The designers – Coralie Bickford-Smith, Katy Finch, Richard Green, Benjamin Hughes, Lee Motley and Matthew Young – will be here TODAY between 1 and 2pm to answer your questions about what they do at Penguin: the second in a series of live Q&As to give you a behind-the-scenes look at how publishing really works. We’ll be responding to the questions you’ve already asked, and answering any new questions you have in the comments section, so get posting below.


Penguin are setting up a series of live webchats with people working in different roles around the company, to give you an inside glimpse at how the publishing industry works and what we all do. Our last Q&A session with Penguin’s copywriters generated a lot of discussion, so we’re running another webchat next week on Thursday 6th October. This time you can meet the cover designers – the people with one of the most enviable but pressurised jobs in publishing.

Want to know how a Penguin cover gets designed, where designers get their inspiration from, what makes a good jacket, or anything else? They will be here on the Penguin Blog to reveal the secrets of their trade on Thursday 6th October between 1 and 2pm.

Our online panel, in alphabetical order, will be:

Coralie Bickford-Smith – a Senior Designer for the Penguin Press division, where she has created several series designs. She graduated from Reading University after studying Typography and Graphic Communication and has worked in-house at Penguin Books since 2002.

Katy Finch – Puffin Fiction Design Manager, designing covers and insides for a variety of titles including Roald Dahl backlist, children's classics and Young Adult titles. She has worked at Penguin for 6 years, and graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1999.

Richard Green – a Senior Designer for Penguin Press, working mainly on non-fiction titles. He has been designing covers for over 10 years.

Benjamin Hughes – Senior Designer, Media and Entertainment, Penguin Children's. Ben has worked at Penguin for 4 years, designing book covers, insides and new formats for a range of brands including Doctor Who, TopGear and the Harry Potter film franchise.

Lee Motley – a Deputy Art Director who works on a variety of books across Penguin’s General and Michael Joseph divisions, focusing largely on commercial women’s fiction titles.

Matthew Young
– a Junior Cover Designer in Penguin Press, who graduated from uni last summer and started his job here in February. To date he has designed 16 book covers, mostly for non-fiction titles.

Get thinking about what you’d like to ask them, and feel free to start posting your questions now in the comments section below, so they’ll have plenty to get to grips with. Come back on Thursday 6th October between 1 and 2pm to see how they reply and to post any more questions you might have.

Louise Willder, Copywriter

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