Chatting with 2021’s ABDA Awards Shortlister, Frances Peck

Chatting with 2021’s ABDA Awards Shortlister, Frances Peck

Chatting with 2021’s ABDA Awards Shortlister, Frances Peck

We have once again put our support behind the Australian Book Design Awards this year sponsoring the Best Student Design Awards—Series. With the finalists to be announced in late June we wanted to have a chat with each of the talented designer’s that were chosen as finalists in this category including Frances Peck, Kespa Katsuk, Celia Mance, Angela Huang and Daphne Kok.

First up we have Frances Peck!


Tell us a little bit about who you are.
I am a Communication Designer located in Melbourne, currently studying a bachelor’s degree in design at RMIT University. I am interested in design and technology that powers brand experience and the digital landscape. My studio practice spans print and digital mediums, with primary areas of design interest and practice including publication, typography, brand identity and web design.

In my spare time, you will always catch me reading a good book. Which would explain my interest in book design and its industry.

How did you get into design?
It may be cliche, but design has been with me ever since I was born. I have always found myself drawn to creative tasks whether that would be drawing, painting, filmmaking or even choosing the right typeface on Microsoft Word. I never thought about it as a career until I hit high-school and found myself doing every portfolio and art subject possible. I knew my love for Visual Communication Design was what I wanted to pursue, and now here I am!

What made you start getting into book design?
In my second year of university, I chose to undertake a Book Cover Design and Visual Languages design studio taught by Jenny Grigg. I had never done book design before and was a fan of Jenny’s work, so it only seemed necessary to challenge myself with this studio. It was so interesting to learn the conventions of book design, and how the cover itself tells a story.

What was the inspiration and thought process behind your book cover?

This book cover series is an adaptation of Michael Rock’s ‘Designer as Author’, which explores how design authorship has changed over time. The text is split over three parts: Part A, Part B and Part C, and each cover highlights a different era of design authorship through the use of typeface used. Further, having the letterforms overlap on different layers illustrates how design authorship is a rich and extensive subject, and cannot be explained through a simple answer or ‘layer’.

Jenny Grigg always challenged me to play with tangible materials before moving straight to digital solutions, and this is exactly what I did in this cover design. I was inspired by how the translucent paper appeared when folded over each other, and the effect it gave when text was printed onto it.

What’s been happening in design for you since you entered?

Since entering, I have continued my studies and am now in my last year at RMIT University. I know for everyone that the past year has been challenging, but it is so motivating to see my work become recognised. I have started up my own freelancing design business titled Frances Peck Design and am interested in working with socially conscious brands to benefit the world. I am now finding my passion for book design and brand identity design, and I look forward to seeing where my final year at university takes me.

You can view more of Frances Peck’s work at @francespeckdesign or on Behance at Frances Peck.