Students recover literary classics for Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House has shortlisted 30 different takes on books by George Orwell, Malorie Blackman and Stephen Hawking for its annual Student Design Award

Cover by Fruzsina Czech

This year’s cover designs include puppet-master pigs, brush lettering and swirly titles, created for Animal Farm, Noughts & Crosses and A Brief History of Time.

Penguin Random House art directors and guest judges – including Malorie Blackman – sifted through more than 2,000 entries to create the shortlist. Snouts feature heavily, as you’d expect, on the Orwell covers, while for Noughts & Crosses Blackman has helped select a range of typographic designs, some of which are paired with illustration. Students were a little more abstract with A Brief History of Time, with plenty of rainbow colours and graphic takes on black holes.

Cover by Sascha Sendlbeck
Cover by Alva Skog
Cover by Mulenga Musonda

Shortlisted students have been given feedback on their covers, and will have time to tweak them before final judging – with the winner announced on 20 June.

The publisher’s Student Design Award was set up 12 years ago, and is open to all students, not just those on a design course. The overall winner will be offered a work placement at Penguin Random House’s design team, as well as £1,000.

Cover by Saskia Wright
Cover by Kay Hamers
Cover by Lucy Scholes

“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,” says CEO Tom Weldon. “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.”

Cover by Graham Robinson
Cover by Stephen Young
Cover by Fiona Cheung

The full shortlist can be viewed online.