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.


All That I Am

Funder, Anna

The Kept: A Novel

Scott, James

God is Round

Villoro, Juan


Brooks, Ben

The Invaders

Waclawiak, Karolina

Where the Bird Sings Best

Jodorowsky, Alejandro


Kenney, Matthew


Norris, Gloria

The Godfather Notebook

Coppola, Francis Ford

Richard has 32 reviews





Amy N.

Amy N.

Jul, 2024

I hired Richard to redesign my book cover because of his artistic genius, and he did not disappoint. He listened to what I wanted and designed the perfect cover for my memoir. He exceeded my expectations, and he was a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend him!
Richard L.
I really enjoyed working with you, Amy!
Rafael G.

Rafael G.

May, 2024

Richard is a great professional designer. It has both the technical skills and the artistic talent. It is also very easy to work with him. I'm very happy with his work, and I highly recommend him.
Richard L.
Thanks, Rafael--loved working with you!
Julie F.

Julie F.

Mar, 2024

Richard was a great listener and responsive. I am thrilled with the final product. I get compliments on the book cover all the time.
Richard L.
Thanks, Julie--I loved working with you! —Richard Ljoenes
Wayne M.

Wayne M.

Mar, 2024

My readers love the cover of my book. It’s one of the first things they mention. The symbolism is obvious but subtle, with multiple layers of meanings. Working with Richard was a delight. I couldn’t be more pleased and I will use him on my next book project.
Richard L.
Thanks, Wayne--I loved working with you on this!
Aurora W.

Aurora W.

Mar, 2024

Richard is an absolutely stellar cover designer. He's very creative and offers multiple fantastic cover choices. His amazing covers are part of the reason our books have attracted so many readers and awards. Highly recommended!
Richard L.
Thanks, Aurora! I very much enjoy working with you and Michael on these! —Richard Ljoenes

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