24th September 2021

Raybearer crowned at the ABCD ’21 awards

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The Academy of British Cover Design (ABCD) hosted its annual awards ceremony at the Underbelly in Hoxton on 23rd September, with the audience casting their vote for their favourite cover designs from shortlists whittled down from nearly 1500 entries.

Jordan Ifueko’s Raybearer (Hot Key Books) took home the prize in the Young Adult category. Designed and illustrated by Bookseller Rising Star Micaela Alcaino, the book fended off strong competition from the likes of Liz Hyder’s Bearmouth, Hannah Capin’s Foul is Fair and Julia Gray’s I, Ada.

Alcaino’s design has won praise for its detailed illustration and vibrant colours – mirroring the imagery and richness of the language contained inside its pages. And, of course, for the playful optical illusion of the face hidden ingeniously in plain sight.

Raybearer wasn’t the only Bonnier Books UK cover in contention on the night. Holly Black’s The Queen of Nothing (Hot Key Books) was also shortlisted in the hotly-contested Sci-Fi/Fantasy category, with Nick Stearn’s special edition design – complete with foils and stencilled snakes – eventually pipped to the post by Sarah Pinsker’s A Song For a New Day.

The awards, now in its eighth year, are run by freelance designers Jamie Keenan and Jon Gray, with submissions adjudicated by a committee of respected designers and art directors from across the industry.