The front cover for the Forward Book of Poetry 2022. On top of an orangey-red background, two large, geometric hand motifs point in opposite directions. The top hand is a vivid sky blue, and each finger contains a word from the title. The bottom hand is a darker forest green, and the text 'The Best Poems from the Forward Prizes' runs along its index finger.
The back cover for the Forward Book of Poetry 2022. On top of an orangey-red background, white text reads 'The Forward Prizes have established themselves as central to the literary landscape of modern Britain—Andrew Marr' and is followed by several paragraphs of smaller additional text.

Forward Prizes for Poetry are the most influential awards for new poetry in the UK and Ireland, honouring fresh voices alongside internationally established names.

Forward Arts Foundation

Forward motion

Our intention was to make our cover for the 2022 collection an accessible and alluring object that would engage with anyone and everyone, regardless of their usual reading habits.

By adopting expressive yet simple geometric-led shapes and a vivid palette, we conceived a cover that would grab the attention of all prospective readers, even at the smallest of sizes—whether that be positioned face-out within the narrow shelves of a vibrant independent bookshop or in the more faceless world of online retail, sat amongst a myriad of other covers.

We wanted to posit the word Forward as an invigorating, celebratory call to action of the Prizes themselves and the poets they commend, and to explore this in ways that were unlike the covers that had come before. Here, our interpretation of the word inspired motifs of pointing hands—taking their lead from the historically familiar usage of this motif within public information signage, but expressed here as a contemporary, graphically-led reinterpretation.

The top hand, containing the books title, beckons the reader to turn the cover page and begin reading, and by bisecting the border that follows the shape of the book, the intention here was to create a further feeling of movement, and an illusion of something three-dimensional within the confines of a flat space.