We run an annual cover design project with the final year Illustration degree students at the University of the West of England here in Bristol. The students submit designs and we get to select one for our anthology cover.
We are always very fortunate to be able to consider so many fantastic designs for our covers. This year’s brilliant design is by Naomi Clarke, who graduated from UWE in the summer.
We took the opportunity to find out more about Naomi’s design, her work and her plans for the future.
What did you think when you found out your design had been chosen for this year’s Bristol Short Story Prize anthology cover?
When I found out I had won the cover of the Bristol Short Story Prize I was very pleased and proud that I design I created was chosen to be this year’s winner of Bristol Short Story Prize.
What impact has the Illustration degree course had on your work?
The Illustration course has helped me expand my creative skills, experimenting with 3d, photography, printing and digital throughout the 3 years. In the final year we had a series of live briefs we could participate in, this really helped with defining my style and what areas of illustration and design I’d like to work with.
What makes a great book cover?
I think a book cover has to really stand out, especially as it has to compete with varying styles of books on the shelves. When designing a book cover, it’s key to focus on typography as much as the illustration, and to keep the design of the book focused to portraying it to the correct audience.
The brief for the anthology cover is quite wide and non-specific. Was that a help or a hindrance in coming up with a design?
I really liked that the brief was wide and non-specific as it helped me to explore the themes I’d like to bring to the cover, using what inspires me. I think that if the brief was more specific this would have hindered me to create the final design.
What are your plans now that you have graduated?
Now I have graduated, I am staying in Bristol and working part time in a Mexican Restaurant; while I continue to create new projects and am trying to start my freelance illustration career.
The 12th Bristol Short Story Prize anthology featuring Naomi’s cover design will be published by Tangent Books and launched on October 12th at this year’s BSSP awards ceremony.