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Sara Chadwick-Holmes

Sara Chadwick-Holmes - Designer

Bristol, United Kingdom

Cheery, charming & creative book designer, illustrator & lettering artist. 17 yrs experience in children's book publishing

Overview

I'm a calm, confident book designer, with over 17 years of experience working in publishing, for the best in the business: Puffin, Random House Children's and Hodder. My work has featured in Puffin By Design and Design Week.

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.

Services
Fiction
Children's - Middle Grade Children's Picture Books Classics Women's Fiction Young Adult & Teen
Non-Fiction
Children's Books (Non-Fiction)

Certifications

  • BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration

Work experience

creative

Self-employed
May, 2015 – Present (over 2 years)

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!

Senior Designer

Puffin Books
May, 2006 – April, 2015 (almost 9 years)

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.

Portfolio (29 selected works)

The Queen's Lady (The Other Countess)

Eve Edwards

IT S 1584 - SURREY, ENGLAND. WHEN LADY JANE RIEVAULX BEGINS SERVICE TO THE QUEEN AT RICHMOND PALACE, SHE IS THRILLED AT THE COURT S NEWEST ARRIVAL ...MASTER JAMES LACEY. DESPITE HER PREVIOUS COURTSHIP WITH HIS OLDER BROTHER, JAMES IS THE MAN SHE TRULY LOVES. AND FOR HIS PART, HE CANNOT DENY HIS FASCINATION WITH HER. HOWEVER, JAMES IS SETTING SAIL ON A TREACHEROUS JOURNEY TO THE AMERICAS, SEEKI... read more

IT S 1584 - SURREY, ENGLAND. WHEN LADY JANE RIEVAULX BEGINS SERVICE TO THE QUEEN AT RICHMOND PALACE, SHE IS THRILLED AT THE COURT S NEWEST ARRIVAL ...MASTER JAMES LACEY. DESPITE HER PREVIOUS COURTSHIP WITH HIS OLDER BROTHER, JAMES IS THE MAN SHE TRULY LOVES. AND FOR HIS PART, HE CANNOT DENY HIS FASCINATION WITH HER. HOWEVER, JAMES IS SETTING SAIL ON A TREACHEROUS JOURNEY TO THE AMERICAS, SEEKI... read more

Flush

Carl Hiaasen

The Pack

Tom Pow

Blue Like Friday

Siobhán Parkinson

To Hal, Fridays are blue, and tangy, like blue lemon sherbert. Olivia thinks he's crazy. Friday is just Friday, isn't it? Olivia is pretty sure that Hal's mysterious plan to get rid of his not-quite-stepfather, Alec, is even weirder. But things don't go quite as either Hal or Olivia expect. This book is intended for ages 9+.

To Hal, Fridays are blue, and tangy, like blue lemon sherbert. Olivia thinks he's crazy. Friday is just Friday, isn't it? Olivia is pretty sure that Hal's mysterious plan to get rid of his not-quite-stepfather, Alec, is even weirder. But things don't go quite as either Hal or Olivia expect. This book is intended for ages 9+.

Nim's Island

Wendy Orr

Nim's Island

Nim's Island

Friends Forever: The Mystery Tour

Judi Curtin

Friends Forever: The Mystery Tour Blackouts, gas masks and rationing - the truest friendships are made in the hardest times... Hi, this is Lauren again! My special cat, Saturn, has quite a skill for traveling far, far away, and I don't mean in distance. My best friend, Tilly, and I were ready for our next mystery tour adventure... Full description

Friends Forever: The Mystery Tour Blackouts, gas masks and rationing - the truest friendships are made in the hardest times... Hi, this is Lauren again! My special cat, Saturn, has quite a skill for traveling far, far away, and I don't mean in distance. My best friend, Tilly, and I were ready for our next mystery tour adventure... Full description

The Luxe

Anna Godbersen

IMAGINE, IF YOU WILL, NEW YORK CITY, 1899...SOCIETY S ELITE: THE GLAMOUR, THE GRANDEUR, THE GLITTERING PARTIES, THE MOST HANDSOME BEAUS, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DEBUTANTES ...THE RICH GIRL, THE HUMBLE BOY, THE FORBIDDEN LOVE, THE HUSHED WHISPERS, THE STOLEN GLANCES, THE WHISPERS, THE SCANDAL, THE MYSTERY, THE REVENGE...YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO STEP INTO THE LUXE , WHERE THE SECRETS ARE DARK AND... read more

