Book cover design by Riaan Wilmans

Book cover design


Riaan brings to the table a BTech in Multimedia and 5 years experience in Graphic Design, working in Advertising, Higher Education, Landscape Architecture and lately in Publishing.

Currently, as an independent freelance creative, he designs academic and trade book covers and dust jackets for Boydell & Brewer in the United Kingdom, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa, Juta Publishers in South Africa, Oxford University Press in South Africa, Penguin Random House in South Africa, Real African Publishers in South Africa, UCT Press in South Africa, and Wits Press in South Africa.

Featured projects

With custom typography and digitally drawn background, this cover expresses the raw passion of the people in the protest of Soweto 1976, the first uprising against the apartheid regime, and the start of a revolution against tyranny in South Africa.

—Year of fire, year of ash, HSRC Press, 2016

Exhausted and hurt, the protesters return to their homes, limping along and helping each other. The 1976 Soweto uprisings today is looked back to as a year of fire, but sadly also the year of ash; where resistance came to a halt, or not?

—Year of fire, year of ash, HSRC Press, 2016

Freedom takes on different definitions depending on which side you’re on. This book explains how freedom for one is oppression for another and is a split that starts with the indoctrination of the young in South African schools, according to the writers of ‘The other side of freedom’.

—The other side of freedom, HSRC Press, 2016

With custom typography and a halftone effect background, this cover hints at the force of the ‘Fees must fall’ movement; a student uprising vouching for lower university fees. It’s hashtag against oligarchy. Who will win?.

—Fees must fall, Wits Press, 2016

‘Stars In Our Eyes’ deals with a telescope that views the universe through radio signals and also about the way the South Africa media framed the project.

—Stars in our eyes, HSRC Press, 2017

‘Losing the Plot’ is a non-fiction title about writers ‘losing the plot’ in the ‘new South Africa’, according to prominent literary figure, Leon de Kock. He thinks that writers are spending too much time on fiction, specifically horror stories, and too little time on helping to develop the narrative arc of South Africa.

—Losing the Plot, Wits Press, 2016

Barometer of Fear is the inside story by a so-called rogue trader whose decisions led to an infamous banking scandal and which added to the recent international financial meltdown.

—Barometer of fear: HSRC Press, 2017

These two covers follow on each other sequentially. The first: Questions on South African Tax, and the second being: Advanced Questions on South African Tax.

—Questions on South African Tax: Juta Press, 2016

In this cover, two opposing narratives are intersecting. The first being that of the coloniser, and the second: that of the colonised.

—Postcolonial African anthropologies: HSRC Press, 2016

‘Teaching the native’ criticises colonial hegemony encrypted into the schooling of indigenous peoples.

—Teaching the 'native': HSRC Press, 2015

‘The power of memory’ deals with the planning of the new Thabo Mbeki Presidential Library in South Africa; which will house the writing of ‘black consciousness’ writers in general, and the literary work of Thabo Mbeki himself, an icon and African intellectual giant.

—The power of memory: RAP, 2017

Dealing with the question of land is a point of contention for many a resident in South Africa. This book deals with the pros and cons of either side of the debate.

—Postcolonial African anthropologies: HSRC Press, 2016