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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Revisiting our Favourite Cover Designers Across One Hundred Issues

By Megan Coote, Juliette Tulloch and Tessa Thejas Thomas


Across one hundred issues of The Publishing Post we have seen so many captivating cover designs and, with the rise of Bookstagram and BookTok over the last few years, cover design has never been so essential to create excitement around a book release. To mark our one hundredth issue, we are rounding up and revisiting some of the talented designers featured previously by our team to see what they have lined up for this year.


Emma Ewbank


Emma Ewbank is a freelance London-based designer who has previously worked for Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin and Bloomsbury and, since our previous feature, Emma has been shortlisted for Designer of the Year for the 2024 British Book Awards. Some of her most iconic designs include The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell and Losing the Plot by Derek Owusu. Some upcoming publications featuring Emma’s designs include the paperback of Above Us The Sea by Ania Card, published by Dead Ink Books in July 2024, which was featured in Print Mag’s 15 of the Best Covers of the Month earlier this year. Another upcoming publication featuring Emma’s design is There Are Rivers in the Sky by bestselling author Elif Shafak which is set to be published in August 2024. You can keep up with Emma’s latest design work on both her website and Instagram.


Vashti Harrison 


Harrison is an award-winning author, illustrator and filmmaker – most notable for her Little Brown series for Little Leaders, Little Dreamers and Little Legends. Exploring many trailblazing women artists, scientists and black women of American history, her work is inspiring and educational to younger readers. Her illustrations and designs are fun and inviting, using a colourful palette and soft paint stroke. She received her BA from the University of Virginia and an MFA in Film and Video from CalArts. She draws inspiration for her designs and experimental videos from her Caribbean heritage and folklore. Most recently, she won the Caldecott Medal for her 2023 picture book Big, which follows a child’s journey to understanding self-love and acceptance. You can keep up with her latest news on her website.


Carmen R. Balit


Carmen R. Balit is a cover designer based in London. She has a BA in Design for Publishing from Norwich University of the Arts. Her designs are eye-catching and diverse, showcasing a strong expertise in all elements of cover design. Carmen’s cover design for Exquisite Cadavers by Meena Kandasamy was featured in LitHub’s 10 Best Book Covers of November in 2020. Carmen spoke to Spine Magazine about her thought process for designing this cover: “The brief I was given was very open, stating that this is a bold piece of experimental fiction and they wanted a cover that reflects this (experimental, you say? Yes please!).” Carmen’s passion for design is reflected in her other vibrant works such as Nick Bradley’s The Cat and The City and, more recently, Carole Hailey’s The Silence Project. You can find Carmen’s designs and further information on her website.


Jesús Sotés


Jesús Sotés’ work is identified easily through his unique, folklore inspired designs. Not one to shy away from dark subject matter, his work ranges from the macabre to the whimsical, and conveys a beautiful array of emotions within his pieces. Sotés’ cover designs have been used in a number of fiction and non-fiction works, including Stephen Fry’s Mythos and a number of children's picture books such as The Body by Bill Bryson. 


Jesús’ passion for drawing and illustrating is clear upon viewing his work and it is something which he has expressed throughout his career. Speaking to Adobe, he refers to his love of drawing being with him since childhood, stating, “[he] always[s] find [him]self doodling anywhere, anytime.” In addition to this, he describes his personal style as radical and non-conforming – two components that clearly make his images stand out on a bookshelf. The heavy focus of Sotés’ work on the non-fiction and children’s non-fiction space is something that should also be acknowledged, as he explains that he gains a lot of inspiration from the great thinkers of our time, as well as the world around him. 


His most recent project is for the cover of a non-fiction novel called PATRIA: Lost Countries of South America, and, upon looking at this design, it is clear that Sotés’ signature style is continuing to make a massive impact on the design community, both in the world of publishing and beyond. You can explore more of Jesús Sotés’ design on his website which is linked here.


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