How would you describe your job?
I design book covers, ranging from historical fiction and short story collections to biographies and classical novels. If needed I will either find and commission illustrators, organise a photo shoot or ask our in-house picture researcher to find suitable images. Although I usually work on my own covers, there are times when we work as a group on different routes for big books, or on designs for a new series.
What does a typical working day look like?
Typical working hours are 9.30am to 5.30pm, however you never really switch off – there are bookshops and galleries everywhere, or new illustrators to discover. My phone is full of pictures and ideas, waiting for the right book. Often there are manuscripts to read and books for your own pleasure. I used to read lots on my commute but now I cycle 20 minutes to work, so I find time before I go to bed. Each week we begin with a Monday morning catch up which highlights your priorities for the week. Alongside this we prepare for Thursday morning cover meetings where our creative art director and deputy art director present the whole team’s visuals from that week to the editorial and sales teams. The team environment is great; we try to celebrate as much as possible with cheese and wine.
How did you land your current job?
A friend had a four-week work placement lined up here but had just accepted a job. He suggested me for the role and I have never left! There wasn’t a job for me but after interning, Suzanne Dean made a role for me as her design assistant. I have now been promoted to designer within the Vintage design studio and have never looked back.