Adult Fiction Cover Shortlist

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

1st prize, Cadi Rhind

Growing up, car journeys were soundtracked by my father’s love for 1970s Californian music. This influenced my love for that era and its creative world of album artworks and gig posters. This, paired with my love for vintage typography and design are my inspirations. The magic in Taylor Jenkins Reid’s book is in how it sparked the same electric feel I had in discovering my musical influences of this era. The interests and influences I’ve carried in life shaped the artist I am today, and the Daisy Jones world exists in the same realm that’s so richly inspired my creative journey.

This design is a worthy winner - it stood out from the pack from the very first overview of the entries. There’s a confidence in the use of type and colour that reflects and builds on the references to the 1970s aesthetic, and Cadi’s reminiscences of family car journeys soundtracked by her father’s love of 70s music, like Eagles and Joni Mitchell, really feels like it has filtered through to the authentic, yet contemporary, resonance of the design. Congratulations Cadi!

Richard Ogle, Art Director, Transworld

2nd prize, Max Bicknell

My design stemmed from the idea that, from the beginning of the book, we know something has gone wrong and the band has been separated for years. I designed the book to look like an old and somewhat rough cassette tape case, as if it was recorded by the band and found years later by the author who is piecing together their rise and fall. The daisies on the front are, of course, a nod to the name of the main character!

We were all impressed with this cassette book cover. It is a neat solution to what was a tricky brief. It was refreshing to see what pains Max had gone to with all his music packaging research. The rough case feels used and authentic. The magic is in the details that give it a retro but not cliched design. It really does feel like the cassette tape might have been found years later after the band broke up. We also appreciated the witty nod to the main character in the use of daisies in the design. Congratulations Max! 

Suzanne Dean, Creative Director, Vintage

3rd prize, Rebekah Sinclair

Inspired by the band’s sudden split, I knew I wanted to explore the bands' final concert in Chicago that shocked the hazy world of the seventies rock and roll scene and the truth that is about to unravel. The final design grew from the band's set list of their final show and the building tension with notes and scribbles as they try to agree on what to play. I wanted this to be as immersive as possible and curated a stage scene inspired by the chaos of tours and concerts as everyone fights for their voice to be heard.

I loved the immersive quality to this cover. There are lots of objects that relate well to the content of the book and its themes. The type hierarchy works great, and I love the additional copy elements added with regards to the set list. Rebekah responded well to the judge’s feedback and it was refreshing to see a different approach to the brief incorporating still life and photography. Many congratulations on third place. 

Jason Smith, Art Director, Cornerstone

Katie Simpson

 The story of Daisy Jones & The Six has become iconic, not least because Daisy Jones is one of the most standout characters in modern fiction. She’s at the forefront of the story, so I wanted her to be the centre of my front cover design while subtly nodding to the 70s with varying colours and texture. The repetition of six faces on the front and six records on the back adds a point of interest to the design which both symbolises the other band members and their unity within the story and creates a pleasant, aesthetic symmetry. 

Katy Reid

This design was created around reflecting the incredibly tangible nature of Reid’s writing and storytelling. The seedy, heady aesthetics of 70’s Rock & Roll just jumped off the page. Every aspect of my design was centred around emulating real bands and marketing that was used in the 70’s, combined with important information from the book to create a cover that represented the lucidity of the writing and furthered the story of Daisy Jones and The Six by creating a tour-based marketing cover design. Something the reader could picture hung up outside a music venue in 1970’s California.

Lewis Leonoble

I aimed to create a cover that actually represented the contents of the book while sparking a potential reader's interest and being faithful to the aesthetics of the 70's. The torn concert ticket represents the plot-defining breakup of the band. Its design is inspired by tickets which were issued at the time by the real-life venue where the band play their last show. On the back cover, fake newspaper clippings allude to themes of fame, gossip, and exposure. The earthy orange colour, a 70's staple, attracts the eye. Purposeful imperfections in the typesetting and period accurate fonts ensure an authentic, trade-printing feel.

Louis Martin

Inspired by typography-based posters of the 70s, I wanted to come up with a simple, striking image with some fun, psychedelic letterforms. Daisy’s flowing red hair, hoop earrings and beautiful appearance were frequently recurring motifs in the novel, and I decided to put a twist on this image by not actually including her face, as it means the reader can still imagine their own interpretation of her. The circular text I designed was based on concert posters and patterns from 70s wallpapers and was a perfect fit for the earring hoop.

Olivia Vico Martinez

I wanted to show the main themes of the book with just one look. To achieve that, I drew tangled strings, but in a sinuous and elegant way. I think of them as paths, as a depiction of a journey. The strings narrate the story of the members of the band, and how their complex lives weave and change while being together. I took inspiration from the beautiful designs in guitar rosettes as well as from illustrations from the 60s and 70s.

Ruby Aron

This design was inspired by the experience of rummaging through records in a thrift shop and coming across an interesting old album. Daisy Jones & the Six is a nostalgic recall of a time gone by, a recollection of a golden era, and I wanted to create a cover that communicated that. The old price stickers and Daisy’s signature call to mind a dusty old record, tucked away and forgotten - but holding energy, music and memories inside. Perhaps back in the 70s, this album was someone’s prized possession, but now, just like the music and the stories of the band, it has been lost to obscurity. Like how the history of the band is finally being revisited in the narrative, my cover design intends to capture the re-discovering of an album, the unexpected magic of finding this time capsule of music and emotions and an era long gone.

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more