The Design Department Archive

The Design Department: Fish Out Of Water by Natalie Whipple

Today we’re having a look at creating the cover for Natalie Whipple’s latest book FISH OUT OF WATER. More specifically hand lettering a book cover! Two roughs for the cover At first me and Art Director Jet were bouncing ideas and thought two gold fish of different colours would neatly capture both the fish theme […]

Book Covers – Choosing Colours

We are delighted to reveal the cover for FOULSHAM, the second book in the incomparable IREMONGER TRILOGY by Edward Carey. (You don’t have to take our word for how good the series is. Just look at the quotes we get to put on the front cover!) But how does the Design Department choose a book’s¬†colour […]

Black Is the New Cover

November is soon upon us, and with it a new haul of books hitting the shelves. With leaves soaking the day’s showers up and muffling the increasingly dark bike ride home, what better than to hide under a blanket with a hot cup of Lemsip (yum..) and one of these books clad in black? Here […]

The Design Department’s Road to Breakdown!

In honour of Sarah Mussi’s Breakdown publishing today, here is the cover progress, from rough concepts to finished jacket. Breakdown is a dystopian novel set in a dilapidated London in ruins and disarray. The global demise of the bee population sparked the end of civilisation as we know it and in the divided city it’s […]

The Head of the Saint – Behind the Cover

Today we ‘re sharing the story behind the cover of THE HEAD OF THE SAINT by Socorro Acioli, which will be out next month. For THE HEAD OF THE SAINT we teamed-up with Pickled Ink linocut illustrator Alexis Snell. We commissioned Alexis to create the book jacket plus 30 inside illustrations. Alexis worked super fast […]

Designing Terror Kid

Today we’re publishing Benjamin Zephaniah’s TERROR KID, his first novel in seven years. Here our Art Director Jet shares the process behind creating the stark and striking cover. The Terror Kid brief suggested a riot scene with a fire and possibly the antagonist lurking in the background. I explored stock photography of riots, burning police […]

From the Drawing Table

This month we in the Design Dept are busy busy getting covers ready for our autumn deadlines, so here is a sneak peek of some titles we’ll release over the coming months. As you can see This Old Thing has inspired us to publish more DIY: Make-up, braiding, spandex, renovation, cooking fish, refurbishing and cleaning […]

The Design Department: Say Her Name

Last month we published James Dawson’s chilling SAY HER NAME and we thought we’d share with you an all but finished cover, rather than an early squiggle that later morphed into a legible and hopefully functional cover. In progress Art Director Jet came up with the concept: A girl, perhaps the reader or maybe Bloody […]

The Design Department: The Black North Cover

THE BLACK NORTH by Nigel McDowell is out right now and today Jan from the Design Department talks about the development of the cover. On the 5th of June we¬†published Nigel McDowell’s beautiful and anticipated follow-up to his acclaimed debut TALL TALES FROM PITCH END. For the cover of THE BLACK NORTH, we knew we […]

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Re-Jackets

For today’s Top Ten Tuesday we’re having a look at interesting, not so good, great, dramatic and subtle hardback to paperback re-jackets. Re-jacketings? Either way: Sara: The cover change that most surprised me: A Boy and a Bear In a Boat. Whoa. Whoa indeed. Dave Shelton has a nice bold style, and his illustrations are […]


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