Penguin Books reveals the Cover Design Award 2024 shortlist

Louis Martin, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Fiction

Over 1,800 submissions were entered into the Cover Design Awards 2024 hosted by Penguin Books, and the shortlist of 30 hopefuls has just been announced. Take a look at who’s in the running for the coveted top spot.

Everyone likes to think they don’t judge a book by its cover, but in reality, we all do to an extent. Especially when browsing the shelves of our local bookshop on the hunt for a summer read. To help creatives get into the world of making book covers, Penguin Books has opened the doors for budding creatives to have a go at jacket design.

Since 2022, the Cover Design Awards have tasked creatives with reimagining the covers of bestselling Penguin Books titles. Whereas its previous iteration, the Student Design Award, required a higher education qualification to enter, the Cover Design Awards are open to designers and illustrators aged 18 and over without significant paid experience.

For this year’s awards, hopeful creatives were asked to redesign Atomic Habits by James Clear, Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, and/or City of Stolen Magic by Nazneen Ahmed Pathak. Representing the adult nonfiction, adult fiction, and children’s categories, respectively, these three books boast a diverse range of topics for artists to explore.

Olivia Vico Martinez, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Fiction

Max Bicknell, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Fiction

Katie Simpson, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Fiction

It’s no surprise that Penguin Books was flooded with over 1,800 entries from creatives in the UK and Ireland. These submissions have been whittled down to 10 in each category, making for a total of 30 covers on the shortlist. This batch includes Katy Reid’s 70s-inspired cover, Charlotte Gill’s textured entry for the non-fiction category, and Andrea Torsdatter Davidsen’s magical illustration for the children’s category.

Richard Bravery, Penguin’s general art director, said: “The standard of this year’s submissions was incredibly high and has raised the creative bar once again. Entries from across the art, design and photography spectrum contributed to great variety, and the quality of the entries made our jobs as judges very hard indeed.”

Indeed, the work has just begun for the judges in many ways. Over the next few weeks, they will debate over their favourites before revealing the overall winners on 27 June. Explore some of the covers that caught our eye below, and head on over to the Penguin Books website for the full list of shortlisted covers.

Ryan Bell, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Non-Fiction

Megan Smith, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Non-Fiction

The full list of artists shortlisted for the adult fiction section includes Ruby Aron, Max Bicknell, Lewis Lenoble, Olivia Vico Martinez, Louis Martin, Laurie Neil, Katy Reid, Cadi Rhind, Katie Simpson, and Rebekah Sinclair.

The shortlist for the adult nonfiction section includes Ryan Bell, Jessica Cracknell, Craig Ferdinando, Charlotte Gill, James Gregory, Joanne Griffin, George Griffiths, Ellie Parkes, Megan Smith, and G.R. Stone.

Finally, the children’s category contains covers by: “Evan Connolly, Andrea Torsdatter Davidsen, Matthew Hare, Charlotte Jennings, Karin Keratova, Helen Lo, Daisy May Nash, Alic Parkes, Sophie Sandys, and Yuxuan Zhou.

Yuxuan Zhou, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Children’s

Alic Parkes, Cover Design Award 2024 Shortlist – Children’s

Inspired by these magnificent covers and want to enter the Cover Design Awards yourself? Check your eligibility on the Penguin Books website. It promises to be an experience you won’t regret.

“I was delighted to have been shortlisted. It has encouraged me to consider book cover designing as a future career,” says Evan Connolly. Max Bicknell adds, “I would heavily recommend it to any young illustrators or designers. Just the experience and understanding of the process of designing a book cover has been so valuable!”

Charlotte Jennings agrees: “It’s exciting to be shortlisted, and it was an unexpected surprise! I am grateful I got the opportunity to receive professional feedback from an Art Director at Penguin, and the notes given to me really allowed me to push my design further and look at my cover with new eyes.”

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