Notes on a Cover: Fugly

By Emily Harris, Senior Graphic Designer

Claire Waller’s debut YA novel, Fugly, will be out on November 5, 2019.

Shy, overweight eighteen-year-old Beth leads a secret life as an online troll. But when she unexpectedly makes two friends—bubbly, gorgeous Amy in real life and mysterious fellow cyberbully Tori online—she must decide what really matters.

Notes from Fugly cover designer Emily Harris

This book explores that weird space between the online and real world, and what happens when those two worlds collide.

When thinking about the cover design, I started off by taking a literal approach, which wasn’t quite the right fit. I tried shattered cell phone screens, riffing on Instant Messenger and Chat icons, and various other digital themes in an effort to convey the story in an engaging way. I was hitting a wall after a couple of different rounds of designs, and I didn’t know where to go next.

I knew that I wanted this cover to be bright and eye-catching, so I started browsing through stock imagery, as I often do when I’m stuck, and I happened upon a set of colorful patterns. I liked the vibrating, kind of disorienting nature of these images and I thought they conveyed (without getting too literal) the messiness and chaos of digital media. The cover hopefully shows the reader that something isn’t quite right, but you will have to read the book to find out more!

Preorder Fugly in all the usual places or on

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