University Campus Suffolk (UCS) student Billy Fenton has been awarded second place in the prestigious annual 2014 Penguin Random House Design Award. The award, which comprises the Penguin Adult Prize and Puffin Children’s Prize, received more than 1,100 entries from aspiring designers across the UK.
Billy was presented with his prize by author Jonathan Coe at a London ceremony held on 18 June 2014. Judge Joanna Prior, Managing Director of Penguin General, said of Billy’s design: “I was immediately drawn to the strong graphic approach – it’s bold and confident and witty too. The more you look at it the more you see. It is eye-catching and clever and would immediately jump out from the crowd in a bookstore.”
18 year old Billy, who lives in Clacton-on-Sea and is studying BA (Hons) Graphic Design at UCS, was one of just 10 students from across the UK including Nottingham, Leeds, Luton, Suffolk and Wales who made the Adult Prize shortlist. His illustration impressed Penguin’s in-house design experts Jo Prior, Jim Stoddart and John Hamilton as well as guest judges Rob Ryan and Petra Börner with his take on Jonathan Coe’s contemporary classic What A Carve Up.
Billy said: “I heard about the Award through social media and decided to enter as I sensed an opportunity to gain some experience. It was fantastic to meet the illustrators and authors at the event, particularly Jonathan Coe after creating an illustration for his book. The competition really did provide lots of experience, especially in working with layout and colour, and real insight into working in the industry. I am focussed on graphic design as my potential career now.”
Anna Billson, Art Director, Penguin Random House UK Children’s who has recruited previous winners into her design team said: “The Design Award is a great opportunity for students to get their ideas noticed by leading designers and art directors in publishing. In my role as a judge, I am looking for genuine talent – someone who has a good design eye that they use effectively to produce work that hits the mark both creatively and commercially. At the outset, it always feels like a daunting task, but very quickly the best entries pop.”
Now in its eighth year, the Penguin Random House Design Award offers students on an Art or Design course at HND or degree level to design a cover for a classic adult or children’s book for the chance to win a work placement in Penguin Random House’s Adults or Children’s studio and £1,000 cash prize.