Highlights from the WIA2020 Book Covers Category Shortlist


This week, we’re bringing you more category highlights, this time from the Book Covers Category. This category celebrates the skill of creating an enticing image that encourages readers to get stuck into their new favourite book.

This is no easy feat; combining great illustration, graphic design, and often working as part of a team including a publisher, designer and author, it can be the make or break for new publishing releases, so getting the cover right really matters.

Check out the incredible commissioned entries shortlisted for the World Illustration Awards 2020 Book Covers Category below. If you would like to learn more about a project, click on the image or title to see the complete entry and find the artist’s contact details.

The World Illustration Awards 2020 Shortlist features 200 projects, selected by a jury of international experts from over 4,300 entries across 10 categories.

Thanks go to the three Book Covers category judges:

Anna Xenz : “The Wild Book” by Juan Villoro

Anna Xenz is an illustrator, graphic artist and designer based in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Her illustration was made for the cover of the Russian edition ‘The Wild Book’ about the magic of reading, friendship and growing up.The illustration is made using mixed media including pen and gouache, plus digital work. This work is very personal, reflecting the artist’s own family life. It was commissioned by Polyandria Print.

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Jack Smyth : Bluebeard

This illustration was made for 4th Estate’s reissue of Kurt Vonnegut’s classic, featuring a new font created by Jack called Kurt, which is heavily inspired by other classic mid-century style fonts. The font is stretched and distorted, dripping down the tin of paint. The font took two years to make. The final illustration is created digitally. Jack Smyth is a freelance book jacket designer from Dublin, currently working from his studio in London.

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Dion MBD : Asha and The Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan

Commissioned by Scholastic, this wraparound dust jacket uses pen and ink outlines, with colour and textures added digitally to enhance the image to create an enchanting and magical scene. Brooklyn-based Dion MBD works specialises in publishing, editorial and TV commercial projects.

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Melissa Castrillon : Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS

Melissa was commissioned by Scholastic UK to produce new gift editions of the His Dark Materials Trilogy. Each cover design uses stylised shapes, a limited colour palette inspired by the original covers, including foiling in two layers for a luxurious feel and visual impact. Beginning as pencil drawings, the illustrations were layered and completed digitally. Melissa Castrillón attended the Cambridge School of Art and earned a 1st Class BA in illustration in 2009 and a MA in children’s book illustration in 2014. She still lives in the city of Cambridge, UK.

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Laura Wachter : Annie Ernaux Book Series

Spanish-German illustrator Laura Wächter was commissioned by Tusquet Editores to make a re-edition of four of Annie Ernaux’s books that were previously published in 1993 with a more contemporary design. Laura was chosen for her particular style, and this series of covers are created in photoshop on an isometric grid to create the sense of perspective.

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Sarah Papworth : Conte d’antan

This illustration was commissioned for the cover of an anthology of short children’s stories by Fleurus Editions Publishing in Paris, France. The cover combines elements from several of the stories in interesting ways, using layers of forms and a silhouette to create an intriguing and complex image. The piece is created using a mixture of pencil rough drawings, and handmade textures and finishing touches were added digitally. Sarah lives and works in the UK.

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Sarah Papworth Design

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Saurabh Garge : A Night In the Hills

This cover was commissioned by Amazon Westland Publishers India for the cover of a short story collection by author, actor, and director Manav Kaul. The cover is inspired by the central story, in which the tourist is baffled by his taciturn companion on a dark and scary night in the hills. The cover shows the two characters with a slight overlay of canvas texture, with the interplay of their shadows on a title which placed in the shape of a curved moonlit road as central image surrounded by stylised tree-like shapes. The piece was made digitally using overlays of digital textures. Saurabh Garge is based in India, and has worked with global publishers including Harper Collins, Penguin and more.

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Mari Kinovych : An Atlas Traced by the Sky by Goran Petrovic

An Atlas Traced By The Sky is the second novel by Goran Petrović to be translated to Ukrainian. Mari created the book cover his first novel and this new cover retains the graphic feel of the first. The cover uses geometric forms to convey the exterior world of uniform buildings, and a warmer inner world is shown using handmade imagery, echoing the magical interior world. The cover was commissioned by Ukrainan publishing house Komora. Mari Kinovych is a Ukraine-based artist, working living in Kyiv.

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This is the second in our WIA2020 Category Highlights series – see all the entries shortlisted for this year’s Awards!

21st July 2020

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