Shortlisted Books

My Life as a Hashtag

Designed by
Debra Billson
Best Designed YA Cover
Allen & Unwin

About the Designer

Debra has been designing books since Roxette had ‘The Look’. She spent her early career creating products for children as an art director and studio manager, until landing her dream job at Penguin Books. For almost a decade, this saw her working across all genres with some of Australia’s highest profile authors, until starting her own business from her Melbourne home-studio in 2007. Whilst having designed everything from children’s board books to cookbooks, Debra’s true love is creating fiction covers…

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Design Rationale

The brief was 12 pages long, and asked for ‘contemporary, funny, fun, cool, cutting-edge, a little bit quirky…’ And, although I pursued around 30 ideas and variations using a combo of illustration and photography, a comment from the author held the key, asking for ‘Two girls leaning in to each other, laughing, one of them wearing a fox hat.’ I was lucky to find a photo of a girl with a hat that was just right, and combined with another that matched, then added the rainbow colours to hark back to the book’s Instagram theme. Simple yet fun and effective.

198 x 128
No. pages
Internal Design
Debra Billson
Gabrielle Williams