at Deakin Edge, Fed Square

Take Cover: Jon Gray on Book Design

Some book covers just stick with you. Think of David Pelham’s classic cover of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange, with the cog-eyed face under the bowler hat. Or the famous cover of Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminatedwith its exuberant black-and-white, hand-drawn typography. If you’re a fan of the latter, great news: its celebrated London-based designer, Jon Gray, is coming to Melbourne.

Gray, a co-founder of the Academy of British Cover Design, has designed book jackets for some of the biggest names in literature. Among his other memorable, sometimes controversial covers, are NW by Zadie Smith and Tampa by Alissa Nutting. Aside from his book design work, Gray has worked on marketing campaigns from some of the world’s biggest brands, including Nike and The New York Times.

In conversation with W.H. Chong (designer of the unforgettable cover of The Rosie Project), the pair will discuss the art and artistry of great cover design.

Presented in partnership with Australian Book Designers Association.


Portrait of Jon Gray

Jon Gray

Jon Gray (AKA gray318) is one of the most celebrated book designers in the world. He has designed and illustrated book covers for publishers around the world. His work famously adorns books by Jonathan Safran Foer (recall the red hand of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close), Zadie Smith, David Foster Wallace, A.M Homes and Roald Dahl. Other clients include Nike, Hewlett-Packard, The New York Times and the Berlin Opera. 

Portrait of W.H. Chong

W.H. Chong

W.H. Chong is a book designer and design director at Text Publishing. A founding member of ABDA (Australian Book Designers Association), he also writes on visual art for Daily Review and on design for Chong is an inductee of the Australian Book Designers Hall of Fame, and has spoken about book design on radio and at literary festivals. His work can be seen at