Sophie Burdess

Sophie Burdess - Designer Tick

London, UK

I'm a book designer with over ten years experience. Before turning freelance, I was Fiction Art Director at Hachette Children's Books.

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Overview

Hello there!

I have been designing books for over ten years now. Before turning freelance I was Fiction Art Director at Hachette Children's books, Designer at Little Brown, Penguin (Puffin) and Walker Books. Over that time I have designed for almost all genres and aspects of book design, but if I were pressed, I'd probably say my specialisms are in YA fiction and non-fiction.

I'm good at coming up with covers that encapsulate the essence of a book - whether it's a concept to communicate the clever idea of a non-fiction book or the emotional core of a fiction title.

I enjoy the collaborative aspect of book design - taking into consideration the input of everyone involved, offering lots of alternatives and evolving the design through feedback, as well as offering my design expertise.

I have heaps of experience art directing illustrators and photographers too, and enjoy creative, nurturing and productive relationships with both newbie and established artists.

I recently did an interview for the website 'Once Upon a Bookcase' about designing the cover: 'A Novel Cover Up: Sophie Burdess on the Cover for A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews'. It may be of interest to get an insight into how I work.

As you can see my experience is broad - I just love designing books! Do get in touch if you've got a project I could help out with - I would love to hear from you.

My fees for cover design usually start around £800 (depending on the project type) but I'm usually flexible if I love the sound of the project and it captures my imagination.

Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade
Classics
Literature
Women's Fiction
Young Adult & Teen
Non-Fiction
Children's Books (Non-Fiction)
Health & wellbeing
Politics & Current Affairs
Psychology
Self-help & Self-improvement

Awards

  • Shortlisted for the ABCD Children's Award 2016
  • Shortlisted for ABCD SciFi/Fantasy Award, 2015

Work experience

Freelance Book Designer

Self-employed
January, 2018 – Present (about 1 year)

Acting Art Director

Wonderbly
March, 2018 – May, 2018 (2 months)

Covering for the Art Director while she took a leave of absence. During my time I designed covers and page layout for the Wonderbly range of personalised children's books. I also art-directed the in-house illustrators and designers.

Art Director

Hachette Children's Group
March, 2015 – December, 2017 (almost 3 years)

While I was Fiction Art Director at Hachette Children's Books I oversaw the YA, Middle-Grade and Young-Reader fiction list for Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Orion and Orchard imprints.

Among my favourite covers I designed were the well-loved Abie Longstaff's 'Trapdoor Mysteries' series and Jessica Townsend's bestseller 'Nevermoor'.

Middleweight Designer

Little, Brown Book Group
January, 2012 – March, 2015 (about 3 years)

I designed covers for all the genres and imprints (Virago, Abacus, Piatkus, Sphere, Orbit, Atom, LB, Corsair, Constable & Robinson) at Little Brown.

My work included the break out literary / sci-fi debut, 'First Fifteen Lives of Harry August' by Claire North and the hilarious best-selling non-fiction 'Very British Problems' by Rob Temple.

Fiction Designer

Puffin Books
October, 2010 – January, 2012 (over 1 year)

I designed illustrated fiction, teen and YA books at Puffin.

I worked on big series like 'Spy Dogs', 'Gladiator' and the 'Magics' and designed new jackets for 'The Borrowers', 'Watershed Down' and Melvin Burgess's books.

Fiction Designer

Walker Books
June, 2006 – October, 2010 (over 4 years)

During my time working at Walker Books I designed and art-directed illustrated fiction series, teen and Young Adult covers.

My work included discovering and nurturing new talent, like Lauren Tobia on 'Anna Hibiscus' series (who has gone on to do great things in the picture book world!). Among my favourite YA covers are the glorious Sonya Hartnett's 'Ghostchild' and 'Midnight Zoo'.

Portfolio (9 selected works)

Seven Days of You

Cecilia Vinesse

Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time

Rob Temple

There's an epidemic sweeping the nation Symptoms include: -Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of 'making a fuss' -Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake -An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the pres... read more

There's an epidemic sweeping the nation Symptoms include: -Acute embarrassment at the mere notion of 'making a fuss' -Extreme awkwardness when faced with any social greeting beyond a brisk handshake -An unhealthy preoccupation with meteorology Doctors have also reported several cases of unnecessary apologising, an obsessive interest in correct queuing etiquette and dramatic sighing in the pres... read more

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