Student wins prestigious Penguin Random House Design Award

22 June 2017

BA (Hons) Graphic Design student, Beth Ewens, was announced as the winner of the Children’s Cover Award, for her imaginative design for The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ by Sue Townsend.

The Penguin Random House Design Award is a free-to-enter competition, now in its eleventh year, which gives students the opportunity to respond to a live brief to design a book cover for one of three categories, Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction and Children’s. BA (Hons) Illustration student Emily Chaffer was also shortlisted for the Children’s Cover Award, one of just 10 designs chosen from over 2,100 applications.

Beth explains the concept behind her design:

“…keep the tone of the cover classic while giving it a modern and rebellious twist. It was inspired by the iconic moment in the book where Adrian paints over his Noddy wallpaper with a tin of black vinyl paint.”

“Being embarrassed by your childhood bedroom wallpaper is a feeling that many of the book’s readers making the transition into adolescence will be able to relate to. It is a theme of the book which has transcended time and is still as pertinent today as when it was first published back in 1982.”

Bethewens Web

The winners were selected by three judging panels consisting of Penguin Random House managing directors and designers, as well as guest judges from across the design industry. The panels were impressed with the imaginative approach taken to the brief, as well as a good understanding of the marketplace.

Commenting on Beth’s winning design, Francesca Dow, Managing Director, Penguin Random House UK Children’s said:

“Bold, funny, subversive – a great approach for Adrian Mole. The design really stands out and it makes you, as a reader, want to find out what’s going on in the story. Well done!”

Whilst Anna Bilson, Art Director, Penguin Random House UK Children’s commented:

“Instantly striking, clever design that works on many different levels – our stand-out winner.”

Beth will now have the opportunity to undertake a work placement within the Penguin Random House UK design studios, and will also receive a £1,000 cash prize.

See all the winners and find out more here.