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Posted 29.05.15

Illustration student shortlisted for prestigious Penguin Design Award

By Sarah Packer

BA (Hons) Illustration student James Rae.

BA (Hons) Illustration student James Rae has been shortlisted for the prestigious Penguin Random House Design Award for his cover of Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner.

The 2015 Penguin Random House Design Award, which comprises the Adult Fiction Cover Award, Adult Non Fiction Cover Award and the Children’s Cover Award, received more than 1,200 entries from aspiring designers across the UK and internationally.

James said of his nomination, “I was overwhelmed when I saw I had been shortlisted, and it has given me the drive and confidence to test the waters of design and explore my capabilities within a publishing context.

“I’m intent on making the most of this opportunity and I’m looking forward to fulfilling the art direction I’ve been given. It’s going to be a great privilege to go to London for the award ceremony and meet everyone else that’s been involved.”

Third year BA (Hons) Illustration student James Rae's shortlisted cover for Freakonomics.

James is one of just 10 students from across the UK including Blackpool, Cardiff, Gloucestershire and internationally, New York and Finland who made the Adult Non Fiction Cover Award shortlist.

His place on the shortlist puts him in the running to win a £1,000 cash prize and a design placement with the UK’s biggest book publisher.

James took on the challenge of designing Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner and will be judged by founder of Mind Candy and creator of Moshi Monsters, Michael Acton Smith; graphic designer Angus Hyland, and Penguin Random House UK’s Art Directors Jim Stoddart and John Hamilton and Managing Director Joanna Prior.  

Penguin Random House Art Directors give shortlisted entrants feedback and further art direction on their cover submissions and invite them to resubmit their work by May 13th, taking all the comments on board, before the final round of judging.  

You can see more of James' work on his website.