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Posted 17.12.18

Illustration student wins acclaim from Penguin Random House UK

By Phillip Buchan
Third year BA (Hons) Illustration student, Heléna Doré, won 3rd place in the Children’s Cover Award category of Penguin Random House UK’s 2018 Student Design Award.

Heléna’s winning submission was a cover design for ‘Noughts & Crosses’, the young-adult novel by Malorie Blackman. Winners of the 2018 Student Design Award were revealed when Heléna attended a prize-giving ceremony at Penguin Random House’s office on the Strand, central London, earlier this year.

The winners were selected from a shortlist of 30 designs (10 in each category) by three judging panels; consisting of Art Directors from across Penguin Random House UK as well as guest judges from the design and publishing industry, including Malorie Blackman, Anthony Burrill, Grace Winteringham, Orlando Weeks, Indi Davies and Tom Sanderson.

“The designer [Heléna Doré] had really thought about the themes of the book and depicted those themes on both the front and back covers”

– Author Malorie Blackman

The award, now in its twelfth year, aims to find the next generation of book cover designers by giving students the opportunity to experience real cover design briefs first-hand.

Heléna Doré with her Noughts and Crosses cover - Photo courtesy of Al Richardson Photography

Penguin Random House UK Children’s Art Director, Anna Billson, said Heléna’s designs were “Deceptively simple, cleverly connecting the multiple elements of the story”.

Speaking of her experience, Heléna said: “I enjoy the challenge of creating a cover for a book. Summing up a whole story in just one image provides opportunities for subtle symbols and hidden messages, which enrich the design. It also forces you to think about the relationship between text and image, which doesn't always come up in the same way in other design briefs.”

Heléna Doré and the other nine shortlisted Children's Book Cover creators - Photo courtesy of Al Richardson Photography

“I chose to study illustration at Plymouth College of Art because the lecturers really encourage everyone’s own individual styles. I was drawn to the friendly and relaxed atmosphere, which really stood out from the other universities that I visited. This is a great environment to work surrounded by like-minded creatives from other disciplines.

One of the judges, renowned book designer Tom Sanderson, who recently worked on the cover for Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust volume one: La Belle Sauvage, said that Heléna’s Noughts & Crosses cover was “beautifully executed”, with “lovely hand-lettering”.