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.
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.
“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.”
The full shortlist can be viewed online.