Graphics student is shortlisted for the Penguin Student Design Awards 2020

The Night Manager book covers and smart phone

Graphic Communication and Illustration student, Hazel Shorney, has been shortlisted for the Penguin Design Awards from over 2000 entrants for her illustrated cover of The Night Manager by John le Carré in the Fiction Cover Award category.

The Penguin Random House Student Design Award aims to find the next generation of book cover designers by giving students the opportunity to experience real cover design briefs first-hand. The competition sees students reimagine iconic book covers across the award’s three categories: Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction and Children’s.

Coming in to her final year, Hazel knew she wanted to enter the opportunity having seen some of the past designs submitted by Loughborough students. Having previously worked with a lot of children's illustrations, Hazel wanted to test herself with a completely different audience. When largely working with images, this competition allowed Hazel to experiment with typography more and push the boundaries of how readable it could be whilst incorporating it with the illustration. 

The brief asked for a clever, fresh, contemporary and above all original design that appeals to a broad, modern audience, with the judges also looking for a striking cover design that is well executed, has an imaginative concept and clearly places the book for its market. The book need to be eye-catching within a crowded bookshop setting as well as on screen at a reduced size for digital retailers.

Hazel explains that:

"The main inspiration for my design was le Carré’s writing. I loved The Night Manager but the interesting thing that I found was how when reading it, you often feel like you have to unravel the novel, the multiple plot lines and characters. I wanted to reflect this in the illustration and make the reader work for it as they do in the book. I wanted the reader to have to decipher the image and text and ask questions. Additionally, through the use of distortion and reflection through the crystal faces, I have been able to represent how Pine feels trapped in the espionage world where no one is to be trusted or is as they first seem."

The Night Manager book open showing both covers

Hazel was one of ten shortlisted entries for the Fiction Cover Award category, and she says that:

"It feels amazing to have been shortlisted, especially with the amount of entries there were. This is a great piece to have to include in my portfolio and I have had some good feedback from people in the industry through D&AD, which has encouraged me to keep creating. The exposure from being shortlisted has helped to make me feel part of the industry but I think more importantly, the design process for this project has helped me to identify Publishing as a key direction for my career."

Congratulations to Hazel!

Further details

You can read more about Hazel's shortlisted entry on her online portfolio and via the online Degree Show.

Hazel's online portfolio Hazel's final year project