respectively to Georgia Hall (University College Falmouth) for her take on Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Kinga Koren (Bedfordshire University) for another interpretation of Blink. More information on the awards and winners can be viewed online at www.penguindesignaward.co.uk.