Graphic Design and Illustration students announced as winners of Penguin Random House Student Design Award 2020

22 September 2020

Leeds Arts University second year Graphic Design student, Kael Crozier and Illustration graduate, Olivia McEwan-Hill, are winners in this year's Penguin Random House Student Design Award 2020 with Graphic Design student, Max Basey, shortlisted. 

Students were asked to respond to briefs for three Penguin Random House bestsellers: The Night Manager by John le Carré in the Adult Fiction category; A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson for Adult Non-Fiction; and Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian for Children’s. There were 2,000 entries across the three competition categories. 

Image: Olivia McEwan-Hill's winning design for the Penguin Random House Adult Fiction Cover Award 2020 (c) the artist 

Olivia was awarded second prize in the Adult Fiction category for her design for The Night Manager. She said of her work: “I wanted my design to reflect the fast-paced escalation of events and characters in the novel from the starting point of the Queen Nefertiti Hotel. Using a monochromatic colour scheme and drawing ink helped to create a document-like feel to the design, especially on the back cover where I wanted to recreate ‘sanitisation’ of secret documents.” 

Joanna Prior, Managing Director, Penguin General Books said: "Olivia’s use of type is what we all admired the most about this design.  The illustrations are clever and intriguing and tell a story too and work together so coherently with the big, bold hand-drawn type." 

Image: Kael Crozier, Third place winner in the Penguin Random House Student Design Award 2020 (Adult Non-Fiction), 2020 (c) the artist  

Kael was awarded third prize in the Adult Non-Fiction category. He takes a famous wormhole analogy involving a pencil piercing through paper. He says: “The receipt in this context acts as a vehicle for type while still fitting the everyday aesthetic. The curving of the receipt brings a visual tension while its scroll-like characteristics add a grandiose quality that helps establish the book's immense scale.” 

Richard Ogle, Art Director, Transworld said "This design instantly stood out amongst the hundreds of entries. The stripped down boldness is eye catching. The easy simplicity of its design is remarkable given the amount of text that has been included. This is a very modern interpretation of the content which creates an appeal beyond the science reader." 

 Image: Max Basey, Shortlisted artwork in the Penguin Random House Student Design Award 2020 (Adult Non-Fiction), 2020 (c) the artist  

Max was among just ten students shortlisted in the non-fiction category. His design, incorporating information about the book onto the image of a flattened takeaway sandwich box, is based on a quote, about how the universe was created, from the first chapter of Bill Bryson’s well-known book - “it was all done in about the time it takes to make a sandwich”.

Tom Weldon, Penguin Random House CEO said: “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. 

“We value creativity and design incredibly highly, and started the Penguin Random House Student Design Award twelve years ago to encourage the next generation of designers to use their amazing talents to help us tell our authors' stories.”