students shortlisted in international design competition

Three Communication Design students at Gray’s School of Art are celebrating after making the shortlist in an international book design competition.

Penguin Random House Design AwardLewis Copland (24) has been shortlisted in the Adult Fiction category; Kasia Serafin (29) in the Adult Non-Fiction category; and Andrea Karan (22) in the Children’s category of the Penguin Random House Design Award 2016.

The final year students are up against nine other nominees in each category and will find out if they have won on June 22, with a four week work placement within Penguin Random House UK’s Design Studios and a £1000 cash prize up for grabs.

The awards, which have been running for a decade, are aimed at encouraging the next generation of designers to use their talents to help tell authors’ stories and capture readers’ attention.

The cover Lewis has designed is for Anthony Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’, with the design brief stating that originality is key and for entrants to avoid the obvious clichés.

The title set for the Adult Non-Fiction category which Kasia has been shortlisted in is Caitlin Moran’s ‘How to Be a Woman’, while in the Children’s category Andrea took on ‘Emil and the Detectives’ by Erich Kästner.

Lewis said: “Last year I won the Kelpies Design & Illustration Prize for the book ‘The Hill of the Red Fox’, so since then I’ve had a bit of a hankering to do more book cover competitions. When I went scouting for them, the Penguin Random House Design Award brief caught my eye, as the chance to redesign a book as iconic and genre-defying as A Clockwork Orange was far too good to pass up.

“I decided to do A Clockwork Orange because it was the only one of the three books I had read, and was a something of an awakening when I read it for the first time many years ago. Reading it again at 24 for the competition made me truly appreciate it in a way I couldn’t when I was younger, and I had too many ideas after reading it to let it go.”

Describing his design as “risque”, Lewis has produced a stylised and embossed representation of one of the book’s controversial scenes.

He said: “The design is about encouraging people to either delve into their darker side and run their hands over the textured cover, or ignore their urges and simply open the book.”

Kasia said: “As a very illustration-oriented individual, my main objective during my honours year is to build a proper portfolio of illustration work. In my search for smaller projects I could complete, I decided that Penguin Random House Design Award would be the way to go, especially because the competition brief presented me with the opportunity to incorporate my illustrative skills.”

She added: “Part of my self-directed honours year project revolves around the topic of body positivity and femininity. I found myself really enjoying working within this theme, so I was really thrilled once I found out that one of the briefs had a connection with what I was originally doing. It was a win-win situation. Caitlin Moran’s book is a super fun piece of writing, so I was more than happy to create a cover for it.

“In past generations, women have been discouraged from putting their sexuality on display so I was aiming for my cover to be a sign of progress in that aspect.”

Andrea said: “What primarily made me want to enter the competition was that I was already familiar with this children’s book – it’s a German classic and having grown up in Germany I instantly recalled my own childhood.

“I believe it’s important to connect to a brief in a way first.”

Annette Murray
, Stage 4 co-ordinator for communication design at Gray’s School of Art, said: “I am so proud of our final year students – it’s great to see them competing, and gaining recognition at a national level.  At Gray’s we endeavour to create an environment that supports students to pursue their personal interests and accrue the skills that make them desirable creative employees of the future. ”

Entries are being judged by three of Penguin Random House UK’s Art Directors as well as guest judges, print maker and illustrator Sanna Annukka, and singer, songwriter and author, Tracey Thorn.

The winners of the Penguin Random House Design Award will be announced on Wednesday, June 22.

Release by
Jenny Rush

Communications Officer | Design and Technology

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