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Sheffield Hallam design student shortlisted for national award

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A Sheffield Hallam University design student has been shortlisted for an acclaimed national award.

Sophie Smart, a third-year illustration student, has been shortlisted for the Adult Non-Fiction Cover Award in the Penguin Random House's annual Student Design Award.

Sophie is one of 30 finalists chosen from more than 2,100 applications. Art Directors from Penguin Random House will now provide each of the shortlisted designers with detailed feedback on their covers, allowing the students the opportunity to refine their designs before final judging takes place in early June.

The winners in each of the three categories, Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction and Children’s, will receive a work placement within the Penguin Random House UK design studios, as well as a £1,000 cash prize.

Sophie reimagined the front cover of Truman Capote's 1966 true crime book In Cold Blood, which remains the second-biggest-selling true crime book in publishing history.

Sophie said, "I found out about the competition through the University and decided to enter. I was encouraged and supported by my tutor throughout the process.

"I wanted my design to be a visual representation of the themes within the book and show that it was a horror book in a more subtle way. I couldn't believe it when I was shortlisted; I was shocked and really pleased.

Sophie Smart

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"To be able to put it on my CV is great and it's already helping me with applying for internships over the summer."

Lee Ford, course leader, said, "It's Sophie's hard work, dedication and talent that means she has been shortlisted for this award. She has turned this cover into a stunning visualisation of the subject matter and we all have our fingers crossed that she wins the award in June."

For press information: Tim Ward in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2811 or email