At Puffin, I created some really strong brand looks for such authors as Cathy Cassidy and Sarah Dessen, among others. My natural genre is quality commercial fiction. My particular talent is to give book covers a design edge that prevent over-sweetness in an often sugary category. As well as this genre, I love working on both series fiction and standalone literary titles, and also designing integrated inside layouts.
I am well used to project management, commissioning illustrators and photographers, and generally keeping a project motivated and on track.
I am excellent at hand-lettering and illustration. I even iced the illustrations onto the chocolates on those Cathy Cassidy books above. (There's a tutorial I give about that on Cathy's YouTube channel if you're keen to try this at home)
Since becoming freelance I have rebuilt a near-derelict house (my people skills & project management skills were used, tested, and improved!) & worked with David Fickling Books, Bloomsbury, Penguin Random House & Waitrose on their Robin's Journey Christmas advert tie-ins. I like working with existing artwork or within a style guide to create marketing material, web ads, activity books etc, and somewhere along the line I developed a great talent for writing catchy strap lines.
In addition I also design bespoke wedding stationery, most recently a Willy Wonka style gold foil golden ticket which was sent to guests inside a real chocolate bar.
I find that communication is key to my having a successful relationship with my clients. A book cover or a wedding invitation can evolve and grow out of one simple holiday snap, a shop window, a vibe, and by communicating effectively and with genuine interest and empathy means really getting to know what my client wants, which makes this a fun, rewarding process for all involved.
I live in the vibrant, creative city of Bristol and have a fabulously decadent studio in my home which I share with an antique stuffed peacock, a stuffed puffin (my leaving present!), a Victorian rocking horse and a massive halloween cat that wonders why it's so crowded in there.
Please note, I do not check in on weekends.
- BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration
Since moving out of London to Bristol, which is a very creative city, I run a one-stop-shop for really great design, Illustration and lettering. This has been varied and interesting, including my 'usual' job in publishing, and also couples getting hitched and wanting some really special invitations, a theatre company promoting their latest show, and local businesses that needed a logo refresh, or chalkboards painting for an event or a menu. I enjoy variety and like to keep life interesting so am looking forward to some festival and wedding sign-painting coming up over the summer, some more wedding stationery, and more books too.
I'm organised, reliable, easy going and super creative. I'm an instinctive, intuitive people person, and great at getting to the nub of what it is my clients want, so we all arrive at a great end result in a cheerful, stress-free manner. I'm not an overly precious, throw my toys out of the pram type of designer, which I think is a good thing!
In my time at Puffin I worked across the fiction list, covering every genre and working closely with the Marketing, Editorial and Production teams to ensure a great cover that was appropriate and enticing for every book. I liaise closely with my authors, I know that an author has a very strong vision and a lot of deep feelings about their project, which I am very respectful of and work hard to gain trust and understanding between us.
When I created the successful brand for Cathy Cassidy, I worked very closely with her, meeting whenever we could, chatting by phone, and email, generally ensuring she felt happy and that she was in the loop at all times. This created a close author/designer bond over the years. At the other end of the commercial fiction spectrum I developed a strong brand for Chris Bradford who is a very dynamic sword-wielding author who has a clear vision for his books and very specific ideas, which I was able to collate, formulate into images, and turn into a series look we are all excited by. And in both of these author cases I am proud to say we are still friends!
I am happy managing a brand or creating an individual standalone cover design, from a young early reader to crossover teen fiction, or young adult/adult fiction. I have worked over the years with many illustrators and photographers, and have sourced brilliant library images to achieve the right look for the book I am designing, and I feel my good communication skills and being a natural people-person makes me an ideal designer to have on your team.
Also, I was on the judging panel for the entries for the Penguin Design Award, a student competition, and would mentor the winning student during their time in-house at Puffin HQ.
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