IMAGINE, IF YOU WILL, NEW YORK CITY, 1899...SOCIETY S ELITE: THE GLAMOUR, THE GRANDEUR, THE GLITTERING PARTIES, THE MOST HANDSOME BEAUS, THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DEBUTANTES ...THE RICH GIRL, THE HUMBLE BOY, THE FORBIDDEN LOVE, THE HUSHED WHISPERS, THE STOLEN GLANCES, THE WHISPERS, THE SCANDAL, THE MYSTERY, THE REVENGE...YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO STEP INTO THE LUXE , WHERE THE SECRETS ARE DARK AND... read more

Chocolate Box Girls: Cherry Crush

Cathy Cassidy

Cherry Crush

Cherry Crush

Chocolate Box Girls: Fortune Cookie

Cathy Cassidy

After the amazing twist at the end of Sweet Honey, the sixth and final book in Cathy Cassidy's Chocolate Box Girls series follows Jake, the Tanberry sisters' newly discovered half-brother...Jake Cooke has just had the surprise of his life. He's got four half-sisters that he never knew existed. When Jake's talent for trouble causes chaos at home, he runs away to meet his new family. Life in a r... read more

After the amazing twist at the end of Sweet Honey, the sixth and final book in Cathy Cassidy's Chocolate Box Girls series follows Jake, the Tanberry sisters' newly discovered half-brother...Jake Cooke has just had the surprise of his life. He's got four half-sisters that he never knew existed. When Jake's talent for trouble causes chaos at home, he runs away to meet his new family. Life in a r... read more

Looking Glass Girl

Cathy Cassidy

BRAND NEW, perfect condition.

BRAND NEW, perfect condition.

Chocolate Box Girls: Fortune Cookie

Cathy Cassidy

After the amazing twist at the end of Sweet Honey, the sixth and final book in Cathy Cassidy's Chocolate Box Girls series follows Jake, the Tanberry sisters' newly discovered half-brother...Jake Cooke has just had the surprise of his life. He's got four half-sisters that he never knew existed. When Jake's talent for trouble causes chaos at home, he runs away to meet his new family. Life in a r... read more

After the amazing twist at the end of Sweet Honey, the sixth and final book in Cathy Cassidy's Chocolate Box Girls series follows Jake, the Tanberry sisters' newly discovered half-brother...Jake Cooke has just had the surprise of his life. He's got four half-sisters that he never knew existed. When Jake's talent for trouble causes chaos at home, he runs away to meet his new family. Life in a r... read more

Ooh La La! Connie Pickles

Sabine Durrant

Connie Pickles is fulfilling her destiny. She's in Paris, and she has big plans. She will fall in love with someone other than William. She will find her long lost grandparents. She will become tres chic. But sometimes even destiny doesn't go to plan...Sabine Durrant has the laugh-out-loud humour of Louise Rennison, the sharp perception of Anne Fine and the instant girl-appeal of a younger Bri... read more

Connie Pickles is fulfilling her destiny. She's in Paris, and she has big plans. She will fall in love with someone other than William. She will find her long lost grandparents. She will become tres chic. But sometimes even destiny doesn't go to plan...Sabine Durrant has the laugh-out-loud humour of Louise Rennison, the sharp perception of Anne Fine and the instant girl-appeal of a younger Bri... read more

Delilah Darling Is At The Zoo

Jeanne Willis

Queen Delilah Darling from far away land - is off to meet some 'marbellous' animals at the zoo. Her teacher, Mrs Mullet, says whoever wins the zoo quiz wins a prize - but what could it be? Delilah really wants to win but first she has to beat her worst enemy, Horrid Charlotte Griggs ...With gorgeous illustrations by Rosie Reeve, this is a genuinely funny and sharply observed story for children... read more

Queen Delilah Darling from far away land - is off to meet some 'marbellous' animals at the zoo. Her teacher, Mrs Mullet, says whoever wins the zoo quiz wins a prize - but what could it be? Delilah really wants to win but first she has to beat her worst enemy, Horrid Charlotte Griggs ...With gorgeous illustrations by Rosie Reeve, this is a genuinely funny and sharply observed story for children... read more

Seriously Sassy Eco Babe

Maggi Gibson

Thirteen-year-old Sassy is a true twenty-first century girl. She's puzzling out the mysteries of parents, boys and why people can't be more like dolphins, and confronting big questions like . . . Can she become a singer-songwriter and save the world too? (More importantly, can she get Dad to pay for a demo?) Should she trust her dolly-goth best friend to give her a makeover without making her ... read more

