Giller Power Panel: The Art & Craft of Book Cover Design

January 10, 2022

January 10, 2022 (Toronto, Ontario) – Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director of The Giller Foundation, is delighted to announce the inaugural Giller Power Panel of 2022. The January 17 event, entitled The Art & Craft of Book Cover Design will feature four of the award-winning designers of last year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted books.

The panel will take place over Zoom on Monday, January 17, at 7 p.m. ET. Details and registration can be found at

The Giller Power Panels pull together creatives with a moderator each month to discuss the intersection of literature and a wide range of topics including the most pressing issues of our time.

The January panel will talk to the designers behind award-winning cover art design, an oft-obscure group that create the pictures on the covers of books we buy and love. They will give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a sometimes-misunderstood art form.

Populating the January panel are designers Kelly Hill (Fight Night by Miriam Toews), Jack Smyth (The Listeners by Jordan Tannahill), Laura Boyle (The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia) and Kelly Blair (What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad, 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner).

Lisa Jager, the designer behind Ian William’s Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel, Reproduction will moderate the panel.

About the panelists:

Kelly Blair is the art director of Pantheon Books, an associate art director at Knopf, freelance illustrator and lover of cats, dogs and Instagram.

Laura Boyle is the art director at Dundurn Press and has worked in book publishing for 13 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Art from Concordia, studied graphic design at OCAD, and completed her certificate in Publishing from Ryerson. In her free time, she works on illustrations and children’s books, as well as on various freelance design projects. Laura lives in Toronto.

Kelly Hill is an award-winning book designer with over 20 years of experience in publishing. She has designed covers for Margaret Atwood, Miriam Toews, Kate Atkinson, and Tomson Highway, working in a variety of genres including fiction, non-fiction, picture books and cookbooks. Kelly is also the author and illustrator of four books for children, inspired by Anne of Green Gables – a project that grew out of redesigning L.M. Montgomery’s famous series for Tundra. Kelly and her husband recently designed and built a house near Markdale, Ontario, where they live with their two daughters and a yellow lab named Jack.

Lisa Jager is an experienced art director and designer at Penguin Random House. She takes pride in providing clever cover design for many authors of fiction, non-fiction, lifestyle and young adult books. Most recently, Lisa designed Disorientation by Ian Williams and his 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning novel, Reproduction. Lisa lives and breathes the use of type and imagery in a creative way and when not doing that, she is playing sports and nurturing her family.

Jack Smyth is a book cover designer from Dublin, Ireland who currently works from his small studio in South London. After working in-house at Little Brown, Simon & Schuster and 4th Estate, Jack set up his freelance practice in 2019 and currently enjoys the stress and sleepless nights that being freelance affords. He also enjoys the opportunity to work with a variety of brilliant Art Directors, Editors and Publishers, so he reckons it all evens out in the end.

Please continue to visit for information on upcoming Giller Power Panels on different topics each month.

About the Prize
The Giller Prize, founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994, highlights the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. In 2005, the Prize teamed up with Scotiabank who increased the winnings four-fold. The Scotiabank Giller Prize now awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel, graphic novel or short story collection published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists. The award is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller by her husband Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch, who passed away in August 2017.


For more information, please contact:
Daphna Rabinovitch