Press Releases 2014-2015

Penguin Commendation for Student Book Design


A second year illustration student from University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) in Swansea has been highly commended in the Penguin Random House Design Awards 2014.

Abbie Cameron, twenty years old and from Weston-Super-Mare, was one of five finalists chosen from over 1,100 entries across the UK in the Penguin Adult Prize competition, run by one of the world’s most famous publishers.

The first Penguin paperbacks appeared in the summer of 1935, revolutionising the publishing industry and becoming an integral part of British culture and design history. The development of Penguin covers runs parallel to the emergence of graphic design as a profession, and, under a long line of talented and creative designers, the design of Penguin books has evolved and progressed.

Entrants in this year’s competition were set a brief to design a cover for the highly rated novel ‘What A Carve Up’ by Jonathan Coe. The book is described as a ‘brilliant noir farce, a dystopian vision of Britain, a family history and the story of an obsession’.

The competition designers were tasked with creating a cover that would reflect the richness of Jonathan Coe’s writing and which would appeal to a contemporary, discerning literally readership.

One of the judges, the award-winning illustrator Petra Börner, described Abbie’s work as ‘a stylish and cool design’. Fellow judge, author and illustrator Rob Ryan, said that it was a ‘striking cover which would look bold on a bookshop shelf’.

Describing her design, Abbie said: “Working with the medium of photography and collage, my design uses the motif of a VHS cassette – synonymous with the novel and the time period of the book. The content of my design features suggestive narrative elements whilst maintaining the mystery of the story.

“I first heard about the Penguin Random House Design Award when we were given the brief to enter the competition as part of our degree course. It felt unreal to be shortlisted and I was even more shocked when I received highly commended recognition. It has increased my belief in myself and what I am capable of. It was a fantastic opportunity to be able to get feedback and opinions from people in industry and it gave me the chance to showcase my talent to a wider audience.

“The illustration department at UWTSD in Swansea has helped me to explore techniques, materials and styles enabling me to determine personal strengths and evolve as an artist. ​This experience has helped me to develop my full potential as an illustrator and I hope I can build upon this success and pursue a career within illustration post-University."


Note to Editor

1. Images:

- UWTSD student Abbie Cameron with her book cover design.

- The highly commended book design cover.

2. For more information please contact Steven Stokes, Senior PR and Communications Officer, on 07872 423788 or email

3. The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was established in 2010 through the merger of the University of Wales Lampeter and Trinity University College, Carmarthen. On 1 August 2013 the Swansea Metropolitan University merged with the University.

4. The University’s Royal Charter 1828 is the oldest in Wales, and it is third behind Oxford and Cambridge in Wales and England. HRH Prince of Wales is the Patron of the University.