So I ended up going with the Penguin Student Design Awards for my competitions assignment. This is because I have never done book designs and illustrations and feel this is a good test for my abilities.


So I ended up going with the Penguin Student Design Awards for my competitions assignment. There was the option of three books;
  • A Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawking
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell
  • Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
Take a look on the left at some of the research I collected to help inspire me to a potential award winning design. Alternatively check out my Penguin 2018 Book Review report to get an understanding of the design and content aspects.


After looking at me research and taking in what I could, I got cracking with experiments and messed around with different ideas and routes. I originally started on Animal Farm but then switched to Noughts and Crosses, as evidenced in the sketches.
After exploration I then narrowed them down into three potential routes and focused on them both digitally and as roughs. Here are a few examples of me messing around. This includes a design that was mocked up and is a reserve submission helping showcase multiple route exploration (Hangman), and a design that was a quick turn around design (XXO Face).

Final Designs

I have chosen the ‘Hand Together’ design as the hand print represents the fact that the book is set in a dystopian society where black people are the ruling class – basically it’s reality flipped upside down. In development, when flipping the hand print upside down I discovered it imitated silhouettes. This led me to using double exposure photography techniques to manipulate a hand print and couple imagery, to then sketch and copy over it.
The overall effect creates some strong imagery that depicts the two main characters and their forbidden love together as one in the form of a hand print. Penguin states the books subject is on ‘the class system and the artificial divides we always seem to put between ourselves and others”. My design counteracts that by showcasing the togetherness of the two. It may mean that people understand the cover more so after they’ve read the book.
As per Penguins brief I have mocked additional banner designs up to showcase that it is able to sit on the shelves of a supermarket or ebook store as easily as it sits on those of more traditional bookshops.

All in all I found the designs for the book covers hard at first but after opening up and exploring a bit more I found to enjoy creating for a world thats totally different. Additionally I am glad to have chosen to change mid way through to Noughts and Crosses as the underlying messages and meanings sat with me more so than Animal Farm which give me a better scope for design.