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Designer / Middleweight Designer

Who we are and what we do

John Murray Press is one of the fastest growing and most profitable divisions of Hachette UK, with imprints that encompass a range of bestselling, pioneering and prize-winning publishing.  From exciting debuts, crime fiction and celebrity-led titles, to lifestyle, memoir, history and thought-provoking non-fiction, we are home to bestselling authors and brands such as Billy Connolly, Miriam Margolyes, Mick Herron, Trevor Noah and Akala. Short-listed for Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards in 2022.  We pride ourselves on being entrepreneurial, curious, and excited about discovering and nurturing new voices that can shape and shake our world.

What you'll be doing

John Murray Press have an exciting opportunity for a creative, motivated and talented designer/middeweight to join their design team. Reporting into the Deputy Art Director, you will be an organised and energetic individual who will be a vital part of a close-knit team. Delivering appropriately targeted market-leading book cover designs that meet business needs from initial brief to final artwork. You will be fully immersed in the whole cover design process, exposed to a broad range of experiences, and given the opportunity to collaborate with designers and illustrators to create commercially driven, innovative designs.

Working across the full range of our list, with a particular focus on our literary fiction and non-fiction imprints, John Murray and Baskerville, this is a fantastic opportunity for a designer who is keen to take the next step in their career.

Who we are looking for

You’ll be a self-starting, organised creative who thrives on working with an engaged, passionate team. Your portfolio will demonstrate a strong understanding of designing for consumers, with a wide range of projects. You will be energised by the whole creative process, and constantly challenge yourself to deliver forward-thinking cover designs. You’ll bring a positive, can-do approach and a desire to build strong relationships across all departments, as well as with illustrators and authors. Experience in fiction and non-fiction cover design within the publishing industry is essential.


  • To be responsible for appropriate and distinctive designs that fit market needs across all imprints, with a particular focus on John Murray (literary fiction & non-fiction) and Baskerville (literary crime thrillers)
  • Responsible for designing approximately 40 covers per year
  • Seeing through projects from initial research and visuals stage to sending print ready files to production
  • Commissioning freelance designers and illustrators on relevant titles
  • Keeping up to date with publishing and design markets and trends, to inform your designs
  • Build good working relationships with the editorial team, where conveying ideas and effectively interpreting feedback are key


  • Proven experience in the design industry
  • Strong technical design skills, including proficiency with a Mac and Adobe creative software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, etc).
  • A portfolio showing a passion for design along with strong commercial awareness and ability
  • Knowledge & experience in book design is essential, as well as visual design in general in order to help develop new commercial concepts.
  • Understanding of both print and digital production techniques
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Flexible, highly motivated and organised – can prioritise workloads effectively
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills – being able to present design concepts, approaches and work in progress to various internal and external stakeholders.
  • Understands consumer needs and how to position a design within the market
  • Meticulous eye for detail

In your application, please submit your CV, cover letter, and a Portfolio of recent relevant work (which is in the cover letter section).

What we offer

Our staff are our greatest asset, and our benefits reflect this:

  • 28 annual leave days per year, increases to 29 days after 2 years' service and goes up to 30 days after 5 years' (+ bank holidays)
  • Private medical insurance
  • Generous pension schemes
  • Rent deposit loans
  • 2 community days per year
  • Summer hours (finishing at 1pm on Fridays during the summer months)
  • Retail discounts through Hachette rewards
  • Cycle to Work scheme
  • Eye care vouchers
  • Wide-ranging training library
  • Development programmes (including mentoring)
  • Up to 70% off book purchases
  • A charity bookshelf
  • 12 Staff-led employee networks that are voluntary, including Gender Balance, Thrive, Pride, All Together, Wellbeing and religious networks
  • Season ticket loans
  • And much more!

This role can be based at our London or Bristol office, with a blend of in-office (3 days) and homeworking (2 days) per week.

Our commitment

Hachette employs people on the basis of their abilities. We aim to attract and develop talent from a base as broad as the world of readers we want to reach, with a wide and representative range of age, faith, disability, race, gender, sexuality and socio-economic, regional and cultural backgrounds.

If you are shortlisted and need us to make any adjustments to help you attend for interview, please let us know.

The Book Trade Charity offers financial support to people looking to enter the book trade but who may struggle to afford the costs of attending interviews and undertaking junior roles. For more information visit

Designer / Middleweight Designer

John Murray, Bristol | London
Full-time, Permanent
Administration, Publishing, Production, Communications, Design
Designer / Middleweight Designer
Salary description: 
Up to £38,000 dependent on experience and location (+bonus +benefits)

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Proven experience in the design industry Strong technical design skills, including proficiency with a Mac and Adobe creative software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, etc).