Alex Kirby

Alex Kirby - Designer

London, UK

Freelance + Senior Book Cover Designer at Yale University Press. Formerly of Faber and Faber and Penguin Random House. 13 years + experience

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Overview

I have been designing book covers for well over a decade; firstly three years at Penguin Random House, then twelve as Senior Designer at Faber & Faber. In July 2018 I joined Yale University Press (pt) and launched my own freelance venture.

I work across all genres including Fiction, Non Fiction and Crime, creating jackets for both Literary and Mass Market.

I have created jackets for authors including Alan Bennett, Peter Carey, Teju Cole, Luke Harding, Hanif Kureishi, John Lanchester, Alberto Manguel, Michael Ondaatje, Orhan Pamuk, Don Paterson and Peter Swanson.

Current clients include Bloomsbury, Faber & Faber, Lund Humphries, Penguin Random House, Quercus, Simon & Schuster and Unbound.

Should you wish to know more or want to discuss any potential projects, then do please get in touch.
Services
Languages
English
Non-Fiction
Entertainment
History
Fiction
Humor & Comedy
Literary Fiction
Thriller & Suspense

Work experience

Senior Designer

Self-employed
July, 2018 – Present (over 1 year)

Senior Designer

Yale University Press
July, 2018 – Present (over 1 year)

Senor Designer

Faber and Faber
August, 2006 – July, 2018 (almost 12 years)

Junior Designer

Penguin Random House
August, 2003 – August, 2006 (about 3 years)

Portfolio (24 selected works)

The Pebbles on the Beach

Clarence Ellis

This is a book about the simple pleasure of pebble spotting. Clarence Ellis is a charming, knowledgeable and witty guide to everything you didn't know there was to know about pebbles. He ruminates on what a pebble actually is, before showing us how they are formed, advising on the best pebble-spotting grounds in the UK, helping to identify individual stones, and giving tips on the necessary ki... read more

This is a book about the simple pleasure of pebble spotting. Clarence Ellis is a charming, knowledgeable and witty guide to everything you didn't know there was to know about pebbles. He ruminates on what a pebble actually is, before showing us how they are formed, advising on the best pebble-spotting grounds in the UK, helping to identify individual stones, and giving tips on the necessary ki... read more

The Shielding of Mrs Forbes

Alan Bennett

'Thinking Betty was in the bath Graham was watching a late-night programme on Channel 4 called Footballers with Their Shirts Off when she unexpectedly came in on the trail of the hairdryer."I didn't know you were interested in football," said Betty.'No one must ever find out that Graham is 'not the marrying sort'. Certainly not his wife, or his mother. As sex, blackmail and fanatical tidiness ... read more

'Thinking Betty was in the bath Graham was watching a late-night programme on Channel 4 called Footballers with Their Shirts Off when she unexpectedly came in on the trail of the hairdryer."I didn't know you were interested in football," said Betty.'No one must ever find out that Graham is 'not the marrying sort'. Certainly not his wife, or his mother. As sex, blackmail and fanatical tidiness ... read more

The Poem

Don Paterson

Don Paterson is not only one of our great poets, but also an esteemed authority on the art of poetry. In illuminating and engaging prose, he offers his treatise on the making and the philosophy of 'the poem'.Paterson unpicks the process of verse composition with ambition, scholarly flair, and occasional scurrilities, exploring the mechanics of how a poem works and, essentially, what a poem is.... read more

Don Paterson is not only one of our great poets, but also an esteemed authority on the art of poetry. In illuminating and engaging prose, he offers his treatise on the making and the philosophy of 'the poem'.Paterson unpicks the process of verse composition with ambition, scholarly flair, and occasional scurrilities, exploring the mechanics of how a poem works and, essentially, what a poem is.... read more

Arabs

Tim Mackintosh-Smith

A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstoneThis kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, r... read more

A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstoneThis kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, r... read more

Forecasting

David Hendry, Jennifer Castle, Michael Clements

Concise, engaging, and highly intuitive—this accessible guide equips you with an understanding of all the basic principles of forecasting Making accurate predictions about the economy has always been difficult, as F. A. Hayek noted when accepting his Nobel Prize in economics, but today forecasters have to contend with increasing complexity and unpredictable feedback loops. In this accessible a... read more

