My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Welcome to rachelsays... The blog of Rachel Lewis, containing my thoughts and musings on illustration, design, fashion, music, cakey-bakey goodness, culture and things that I generally find cool. There's also a good chance my own illustration work will pop up on here.

All work on this blog is copyright to me unless I state that it isn't. Obviously. Don't do stealing, kids.

So come on in, have a look around, and leave a comment if you like what you see.
contact [at]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Penguin Design Award 2010

The Penguin Design Award is such a great competition, I can't really ignore it this year, even though I'm not eligible to enter any more. Such is the way of non-studentness :( However, what's interesting is that for the first time, they are letting MA students take part. This is good news for me as I still aim to do my MA in the next year or two.

I entered in 2008 and 2009, and was lucky enough to be shortlisted for 2009's Penguin Design Award, and it's definitely one of the highlights of my career so far. I blogged about the Awards Presentation Evening back in June, had such a brilliant time, met the other finalists and chin-wagged with the likes of Jonathon Barnbrook and Amelia Noble. Pretty sweet.

This year, they've also added the option to not only design the cover of a Penguin book, but also a Puffin children's book. Which is good as children's illustration is so much harder than you'd imagine. I actually hated it in Uni but that's by the by. Can't be amazing at everything ;) Ha.

So for the Puffin prize, the cover to illustrate is Alice in Wonderland. Which at first is amazing, that story is a classic and there's so much interesting visual imagery that comes to mind instantly. But then you think - actually, it's been done so much. I think it'll be extremely tricky to produce something original:

"Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was first published in 1865 and has remained in print ever since. Next to the Bible and the works of Shakespeare it is one of the world’s most widely translated works of literature and is the most famous children’s fantasy ever written. Full of riddles, puns and wordplay, it will appeal to readers of all ages, whether they are discovering it for the first time or revisiting it once more.

Students are invited to design a whole new cover look for this classic, reinventing it for a new generation of child readers and ensuring that it remains an integral part of childhood."

That's a challenge and a half.

The Penguin award is equally as good though. The cover to design is for Perfume by Patrick Süskind, which I've never read. There was a film wasn't there? I think I've seen that, it rings a bell. "Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer — this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human’s. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odour he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill …"

Yes, I definitely need to read this book.

So I thought, even though I can't enter (boohoo), I'm going to read the book and design a cover anyway. I love illustrating book covers and haven't done a good one in a while; I need to beef up my portfolio with new book covers so this is a great brief for me. The actual submission deadline is sometime in April next year so that's not putting the pressure on me; I imagine I'll get it done before then though as I won't be caught up with mountains of uni work, bar crawls, dramas, impossible ambitions, dancing, pointless lectures, that thing called 'learning new stuff' and endless hangovers any more.
Yay for being a graduate =/ *cries*

Another interesting note to mention is they've slightly changed the judging procedure this year. "To make the process even closer to the way a jacket designer works, once the judges have selected the shortlist, the Penguin / Puffin Art Directors will give the shortlisted entrants feedback and further art direction on their cover submissions. Shortlisted entrants will then be invited to resubmit their work, taking all the comments on board, before the final round of judging." Which I think is really good; real-life design has near constant changes and amends thrown at you so it's good to have a bit of experience at this.

Lastly, the guest judges for the Penguin Award are Marian Deuchars and Will Self. I know right, oh em bloody gee. Both are legends. Lucky people! Good luck anyone who enters, if you get to the ceremony like I did then don't stand around scared chucking wine down your throat like I did until I spoke to people; get in there and talk to these people. They have good advice. It's not that scary. Maybe a bit. The free wine helps. And they literally were forcing it on you, awesome waiters, didn't even have to ask, haha. Good times.

To see my entry last year, have a look here.

No comments: