Jonathan Sainsbury

Jonathan Sainsbury – Designer

Have worked with publishers of all sizes, and many self-publishing authors. Looking forward to working together!


An award-winning graphic designer with many years experience specializing in book cover design. Client list includes Atria Books, Da Capo Press, Diversion Books, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins, Harry N. Abrams, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Knopf, Pantheon, Pegasus Books, Penguin Random House, Picador, Shambhala Publications, Simon and Schuster, Smithsonian Books, St. Martins Press, VeloPress, and W. W. Norton. He has designed CD booklets, film posters, identities, branding, logos, social media marketing, and more.

My work has been in many prestigious publications, including COMMUNICATION ARTS, HOW magazine, PRINT magazine, among significant design blogs such as The Casual Optimist.

Awards include:

• AIGA 50 / 50 Covers

• Association of University Presses

• Bookbuilders of Boston's New England Book Show

• Communication Arts

• HOW International Design

• National Gold Ink Awards

• New York Book Show

• PRINT Regional Design

• Publishing Professionals Network

• STEP Design Magazine

• Type Director's Club

Biographies & Memoirs History Religion & Spirituality Sports & Outdoors
Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Mystery & Crime Thriller & Suspense
  • PRINT Magazine Design Annual 2009
  • AIGA 50 Books / 50 Covers 2012
  • AIGA 50 Books / 50 Covers 2006
  • AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show 2006
  • 26th Annual New York Book Show - Best Covers 2011
  • Publishing Professionals Network (AKA Bookbuilders West) 2013
  • National Gold Ink Award - Pewter 2012
  • New England Book Show - Best Nonfition Book Award 2015
  • MFA, Boston School of the Museum of Fine Arts
  • Member of Connecticut Art Directors Club
  • Past member of the Type Director's Club, AIGA NY, AIGA Boston

Work experience

Diversion Books, NYC

Nov, 2021 — Present

Freelance Art Director focused on a wide range of categories of book covers.


May, 1998 — Present

A design studio specializing in book jacket and book interior design.

Da Capo Press / Lifelong Books — Perseus Books Group / Hachette Int'l

Aug, 2010 — Feb, 2016 (over 5 years)

Worked with international personalities (actors, musicians, comedians, and chefs), arranged and directed photoshoots, which included hiring photographers, stylists, and managing budgets. Other areas of my work at Da Capo are music, history, memoirs, biographies, lifestyle titles that include cookbooks, diet, fitness, and relationships.

Pantheon and Schocken Books [Knopf Group / Random House]

May, 2007 — Mar, 2009 (almost 2 years)

Designed award-winning book jackets. Managed all aspects of the imprint. Hired and directed designers, illustrators, photographers, and researchers. Worked directly with international level authors, executive editors, and publishers, Sonny Mehta and Janice Goldklang.


This collection of marvelously off-kilter short stories – the American debut of acclaimed Japanese writer Yasutaka Tsutsui – portrays the consequences of a world where the fantastic and the mu... read more
Cover Design
In the tradition of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, a stunningly vivid historical account of the forty-year battle between Comanche Indians and white settlers for control of the American West, ... read more
Cover Design
In this “beautiful, evocative” (Booklist, starred review) memoir, Yvette Johnson travels to the Mississippi Delta to uncover the moving, true story of her late grandfather Booker Wright, whose... read more
Cover Design
The story of Foster Beck, the author’s late father, whose defense of a black man accused of rape in 1930s Alabama foreshadowed the trial at the heart of To Kill a Mockingbird.As a child, Josep... read more
Cover Design
Queen's success in the 1970s was accompanied by a taste for musical and non-musical excess. Is This the Real Life? draws on eyewitness testimonies--former producers and managers, ex-girlfriend... read more
Cover Design
From traditional mystery stories with devious doings and a plot full of clues to terse thrillers with edge-of-the-seat climaxes to the nail-biting tale of psychological suspense, no field of p... read more
Cover Design
Every year, roughly 2 million people participate in marathons and half marathons in the United States, and, no matter what level they are, every one of these runners has likely hit “The Wall,”... read more
Cover Design
Cover Design
Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York's Central ... read more
Cover Design
Under the Big Black Sun explores the nascent Los Angeles punk rock movement and its evolution to hardcore punk as it's never been told before. John Doe of the legendary band X and co-author To... read more
Cover Design

Jonathan has 48 reviews





jordon S.

jordon S.

May, 2024

Excellent experience. Jonathan offered suggestions, accepted feedback, and produced three beautiful covers for us to consider. He was patient given some unique administrative requirements inherent in working with a government entity. Highly recommend. Outstanding designer and teammate. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a top notch cover for their books.
Jonathan S.
Thank you, Jordon. I’m glad you and those at the Press are pleased with the resulting cover.
Janice R.

Janice R.

Mar, 2024

Jonathan has been and still is the professional that I'll always want to work with. He produced a terrific looking product on the first try in a flash. We're still working on the proofreading and all, but I'm very impressed with what he did. I hadn't published a book in years, and the last time I did the layout myself. When the book was first published, I thought my layout was great because it ...
Read more
Jonathan S.
Thank you for such kind words.
D D.

D D.

Feb, 2024

Jonathan is a great support! He's thoughtful and has great suggestions and expertise.
P M.

P M.

Feb, 2024

Jonathan is a pro who met all my expectations. Will definitely use him again.
Jonathan S.
Thank you! Much appreciated. Would enjoy working together again.
Frank L.

Frank L.

Dec, 2023

Jonathan has now designed two books of mine - Yarns: Stories From the Way We Were, Based on a Few Actual Facts and Christmas Yarns: Stories From the Way We Were, Based on a Few Actual Facts and he couldn't have done any better. He chose the perfect type styles and designed covers that conveyed exactly the feeling I was going for. The books look beautiful and modern, yet visually usher readers b...
Read more
Jonathan S.
Thank you for your kind words. It was a pleasure to work with you again. Should you have any more yarns you would like to share with the world, I would enjoy helping bring them to readers.

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