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Keith Hayes

Creative Director, Book Cover Designer

Keith Hayes is the Creative Director at Flatiron Books in Manhattan.

Keith Hayes is well known in the book design world for designing iconic jackets for authors such as Elliot Page, Lauren Beukes, Pulitzer Prize Winner Hernan Diaz, J. M. Coetzee, and others.

His 2013 design for Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winner, The Goldfinch, stands out as one of his most renowned works. The ingenious use of ripped paper captivated both readers and designers, rendering the jacket revolutionary upon its release. This design acted as a catalyst, inspiring a wave of trompe l’oeil covers that followed, undoubtedly influenced by its innovative style. Remarkably, even a decade after its creation, it retains a timeless quality that holds its own alongside contemporary books published today.

He has also become insta-famous for his incredible street photography.

Remarking on his design process in an interview with Mental Floss, Keith Hayes said:

“I worked on a novel by Paul Lynch called The Black Snow. There was a fire in the book, and I thought it would be beautiful to show falling ashes, from a scene in which someone is looking up at the sky. I found a bunch of different photos of cigarette ash, then I hand-lettered the type. It went over well from the beginning.”

He also explained that he didn’t always see himself in this career:

“I was going to be a veterinarian. But when I was younger, I drew and painted. On a whim, I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York, and the rest is history. I read all the books I design. In my spare time, I’m a photographer. I don’t use many photos in my covers, but shooting is helping me with my cover designs.”

At the moment, Keith Hayes does not have a personal portfolio site, but you can view his work below.

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