Harry Potter

Clare Melinsky’s book cover illustrations are magical – and that’s official. For ten months the illustrator has been working on a complete set of new covers for the seven Harry Potter novels. And in the best tradition of J K Rowling’s wizarding school, it’s all been a complete secret – until now.

“I was asked by the publishers, Bloomsbury, to do some sample covers last summer,” Clare explains. “I’ve been working on all seven books since then. That was the hardest part – I had to cover up what was on my desk so even my friends didn’t know what I was working on.” Harry Potter’s readers know what happens when you tell stories you shouldn’t. Like journalist Rita Skeeter you might be liable to end up as a small green beetle…

Clare has worked as an illustrator for thirty years. Her work is seen on packaging and in magazines and newspapers. She has designed a set of special issue stamps for the Royal Mail in 1997, and more recently she’s created cover illustrations for all 39 of Shakespeare’s plays for Penguin Books. But she admits Harry Potter is the most high-profile job she’s ever done. “It’s an extremely exciting commission, and suddenly I’m getting a lot of admiration from my young nephews and nieces.”

The new ‘signature’ edition has Harry Potter’s signature as the title, and Clare’s cover pictures below. The designs were unveiled by Bloomsbury in March 2010, and the books are on sale from November 2010. All the covers have been approved by JK Rowling herself.

There are no prints available for sale: you have to buy the books!

A interview with Clare about her work can be seen on STV.