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 27 reviews





Timothy B.

Timothy B.

Jan, 2024

It was such a pleasure working with Richard, and I recommend him very highly to fellow authors. I was so impressed by his portfolio that I was confident that selecting him to design the cover of my first novel was a good decision. Even so, what he came up with was not only far better than I imagined, but something that only a gifted graphic designer and artist could create. He captured the n...
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Richard L.
Thanks, Tim! I loved working on this one! Look forward to working with you on the sequel. best, Richard Ljoenes
Eric C.

Eric C.

Jan, 2024

Richard is a fantastic cover artist who really grasps the import of the cover art to convey the import and strength of a story. Looking at Richard's previous work I knew that he could do that and my expection was not only met, it was exceeded. You will not go wrong in hiring Richard to do your book cover.
Richard L.
I very much enjoyed working with you, Eric, and am thrilled you are happy with the final product. I wish you great success with the book and hope it finds the audience it deserves.
Nadine B.

Nadine B.

Nov, 2023

I could not be more pleased with my collaboration with Richard. His book cover exceeded my very high expectations. Richard's artistic and design skills are top tier as is his professionalism and eye for detail. Even more importantly, he engenders trust -- you know you are not only working with someone who knows what he is doing but has your back and will be more than fair with whatever comes up...
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Richard L.
Thanks for the kind words, Nadine. I loved working with you, and I loved your book. The design we created is now a new recent favorite of mine. I hope your book gets the recognition it deserves.
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!

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