Coventry University student books second top spot in national design award

Student news

Thursday 26 June 2014

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A Coventry University student has taken the runner up slot in a prestigious design competition. 

Mila Spasova, who is in her second year studying BA (Hons) in Graphic Design at the University, earned second place at the Penguin Random House Design Award 2014 which took place in London last week. Now in its seventh year, the illustrious competition which comprises the Penguin Adult Prize and Puffin Children’s Prize, challenges art and design students from across the UK to come up with new book cover designs for classic titles.

This is the fourth year running that a Graphic Design student from Coventry University has been shortlisted and the second year running that a student has excelled in the competition. In 2013, the University had four Graphic Design students in the final shortlist for the Puffin Children’s Prize with one of the nominees, Vicky Mills from Solihull, emerging as the winner with her cover for Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows.

This year’s award attracted over 1,100 entries from aspiring designers across the country. Mila, 21, who is originally from Sofia in Bulgaria but now living in Coventry, was one of just 10 students shortlisted for the Puffin Children’s Prize in which entrants were challenged to design a cover for S E Hinton’s coming-of-age novel The Outsiders.

Mila’s design, which members of the judging panel described as “arresting” and “edgy yet personal,” earned her joint second spot overall and a £350 cash prize.

Mila said: 

I heard about the award from my University tutors and I immediately decided to participate as I saw it as a great opportunity to get my work noticed by some big names in the industry.

The aim of my design was to represent the protagonist’s rebellious, rock ’n’ roll attitude towards life. Throughout the novel I noticed several major recurring motifs so I decided to combine these into one by illustration.

I’m delighted that the judges liked my work and am thrilled to have earned second place in such a prestigious competition.

Simon Bell, Course Director of the BA Graphic Design degree at Coventry School of Art and Design, said:

I’d like to congratulate Mila on her success. She only just missed out on the top spot and given the high profile of the award and the volume and high standard of entries submitted, she’s done brilliantly to finish as runner up. It’s always very satisfying for us to see our students doing well in competitions like these, which are highly regarded in industry circles, and we are very proud of Mila.