Concise, engaging, and highly intuitive—this accessible guide equips you with an understanding of all the basic principles of forecasting Making accurate predictions about the economy has always been difficult, as F. A. Hayek noted when accepting his Nobel Prize in economics, but today forecasters have to contend with increasing complexity and unpredictable feedback loops. In this accessible a... read more

Culture in Nazi Germany

Michael H. Kater

A fresh and insightful history of how the German arts-and-letters scene was transformed under the Nazis Culture was integral to the smooth running of the Third Reich. In the years preceding WWII, a wide variety of artistic forms were used to instill a Nazi ideology in the German people and to manipulate the public perception of Hitler’s enemies. During the war, the arts were closely tied to th... read more

A fresh and insightful history of how the German arts-and-letters scene was transformed under the Nazis Culture was integral to the smooth running of the Third Reich. In the years preceding WWII, a wide variety of artistic forms were used to instill a Nazi ideology in the German people and to manipulate the public perception of Hitler’s enemies. During the war, the arts were closely tied to th... read more

Warlight

Michael Ondaatje

'Our book of the year – and maybe of Ondaatje's career' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year**LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018****FINALIST FOR THE 2018 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE** It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They su... read more

'Our book of the year – and maybe of Ondaatje's career' Daily Telegraph Books of the Year**LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018****FINALIST FOR THE 2018 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE** It is 1945, and London is still reeling from the Blitz. 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, are apparently abandoned by their parents, left in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth. They su... read more

Limitless

Alan Glynn

Imagine a drug that made your brain function with perfect efficiency, tapping into your deepest resources of creativity, intelligence and drive. A drug that can help you learn a foreign language in a day. A drug that can help you process information so fast you can see patterns in the stock market.Just as his life is fading into mediocrity, Eddie Spinola discovers such a pill: MDT-48, Viagra f... read more

Imagine a drug that made your brain function with perfect efficiency, tapping into your deepest resources of creativity, intelligence and drive. A drug that can help you learn a foreign language in a day. A drug that can help you process information so fast you can see patterns in the stock market.Just as his life is fading into mediocrity, Eddie Spinola discovers such a pill: MDT-48, Viagra f... read more

Under the Night

Alan Glynn

In 1950s Manhattan, the CIA carry out a covert study of psychoactive drugs. When they dose ad man Ned Sweeney with MDT-48, he finds his horizons dramatically expand as he is hurtled through the corridors of the rich and powerful, all the way to the government's nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll.But what of Ned's colleague who was also dosed that night - last seen running half-naked and screaming i... read more

In 1950s Manhattan, the CIA carry out a covert study of psychoactive drugs. When they dose ad man Ned Sweeney with MDT-48, he finds his horizons dramatically expand as he is hurtled through the corridors of the rich and powerful, all the way to the government's nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll.But what of Ned's colleague who was also dosed that night - last seen running half-naked and screaming i... read more

Consent

Leo Benedictus

This book is an experiment.We're experimenting together.You are part of the experiment, if you'll agree to it.Normally I don't let my subjects choose to be subjects. If you know you're being watched, you cease to be you.But I want you to read this. I wrote it for you.This magnetic book pulls you in its wake even as you resist its force. Sometimes you don't want to know what's next...

This book is an experiment.We're experimenting together.You are part of the experiment, if you'll agree to it.Normally I don't let my subjects choose to be subjects. If you know you're being watched, you cease to be you.But I want you to read this. I wrote it for you.This magnetic book pulls you in its wake even as you resist its force. Sometimes you don't want to know what's next...

Bait, Grist and Security

Mike Hodges

Three dark tales from the writer and director of Get Carter, Pulp and The Terminal Man.In ‘Bait’, a slippery PR man, Mark Miles, is unaware he’s being manipulated and dangled as bait by an investigative reporter until he’s swallowed by a sadistic mind-expanding cult from America.In ‘Grist’, the bestselling writer, Maxwell Grist, ruthlessly uses real people as fodder for his crime novels before... read more

Three dark tales from the writer and director of Get Carter, Pulp and The Terminal Man.In ‘Bait’, a slippery PR man, Mark Miles, is unaware he’s being manipulated and dangled as bait by an investigative reporter until he’s swallowed by a sadistic mind-expanding cult from America.In ‘Grist’, the bestselling writer, Maxwell Grist, ruthlessly uses real people as fodder for his crime novels before... read more

