Leeds Met student scoops prestigious Penguin books award
Craig Cox, who is studying for a BA (Hons) in Graphic Arts and Design, was one of just 10 students from across the UK who made the shortlist. He wins a £1,000 cash prize and a design placement with the UK's biggest book publisher.
Speaking from the Hove Festival in Norway, where he is currently volunteering with Leeds Met, the 21-year-old said: "To win this national competition is a great honour for me, I cannot believe it! Penguin is a giant in the publishing world and a household name known across the globe. To have my design chosen is something I will be proud of forever.
"I first heard about the award through the Leeds Met website. I wanted to challenge myself and try something new, so I thought I'd give it a go. I hope to take everything I can from this experience and I am really looking forward to learning more and getting to work on my design placement - which will be a once in a lifetime opportunity."
The 2014 Penguin Random House Design Award, which comprises the Puffin Children's Prize and Penguin Adult Prize, received more than 1,100 entries from aspiring designers across the UK.
Craig, originally from Birmingham and currently living in Headingley, Leeds, took on the challenge of designing S E Hinton's coming-of-age novel The Outsiders and was judged by Penguin Random House UK Children's Managing Director Francesca Dow and Art Director Anna Billson with journalist Lucy Mangan and Charlie and Lola author-illustrator Lauren Child.
Explaining the inspiration behind his winning design Craig added: "My cover submission aims to attract the reader with minimalistic graphics, a limited colour palette and iconic imagery that hints at the culture and themes featured throughout the book, without revealing too much. The graphic is intended to emphasise the theme of 'the outsider' by using a common cultural signifier and removing it from a sequence. I aimed to create a considered design which gives a classic book a modern twist whilst paying homage to the era in which the book was set."
Judge Lauren Child said of Craig's design: "I was struck by the pared-back design and the simplicity of the image, the placement, and the colour scheme all combining perfectly to create an impactful and arresting cover. It made perfect sense with the book's content."
Anna Billson, Art Director, Penguin Random House UK Children's who has recruited previous winners into her design team said: "The Design Award is a great opportunity for students to get their ideas noticed by leading designers and art directors in publishing. In my role as a judge, I am looking for genuine talent - someone who has a good design eye that they use effectively to produce work that hits the mark both creatively and commercially. At the outset, it always feels like a daunting task, but very quickly the best entries pop."
Tom Weldon, CEO, Penguin Random House UK, 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 Design Award to encourage the next generation of designers to use their amazing talents to help us tell our stories."
Now in its eighth year, the Penguin Random House Design Award offers students on an Art or Design course at HND or degree level to design a cover for a classic adult or children's book for the chance to win a work placement in Penguin Random House's Adults or Children's studio and £1,000 cash prize.