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Michael Kellner

Michael Kellner - Designer

Los Angeles, CA.

Cover design is both an art and a service. Designers have a responsibility to authors, editors, publishers and, above all, to readers.


The old chestnut and admonition about judging a book by its cover presents actual, real-world problems and consequences. People may judge, or misjudge, a book by its cover instantly and unconsciously. Covers are meant to be eye-catching; they offer the alluring face, and with that, the true character of a book's content. As a book designer, abundant advantage is gained by being a constant and discriminating reader, simply for one’s own pleasure. Put it this way: to be a good cover designer necessarily means being a good reader.

Anthologies Crime & Mystery Literature Plays & Screenplays Poetry Short Story Thriller
Arts & Architecture & Photography Biographies & Memoirs Entertainment History Music Nature New Age Philosophy Politics & Current Affairs


  • Anthony Award for Best Cover Design: 1998 Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention.
  • Award for Book Jacket Design: PRINT Magazine 2000 Design Annual
  • Award for Book Jacket Design: PRINT Magazine 2001 Design Annual
  • Award for Book Jacket Design : PRINT Magazine 2003 Design Annual
  • Anthony Award for Best Cover Design: 2003, The Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention
  • 2008 Graphic Design USA American Graphic Design Award.
  • Award for Magazine Cover Design: PRINT Magazine 2004 Design Annual

Work experience

Book Designer

Kellner Book Design

February, 1998 – Present (about 19 years)

Professional, award-winning designer of hardcover jackets, trade paper wrappers, and book interiors for both established publishers and independent, self-publishing authors. Conversant with file creation and submission specifications for Lightning Source, IngramSpark and CreateSpace. Thorough knowledge of offset printing. Creative, easy to work with, and detail-oriented to provide the highest quality, eye-catching editions.

Art Director for Special Issues

The Hollywood Reporter

January, 1992 – December, 2000 (almost 9 years)

Management of art department staff of four designers, and frequent freelancer designers. Scheduling of staff work assignments for 170 issues per year. Conceptualization, art direction and assigning of all original illustration and photography. Conceptualization, art direction and design of all editorial covers. Design of all editorial formats and branding logos. Art direction of all photo-shoots. Interviewing and hiring of all freelance designers and production artists. Portfolio reviews. Budgeting the art department for materials, equipment, and personnel. Administration of department invoices. Supervision of digital imaging. On-site press checks. Review of staff performance. Design consultant for the Promotions and Marketing Departments. Design director for special collateral print projects.

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