Richard Ljoenes

Richard Ljoenes - Designer

Boulder, CO, USA

Richard Ljoenes is an award–winning book cover and interior designer with over 50 New York Times Bestselling cover designs to his name.

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Richard Ljoenes 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.

Ljoenes 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.


Ljoenes 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 Ljoenes 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
Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits
Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Thriller & Suspense


  • BFA Graphic Design, Academy of Art University, San Francisco


  • 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.

Work experience

Owner / Principal Designer

April, 2017 – Present (over 4 years)

Book cover and interior design: ction, nonction, 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 Mifin Harcourt, Restless Books, Sourcebooks, and Bloomsbury.

Creative Director

Regan Arts, New York (A Phaidon Global Company)
June, 2014 – March, 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.

Vice President Senior Art Director

HarperCollins Publishers
June, 2003 – January, 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 (
March, 2003 – June, 2003 (3 months)

Print design. Clients Include Pfizer and American Express.

Junior Art Director

D’Arcy Advertising (former DMB&B Clarion), Oslo, Norway
June, 1996 – December, 1999 (over 3 years)

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

Portfolio (39 selected works)

The Godfather Notebook

Coppola, Francis Ford


Norris, Gloria


Kenney, Matthew

Where the Bird Sings Best

Jodorowsky, Alejandro, MacAdam, Alfred

The Invaders

Waclawiak, Karolina


Brooks, Ben

The Orchardist: A Novel

Coplin, Amanda

I Love You, Sign Here: Contracts for Couples

Pierson, Roy, Pierson, Sarah

God is Round

Villoro, Juan, Bunstead, Thomas

Dr. J: The Autobiography

Erving, Julius, Greenfeld, Karl Taro

The Kept: A Novel

Scott, James

All That I Am

Funder, Anna

Richard has 6 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Anara Guard
Richard produced a beautiful cover that evokes exactly what I was hoping for, even when I couldn't articulate it myself. Despite an unusual onslaught of timing challenges, he kept to the overall schedule and deadlines and responded promptly when there were some technical issues with uploading the cover to Ingram's site.

Anara Guard, September 2021

G. S. Boarman
I was amazed at what Richard created for my books. He managed to craft unified covers for all three books in the trilogy without losing sight of the individuality of each book. Moreover, Richard was working under some personal difficulties and yet brought his A-game to the project. I highly, highly recommend Richard. I plan on asking for his talents for the next book(s).

G. S. Boarman, July 2021

Richard Di Britannia
Richard provided me with a collection of stellar covers for my new book 'Speak Your Way to Wealth'. I would heartily recommend him to anyone who wants their work to stand out from the crowd.

Richard Di Britannia, June 2021

Ella Vega
Richard is a creative genius. He has the ability to make a book cover pop out from the rest. He understood the abstract idea that I presented him with and made it a reality. Definitely working with him again!

Ella Vega, March 2021

Tom Brown
Richard provided a variety of cover options for me to choose from. They all fitted the theme of my book. I could have went with any one of my options and made changes to colors or letter templates. I went with something simple and traditional and he changed colors and the background. The whole process went smoothly. I highly recommend his services. Tom

Tom Brown, February 2021

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