The Bookseller front cover design competition


Do you have what it takes to design the front cover of The Bookseller? In partnership with The Printing Charity, we are proud to present you with the unique chance to design the front cover of The Bookseller's 15th December 2017 edition. To celebrate 190 years of The Printing Charity, we are calling for designs for our front cover page, incorporating The Bookseller masthead, to bring this milestone to life in a creative and informative way.

This is sent to our readership of over 30,000 people, and is a unique opportunity to showcase your skills for a worthy cause.

Material including images from The Printing Charity's archive are below, and we particularly recommend looking into the Charity’s presidents for some great inspiration - a list up to 1989 is included in the competition materials, below.

The winning design will bring to life the following:

    •    The heritage and charitable practices of The Printing Charity, with an awareness of its history of past presidents (Dame Vera Lynn, Charles Dickens, and HRH Princess of Wales are just three examples);
    •    Incorporating The Bookseller logo into the overall design (see the specifications pack below);
    •    A cohesive and visually appealing piece of artwork in keeping with The Bookseller's history of great covers.

All specifications for the cover, plus our masthead and guidelines for its use, is in the materials for use section below.

The competition is open to designers aged between 18 and 30, at any stage of their career. The prize for the winning project will be a £200 cash prize and trophy, presented at this year's FutureBook Conference on the 1st December, a year's subscription to The Bookseller, and a morning mentoring session with an industry guru.

The winning design will be used as the front cover of The Bookseller for the 15th December issue, and you will be invited to accept your prize in person at our FutureBook Conference on 1st December.

If you have an eye for design, the ability to convey messages in visual forms and the passion to make your ideas come to life, we'd love to hear from you.

To apply, first download our specifications pack below for everything you need design-wise. Once completed, please send your design to as an attachment or a zip file, together with the signed Ts&Cs form.

Deadline: 31st October 2017

Please read through the Terms and Conditions document carefully before applying, and attached a signed copy with your submission to our competition.

For inspiration, you are welcome to view the list of past The Bookseller covers here.

If you have questions, please email them to, with the subject line Question regarding The Bookseller Front Cover Competition.

To find out more about The Printing Charity, click here.

Images for use

Images from the archive - click to see a full selection

Older print machine image - click to see a full selection


Opening of Southwood Court - click to download hi-res

Packaging innovation - click to download hi-res

Information about The Printing Charity

About The Printing Charity - click to download

Annual report - click to download in full

Statistics - click to download

Print Futures

Print Futures Awards - click to read more

Award winners' work - click to see more examples

Terms and conditions

The artist covenants that any artwork submitted to The Bookseller Front Cover Competition 2017 must agree with the following:

1.    The competition is open to anyone aged 18-30, inside and outside of the publishing industry.

2.    Only one entry is permitted.

3.    All artwork entered into the competition remains 100% copyright of the artist, although The Bookseller and the Printing Charity reserve the right to use the image for internal and external promotion

4.    All artwork can be used in marketing and advertising the competition from The Bookseller and The Printing Charity, across all channels including social media

5.    Entrants must give permission for their names and photographs to be used for publicity.

6.    The entry must adhere to our production guidelines, as outlined in our application pack.

7.    All artwork must be 100% original copyright owned by the artist and not use any third-party copyright material.

By submitting an entry, each entrant agrees to these terms and conditions:

1.    You must be the original creator of the artwork.

2.    You must own the copyright in the entirety of the artwork.

3.    The Prize for the winner will be £200 in cash, as well as a year’s subscription to The Bookseller

4.    The Judge’s decision will be final and accepted by all entrants.

5.    Entries for the Bookseller’s Front Cover competition open 15th September and close 31st October. We cannot guarantee consideration for late entries.

6.    Final decision and announcement for the winners will be announced on the 1st December

7.    If you win the competition you must be available to collect your award at The Bookseller FutureBook conference on the 1st December (entrance will be free).

The artist covenants that any artwork submitted to The Bookseller’s Front Cover Competition 2017 shall not violate any of the following:

1.    Be false or misleading;

2.    Be fraudulent or involve the sale of counterfeit, stolen or infringing items;

3.    Infringe or misappropriate any third party’s copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret of other proprietary right or rights of publicity or privacy;

4.    Violate any law, statue, ordinance or regulation;

5.    Be defamatory, libellous, offensive, unlawfully threatening, or harassing, or advocating, or providing assistance involving violence, significant risk of injury or death, or other unlawful activities;

6.    Be obscene.

Click here to download the terms and conditions form to sign and send back with your entry.