Richard Ljoenes

Richard Ljoenes – Designer

Richard is an award–winning book cover and interior designer with over 100 New York Times Bestselling cover designs to his name.


Richard is the former Creative Director of Regan Arts (A Phaidon Global Company) and former Vice President Sr. Art Director at HarperCollins.

His design and art direction has been awarded and recognized with over 90 awards and merits by The One Show, Art Directors Club, The Cannes Lions Awards, Communication Arts, AIGA, Print Magazine, Type Directors Club, Graphis, How Magazine International Design Awards, Time Magazine, The New York Book Show, and Graphic Design USA who named him a designer to watch in 2018.

Richard is a Designer and Art Director primarily focused on print-based design—book covers and illustrated book interiors being the main bread and butter, but his background also includes advertising and corporate identity. Clients include HarperCollins, Ecco, Morrow, Simon & Schuster, W. W. Norton, Hachette, Penguin Random House, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Restless Books, Regan Arts, and Bloomsbury.


Richard started his career as a traditional advertising sketch-artist with D’Arcy (formerly DMB&B/Clarion) in his native Oslo, Norway. Eventually markers were replaced with a Mac and over the next few years he developed into a driven designer working on many of Norway’s biggest brands. Although thriving at the firm his status as the sole soccer-hating male on the European continent eventually forced his emigration stateside.

After attending San Francisco’s Academy of Art he moved to New York, and following a brief period at Sullivan & Co Design, got his first start in publishing with HarperCollins Publishers. During his eleven years there he held numerous roles at several imprints, including Senior Art Director at Regan Books (w/stints in NYC and LA offices), V.P. Senior Art Director at both the Collins imprint, and more recent, the Harper Division.

In June 2014 he left HarperCollins for the opportunity of starting on the ground floor of Regan Arts (teaming up once more with his former boss), a newly established Phaidon Global Company, where he served as Creative Director and oversaw all cover and interior design for a range of fiction, non-fiction, and illustrated books.

Spring 2017 Richard started his own studio. He now operates out of Boulder, Colorado, where he lives with a four-year-old whom he continues to amaze daily, and his wife, who is less impressed by the minute.

“The production of Humble Masterpieces was one of the best—and smoothest—publishing experiences of my career. I rely on designers and trust their vision but of course, as a design curator, I engage in a dynamic relationship with them. Richard’s idea for the book was incisive and made it a resounding success. The square format, the bright, compelling, and yet abstract cover, the slipcase that made it all a surprise . . . It was not a book, it was a design object.”

—Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Architecture & Design
MoMA | The Museum of Modern Art

“People to watch 2018.” —Graphic Design USA
Biographies & Memoirs History Music True Crime
Historical Fiction Literary Fiction Poetry Psychological Thriller
  • Richard Ljoenes’s design and art direction has been awarded and recognized with over 90 awards and merits by The One Show, Type Directors Club, Communication Arts Design and Typography Annuals, The Cannes Lions Awards, Art Directors Club, AIGA’s 50 Books | 50 Covers, Graphis, Print Magazine, How Magazine International Design Awards, Time Magazine, The New York Book Show, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and Graphic Design USA who named him a designer to watch in 2018.
  • BFA Graphic Design, Academy of Art University, San Francisco

Work experience


Apr, 2017 — Present

Book cover and interior design: fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks and illustrated books. Some identity and packaging design. Clients include HarperCollins (Harper, Ecco, Morrow), Simon & Schuster, W. W. Norton, Hachette Books, Little Brown, Penguin RandomHouse, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Restless Books, Sourcebooks, and Bloomsbury.

Regan Arts, New York (A Phaidon Global Company)

Jun, 2014 — Mar, 2017 (over 2 years)

Responsibilities include design and art-direction of all covers and interiors for a for a range of fiction, nonfiction, and illustrated books. Management of inhouse design staff and all freelancers. Some editorial acquisition.

HarperCollins Publishers

Jun, 2003 — Jan, 2014 (over 10 years)

Design and art direction of book jackets/covers and illustrated interiors; manage and art direct designers on staff, freelance designers, photographers, and illustrators for the following imprints: Harper (02/2009 - 01/2014), Collins (07/2007 - 01/2009), and Regan Books (06/2003 - 06/2007).

Sullivan & Company, New York (

Mar, 2003 — Jun, 2003 (3 months)

Print design. Clients Include Pfizer and American Express.

D’Arcy Advertising (former DMB&B Clarion), Oslo, Norway

Jun, 1996 — Dec, 1999 (over 3 years)

Responsibilities include corporate identity, print design, retail advertising, and some web-design. Clients include Fiat, Alfa Romeo, and Pepsi.




The Invaders




Richard has 24 reviews





Amanda N.

Amanda N.

Sep, 2023

I really enjoyed working with Richard. He always had good advice and he's tremendously talented. My book cover is beautiful. I highly recommend him and would hire him again if I had another book to peddle.
Richard L.
This was a great project, Amanda--I loved working with you!


Jul, 2023

Richard was easy to communicate with and his work exceeded my expectations. I was happy working with him and would hire him again for my next book.
Richard L.
Many thanks for the project, DJ--I very much enjoyed working with you!
Kitty T.

Kitty T.

May, 2023

Richard's cover designs are fine art. He elevated my work. My peers—both traditional and self-published—were blown away by how unique and on-brand the cover for Zone Trip was. Richard's style leans more toward elegance. However, when I asked him to "grunge it up," he easily pivoted to deliver the perfect product. Thank you, Richard!
Richard L.
Thanks, Kitty! I really enjoyed working with you on your terrific book! —Richard L
Danial J.

Danial J.

Mar, 2023

I'm a self-published author. A good cover is important to me. I don't have a large marketing budget. So, the cover is the main sales driver. I decided to hire Richard because of high impressive graphic experience. I'm happy to say that I made the right choice. After launch, my book became a #1 Amazon best-seller. Moreover, it ranked in the top-5 within highly competitive categories. This was ju...
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Richard L.
Thanks, Danial. I really enjoyed the project and working with you! —Richard L
Mark T. R.

Mark T. R.

Dec, 2022

Wow, Mr Richard Ljoenes! What can I say about him? To score an award winning cover designer at a great price, was a win in itself. Richard was communicative throughout – even when he was under pressure from a backlog of orders, or when his family all came down sick. He took a deep dive to find the image I had seen and came up trumps when he sourced the original artist. Then what he was able to ...
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Richard L.
Thank you, Mark! I really enjoyed working with you!

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