An English Murder

Cyril Hare

The snow is thick, the phone line is down, and no one is getting in or out of Warbeck Hall. With friends and family gathered round the fire, all should be set for a perfect Christmas, but as the bells chime midnight, a mysterious murder takes place. Who can be responsible? The scorned young lover? The lord's passed-over cousin? The social climbing politician's wife? The Czech history professor... read more

The snow is thick, the phone line is down, and no one is getting in or out of Warbeck Hall. With friends and family gathered round the fire, all should be set for a perfect Christmas, but as the bells chime midnight, a mysterious murder takes place. Who can be responsible? The scorned young lover? The lord's passed-over cousin? The social climbing politician's wife? The Czech history professor... read more

Collusion

Luke Harding

MOSCOW, July 1987. Real-estate tycoon Donald Trump visits Soviet Russia for the first time at the invitation of the government.LONDON, December 2016. Luke Harding meets former MI6 officer Christopher Steele to discuss the president-elect's connections with Russia. Harding follows two leads; money and sex.WASHINGTON, January 2017. Steele's explosive dossier alleges that the Kremlin has been 'cu... read more

MOSCOW, July 1987. Real-estate tycoon Donald Trump visits Soviet Russia for the first time at the invitation of the government.LONDON, December 2016. Luke Harding meets former MI6 officer Christopher Steele to discuss the president-elect's connections with Russia. Harding follows two leads; money and sex.WASHINGTON, January 2017. Steele's explosive dossier alleges that the Kremlin has been 'cu... read more

The Kind Worth Killing

Peter Swanson

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLERA RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB CHOICESHORTLISTED FOR THE IAN FLEMING SILVER DAGGER, 2015'Extremely hard to put down!' SOPHIE HANNAH'Chilling and hypnotically suspenseful ... an instant classic.' LEE CHILD'Hello there.'I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the... read more

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLERA RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB CHOICESHORTLISTED FOR THE IAN FLEMING SILVER DAGGER, 2015'Extremely hard to put down!' SOPHIE HANNAH'Chilling and hypnotically suspenseful ... an instant classic.' LEE CHILD'Hello there.'I looked at the pale, freckled hand on the back of the empty bar seat next to me in the business class lounge of Heathrow airport, then up into the... read more

The Girl With A Clock For A Heart

Peter Swanson

George Foss never thought he'd see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack's Tavern. When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, ... read more

George Foss never thought he'd see her again, but on a late-August night in Boston, there she is, in his local bar, Jack's Tavern. When George first met her, she was an eighteen-year-old college freshman from Sweetgum, Florida. She and George became inseparable in their first fall semester, so George was devastated when he got the news that she had committed suicide over Christmas break. But, ... read more

Her Every Fear

Peter Swanson

The bestselling author of The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying psychological thriller As tantalizing as Rear Window, Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Talented Mr Ripley'I loved it! A brilliantly original premise, delivered with panache.' CLARE MACKINTOSH, Sunday Times bestselling author of I See YouFollowing a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncha... read more

The bestselling author of The Kind Worth Killing returns with an electrifying psychological thriller As tantalizing as Rear Window, Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and The Talented Mr Ripley'I loved it! A brilliantly original premise, delivered with panache.' CLARE MACKINTOSH, Sunday Times bestselling author of I See YouFollowing a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend, Kate Priddy makes an uncha... read more

All the Beautiful Lies

Peter Swanson

'He's the real deal...' JOE HILL'Another read in one sitting from the best-selling Swanson.' METRO'A brilliantly original premise, delivered with panache.' CLARE MACKINTOSHOn the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father.But who really is Alice, his father's much younger second w... read more

'He's the real deal...' JOE HILL'Another read in one sitting from the best-selling Swanson.' METRO'A brilliantly original premise, delivered with panache.' CLARE MACKINTOSHOn the eve of his college graduation, Harry is called home by his step-mother Alice, to their house on the Maine coast, following the unexpected death of his father.But who really is Alice, his father's much younger second w... read more

The Zoo

Christopher Wilson

An Observer and Spectator Book of the YearShortlisted for the Historical Writing Association Gold Crown AwardMeet Yuri Zipit. A boy who's had a bang on the head in a collision with a Moscow milk truck.He has a kind face, makes friends easily, and likes to help. People want to tell him their secrets.Including the Great Leader himself, who takes a shine to Yuri when he employs him for his natura... read more

