UK Design Students Create Bold New Looks for The Secret History

The United Kingdom division of Penguin Books recently challenged design students to “design a fresh and bold new look” for Donna Tartt‘s 1992 novel The Secret History. Their mission: to create a striking, imaginative cover design that would bring the cult classic to a new generation of readers. The esteemed panel of judges has picked a winner, our brother blog Galleycat reports, and it’s Peter Adlington. The Stockport College student won for this abstract cover design (above), in which we detect a distinct Saul Bass vibe.

“It’s beautiful, and the infinite regress doorway tells the story, gives you the mystery in the simplest possible terms, and that’s what graphic design at its best can do,” said novelist (and design enthusiast) Hari Kunzru, one of the judges. “Just a few shapes and you have the whole concept.” Alas, Adlington’s design won’t be produced—as far as we know—but he does get £1,000 (around $1,600) and a six-week internship at Penguin’s London design studio. The list of shortlisted designs is worth a look. We particularly like Ben Cain‘s typographical approach (above). Inspired by ancient Greek tablets, he aimed to capture “the potential to lose control. As the structure of the type gets closer to the spine it becomes increasingly unstable, attempting to communicate the descent from order to chaos.”