Bonnyrigg student has designs on a bright future

Twenty-two year-old Bonnyrigg design student Megan Kerr has won a competition to design a cover for Penguin books Adult Non-Fiction Cover Awards, Student Design Award 2021.

By Kevin Quinn
Friday, 6th August 2021, 1:00 pm
Bonnyrigg design student Megan Kerr (22) with her award and winning cover design.
Bonnyrigg design student Megan Kerr (22) with her award and winning cover design.

The former Lasswade High and Bonnyrigg Primary pupil, who recently graduated in graphic design from Edinburgh Napier University, won the global prize for her cover for ’The Uninhabitable Earth’, a 2019 book by David Wallace-Wells about the consequences of global warming.

She said: "They do this every year with three different categories – fiction, non-fiction and a children’s book. They give you an existing book cover and you re-design it.

"The book is very much about climate change and the current direction we are heading. It was quite deep and quite dark, about how it’s our last chance to make a difference to save the world. We only have so much time left before it’s irreversible.

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"I’m absolutely shocked that I won. I have just never won anything before in my life. I was so happy, as I just never expected to win.

"I tried to keep it simple and not have too much going on. To create a feeling instead of being very detailed. I tried to make it look like a smudged down fingerprint, to show how it is only us that can have an impact on the future.

"More than a couple thousand people took part in this competition, from all over the world, so a global contest.”

The judges were very impressed with Megan’s work, with Richard Brevery, art director, Penguin Books, said: “A fantastic entry, this really stood out and there was a lot of consensus on how brilliant it is. I love it, I thought it was really well considered, the fingerprint took on an abyss-like quality that I kept on falling into – very accomplished.”

Megan is now looking to the future. She said: "For me as a designer it’s trying to find a balance between what is right and what I like myself. I’m still trying to find my own style, and what I’m best at.

"I know whatever I do from now on I know I want it to be something creative. I have enjoyed making things since I was really young. So I hope to find a job in graphic design and illustration is my goal.

“I’m allowing myself a bit of time, building up my portfolio and doing personal projects, entering competition like this one that are going round just now. I’m also setting myself tasks at home so I’m constantly creative.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​