This week we’re sharing the 2010 Design Award winning re-interpretation of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind. Kirsty White, of Liverpool School of Art/ Liverpool John Moores University, explains her winning re-design: 

‘My drawing/design was inspired by references of French pattern and typography from the 18th century. This starting point allowed me to establish a relevant context in which I could represent both scenes from the book, as well as the intertwining of Grenouille’s unsettling talents with the women (represented by the flowers) and the world around him. My drawing style aimed to emulate 18th-century engravings. I incorporated into the pattern representations of the market/fish-stall, the Plomb du Cantal, “Pysche et l’Amour” and a human nose (chosen for its macabre air). The colour, whilst representing auburn hair, also visualises the scent trails that lead Grenouille.’

And here are the comments from that year’s judges:

‘Continuously involving for the eye without being fussy – a beautiful fusion of the figurative and the pattern.’ -Will Self

‘Very accomplished. A cover you would refer back to as you read the book.’ -Marion Deuchars

‘Beautiful narrative illustration, carefully considered, with fantastic relevance to the text and well integrated into a design. The sensitivity shown in the choice of colour palette is admirable.’ -Jim Stoddart, Penguin Press Art Director

‘You are drawn to look at it again and again and find something different in it each time. I loved the sense of narrative and decoration.’ -Joanna Prior, Penguin General Managing Director

See other previous winners here.

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Royal Ranger - Book 12

Book 12 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series by John A. Flanagan, The Royal Ranger. I’m honored to be illustrating the repackaging of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, Art Directed by the amazing Irene Vandervoort and the Art team at Penguin.

Read more about the books on the author’s Web site here:


I stayed up all night doing a mock-up cover for a book that doesn’t exist. I wish I could explain myself. I cannot.

Original photo credit to happierman (which is why he’s the “author” of this masterpiece).

DIY Vintage-Style Book Dust Covers (by designsponge)

Looking at this picture, can you tell which of these books are actually hardbound? I’m not super fussy over the books on my shelves, but I will admit that sometimes a really garish or unattractive book spine will jump out from the bunch and irritate me every time I walk by. I don’t think I would ever take the leap to cover all of my books, but I really like the idea of using these nifty deceptive hardbound dustcovers by Alex Cobbe to gussy up the real eyesores in my collection.


This is a book jacket design I created  a year ago for my graphic design class. When I first started college, I remember seeing a Phantom of the Opera book cover in the display case, and I thought “Well,  I know what I’ll be making when I get into that class.”

I wanted to play with the idea of masks, a major theme of the novel. The cover itself is composed of two sketches of the main characters, Christine and an unmasked Phantom. When the transparent sleeve is over the book, the two characters alone are visible. When the “mask” is removed, the madness underneath is revealed. The sketches are rough, almost manic and quotes from the novel line the cover in an illegible red scrawl, much as the Phantom’s handwriting is described in the book. 

This project was really fun to work on, and remains one of my favorite portfolio pieces.

-©Summer Barney 2014