An Observer and Spectator Book of the YearShortlisted for the Historical Writing Association Gold Crown AwardMeet Yuri Zipit. A boy who's had a bang on the head in a collision with a Moscow milk truck.He has a kind face, makes friends easily, and likes to help. People want to tell him their secrets.Including the Great Leader himself, who takes a shine to Yuri when he employs him for his natura... read more

The Blinds

Adam Sternbergh

Imagine a place populated by criminals - people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who've been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don't know if they've perpetrated a crime or just witnessed one. All they do know is that they opted into the programme and that if they try to leave, they will ... read more

Imagine a place populated by criminals - people plucked from their lives, with their memories altered, who've been granted new identities and a second chance. Welcome to The Blinds, a dusty town in rural Texas populated by misfits who don't know if they've perpetrated a crime or just witnessed one. All they do know is that they opted into the programme and that if they try to leave, they will ... read more

Known and Strange Things

Teju Cole

A blazingly intelligent first collection of essays from the award-winning author of Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief. With these pieces on politics, photography, travel, history and literature - many of which have become viral sensations, shared and debated around the globe - Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today's most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deployi... read more

A blazingly intelligent first collection of essays from the award-winning author of Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief. With these pieces on politics, photography, travel, history and literature - many of which have become viral sensations, shared and debated around the globe - Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today's most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deployi... read more

The Red-Haired Woman

Orhan Pamuk

"Many years have now gone by, and jealousy compels me to keep her name a secret, even from my readers. But I must provide a full and truthful account of what happened."It is mid-1980s Istanbul and Master Mahmut and his apprentice use ancient methods to dig wells - they are desperate to find water in a barren land. This is the tale of their struggle, but it is also a deeper investigation - thro... read more

"Many years have now gone by, and jealousy compels me to keep her name a secret, even from my readers. But I must provide a full and truthful account of what happened."It is mid-1980s Istanbul and Master Mahmut and his apprentice use ancient methods to dig wells - they are desperate to find water in a barren land. This is the tale of their struggle, but it is also a deeper investigation - thro... read more

A Very Expensive Poison

Luke Harding

1 November 2006. Alexander Litvinenko is brazenly poisoned in central London. Twenty two days later he dies, killed from the inside. The poison? Polonium; a rare, lethal and highly radioactive substance. His crime? He had made some powerful enemies in Russia.Based on the best part of a decade's reporting, as well as extensive interviews with those closest to the events (including the murder su... read more

1 November 2006. Alexander Litvinenko is brazenly poisoned in central London. Twenty two days later he dies, killed from the inside. The poison? Polonium; a rare, lethal and highly radioactive substance. His crime? He had made some powerful enemies in Russia.Based on the best part of a decade's reporting, as well as extensive interviews with those closest to the events (including the murder su... read more

1956, The World in Revolt

Simon Hall

Popular uprisings in Poland and Hungary shake Moscow's hold on its eastern European empire. Across the American South, and in the Union of South Africa, black people risk their livelihoods, and their lives, in the struggle to dismantle institutionalised white supremacy and secure first-class citizenship. France and Britain, already battling anti-colonial insurgencies in Algeria and Cyprus, now... read more

Popular uprisings in Poland and Hungary shake Moscow's hold on its eastern European empire. Across the American South, and in the Union of South Africa, black people risk their livelihoods, and their lives, in the struggle to dismantle institutionalised white supremacy and secure first-class citizenship. France and Britain, already battling anti-colonial insurgencies in Algeria and Cyprus, now... read more

Music for Life

Fiona Maddocks

How does music reflect the key moments in our lives? How do we choose the works that inspire, delight, comfort or console? Fiona Maddocks selects 100 classical works from across nine centuries, arguing passionately, persuasively and at times obstinately for their inclusion, putting each work in its cultural and musical context, discussing omissions, suggesting alternatives and always putting t... read more

How does music reflect the key moments in our lives? How do we choose the works that inspire, delight, comfort or console? Fiona Maddocks selects 100 classical works from across nine centuries, arguing passionately, persuasively and at times obstinately for their inclusion, putting each work in its cultural and musical context, discussing omissions, suggesting alternatives and always putting t... read more

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