Stockport College Higher Education student Yusuf Athman has been shortlisted for Penguin Random House’s Design Award.
BA (Hons) Graphic Art and Design student Yusuf Athman has been announced on the 10-person shortlist for Penguin Random House’s annual Student Design Awards.
Yusuf has been included in a shortlist of 10 students in the Adult Fiction Cover Award of the 2017 Student Design Awards after he redesigned the cover of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee as part of his submission to the annual competition.
Every year, students from Stockport College enter the award as an opportunity to showcase their design ability, build their professional portfolio and experience a real cover design brief first-hand. This year students were challenged to redesign the Pulitzer prize-winning novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The novel itself is regarded as a masterpiece of modern literature and was voted the most loved book of the last sixty years. The novel has also been adapted into various movies and theatre performances, enabling actors and art directors to pick up Oscars, Golden Globes and many other prestigious awards.
The design brief Yusuf was given requested a cover that ‘should feel timeless and confident’ as well as ‘appealing to a whole new generation of readers’. Yusuf’s striking re-design of the classic book ensured he was chosen from over 2,000 other submissions from colleges and educational institutions across the U.K.
Commenting on his nomination for the Adult Fiction shortlist, Yusuf Athman said:
“The content of the book was my inspiration behind my design. It [the design] focuses on the issue of racism at the time. I decided to target the ignorance and arrogance of the community within the novel. The book itself makes me appreciate how things in society have progressed, although they’re still not perfect, circumstances have improved an incredible amount. If you have yet to pick up a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird, I would recommend you add it to your reading list”.
Yusuf will now go up against nine other student designers in the Adult Fiction Cover Award. The winners in each of the three categories (Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction and Children’s) will receive a work placement within the Penguin Random House UK design studios, as well as a £1,000 cash prize.
All the shortlisted entrants, including Yusuf, will be invited to an award ceremony where the winners will be announced, and at which an exhibition of all the shortlisted designs will be on display.
Art Directors from Penguin Random House will provide Yusuf with detailed feedback on his cover, giving him the opportunity to refine and resubmit his designs before the final judging takes place in June.
The judging panel is made up of Art Directors from across Penguin Random House, as well as guest judges from the design and publishing industry, including Sarah Hyndman, David Pearson, Chris Packham and Rathna Ramanthan. The judges have said they are looking for ‘a striking cover design that is well executed, has an imaginative concept and clearly places the book for its market’. While the brief asks designers to create a cover to ensure ‘all elements of the jacket work together as a cohesive whole’, Yusuf and the other shortlisted entrants must remember that the front cover must be effective on its own and be eye-catching within a crowded bookshop setting.