Spotlight on … PANZ Young Designer of the Year finalist Carla Sy

Spotlight on … PANZ Young Designer of the Year finalist Carla Sy

Carla Sy image

Carla Sy has a background in Visual Communication design, which she studied at Massey University, graduating with First Class Honours in 2009. In 2010 Carla was given the opportunity to work as a full-time junior book designer at Random House. Five years on and a series of good fortunes later she is grateful to still be in the industry doing what she loves, and is now a senior book designer for Penguin Random House.

Getting there wasn’t as easy as that sounds though, with Carla initially missing out on a job with Random House. She later did casual work for the publisher for six months and after a spell in a small design studio, she applied for Random Houses’s next advertised designer job: ‘A month later I was in the publishing industry and haven’t left since! I was just out of the business long enough to know that designing books was what I wanted to do with my design career. I’m fortunate that I’m able to design books for a variety of genres and my design versatility is a skill that grows from year to year — my career depends on it. I rely a lot on the diversity of books we publish in-house and because Penguin Random House is fairly small compared to our overseas counterpart; it means the designers are given the opportunity to work on a range of books rather than being pigeon-holed. On a normal busy week we’re expected to work on multiple projects, consisting of at least one children’s picture book, a couple of black and white non-illustrated books, a cookbook and maybe even a fully illustrated non-fiction! It’s quite exciting and very rewarding. My discipline is definitely more design than illustration, but in school I always loved all of the art subjects and did a lot of painting and drawing as a hobby for as long as I can remember. But it was only in the last couple of years that I started to apply my illustration skills into designing books and book covers and discovered how much both skills reinforce each other,’ says Carla.

‘I always approach my work feeling like each book I design has something new to teach me.’

Check out more of Carla’s work #bookdesignsbycarlasy

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