Awards Book Archive

The Gulf
  • Winner

Designed by
Emily O’Neill
Best Designed Literary Fiction Cover
Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia

About the Designer

Emily is a Sydney-based freelance book designer. She has previously worked in-house for Penguin Books and Allen & Unwin on a wide range of projects including commercial and literary fiction, children’s and illustrated lifestyle titles. She has also created designs for local and international publishers including Pan Macmillan, Bloomsbury Publishing, Atlantic Books, Hachette UK and Simon and Schuster US. In between projects she has lectured in Graphics/Media at UNSW’s College of Fine Arts.

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Design Rationale

This book deals with grim topics including family breakdown and domestic violence. But it is also warm with endearing characters. The cover needed to convey this tension and also the unique coastal location. I felt an illustrated approach would be best to communicate this and abstracted the coastline with scans of watercolour ripped paper. Naïve hand-drawn type nods to the human story. I painted an aerial view of the two main characters joined together on the isolated beach, with tape “patching up” the sand and water. A dog, another emblematic character, runs lonely on the sand on the back cover.

154 x 233 mm
No. pages
Special finishes
Paperback with matt lamination
Emily O'Neill
McPherson's Printing Group
Anna Spargo-Ryan