Q&A with Hannah Naughton

ABDA Member Hannah Naughton is a Book Designer with over 5 years experience in the publishing industry, working both in-house and freelance. Originally from London, she made the move to Australia late last year – a unique time to embark on creative opportunities on the other side of the world! ABDA recently spoke with Hannah to hear more about her work and her move into Australian publishing.

How did you end up working for the book industry?

I knew pretty early on in my Design degree that I wanted to get into publishing, as I liked the huge variety of styles and techniques you could use. While in my 3rd year of university, I was approached by And Other Stories Publishing to do their covers, and it all started from there. After uni, I worked in-house for Pavilion Books and then Bonnier Publishing, before going freelance last year.

Your journey from the UK to Sydney – what inspired the move? How are you enjoying life ‘down under’?

I came to Sydney for new experiences and to live the Aussie lifestyle. I’ve done some travelling and have met some great people. It’s been amazing so far!

Which was the first book cover you designed?

The first cover I designed was Signs Preceding the End of the World for And Other Stories Publishing, which I did while in my final year of uni (2014). It’s a novel about a Mexican girl’s journey to the US. The tone of the book is dark and suspenseful, which I thought the image reflected.

Do you have a recent favourite project?
A recent favourite project of mine was for Kill the Black One First by Michael Fuller. It’s the autobiography of Britain’s first black police chief constable. It covers race relations in the UK. The brief was very open. The publisher wanted something that was striking and modern. I tried many different approaches before they settled on the minimal, circle design.

Who is one of your favourite book designers and why?

I love Coralie Bickford-Smith as she uses bold design with minimal colours and amazing patterns. Her work looks classic and contemporary at once.

Image © cb-smith.com


What question do you least enjoy from people when they discover you design books?

‘Do you draw pictures for children’s books?’ is a common one. 

And finally, any exciting projects coming out soon?

I’m excited for 50 Things You Need to Know About Periods by Claire Baker (Pavilion Books) which is out in May 2020. It was a lovely and timely book to design and it was great working with the illustrator Rozalina Burkova. I love her style!