Thirteen-year-old Sassy is a true twenty-first century girl. She's puzzling out the mysteries of parents, boys and why people can't be more like dolphins, and confronting big questions like . . . Can she become a singer-songwriter and save the world too? (More importantly, can she get Dad to pay for a demo?) Should she trust her dolly-goth best friend to give her a makeover without making her ... read more

Generals Die in Bed: 100th Anniversary Edition

Charles Yale Harrison

As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the bestselling novel Generals Die in Bed becomes more relevant than ever. Originally published in 1930, the landmark novel was one of the first to shatter the world’s illusion that war is a glorious endeavor. Instead, this chilling first-hand account brought readers face to face with the brutal, ugly realities of life in th... read more

As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, the bestselling novel Generals Die in Bed becomes more relevant than ever. Originally published in 1930, the landmark novel was one of the first to shatter the world’s illusion that war is a glorious endeavor. Instead, this chilling first-hand account brought readers face to face with the brutal, ugly realities of life in th... read more

Dusk

Eve Edwards

Dusk by Eve Edwards is a beautiful love story set against the brutal back drop of WWI. For all fans of Sebastian Faulks and historical romantic fiction - this is Bird Song for Young Adult readers. A love worth fighting for. When Helen, a young hard-working nurse, meets aristocratic artist Sebastian, she doesn't expect to even like him, let alone fall in love. But against the troubled backdrop ... read more

Dusk by Eve Edwards is a beautiful love story set against the brutal back drop of WWI. For all fans of Sebastian Faulks and historical romantic fiction - this is Bird Song for Young Adult readers. A love worth fighting for. When Helen, a young hard-working nurse, meets aristocratic artist Sebastian, she doesn't expect to even like him, let alone fall in love. But against the troubled backdrop ... read more

The Way of the Warrior (Young Samurai)

Chris Bradford

August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan - his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope is to become a samurai warrior. And so his training begins. But life at the samurai school is a constant fight for survival. Even with his friend Akiko by his side, Jack is singled out by bu... read more

August 1611. Jack Fletcher is shipwrecked off the coast of Japan - his beloved father and the crew lie slaughtered by ninja pirates. Rescued by the legendary sword master Masamoto Takeshi, Jack's only hope is to become a samurai warrior. And so his training begins. But life at the samurai school is a constant fight for survival. Even with his friend Akiko by his side, Jack is singled out by bu... read more

Vampire Academy

Richelle Mead

The story that kicked off the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series is NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run,... read more

The story that kicked off the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series is NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run,... read more

Chocolate Box Girls Coco Caramel

Cathy Cassidy

Another delicious book in the Chocolate Box Girls series, a sequel to Cherry Crush, Marshmallow Skye and Summer's Dream, from bestselling girls' favourite, Cathy Cassidy. Coco is the youngest of the Tanberry sisters but she's as headstrong as any of them. Coco is crazy about animals and loves her riding lessons. When her favourite pony at the stables is sold, Coco scopes out the new owner - an... read more

Another delicious book in the Chocolate Box Girls series, a sequel to Cherry Crush, Marshmallow Skye and Summer's Dream, from bestselling girls' favourite, Cathy Cassidy. Coco is the youngest of the Tanberry sisters but she's as headstrong as any of them. Coco is crazy about animals and loves her riding lessons. When her favourite pony at the stables is sold, Coco scopes out the new owner - an... read more

Hammy The Wonder Hamster

Poppy Harris, Margaret Mcallister

Hammy: the cleverest hamster the world has ever seen! Bethany is thrilled with her fluffed-up furry new pet and can't wait to get him home. But there's something different about Hammy, something very special. Not only is he super cute, he's got amazing brains and an incredible secret. The question is - how did Hammy become so brilliant? This title is the first in a wildly fun new series that w... read more

Hammy: the cleverest hamster the world has ever seen! Bethany is thrilled with her fluffed-up furry new pet and can't wait to get him home. But there's something different about Hammy, something very special. Not only is he super cute, he's got amazing brains and an incredible secret. The question is - how did Hammy become so brilliant? This title is the first in a wildly fun new series that w... read more

Happy Christmas Hammy the Wonder Hamster

Poppy Harris

Happy Christmas, Hammy the Wonder Hamster! by Poppy Harris is the perfect Christmas stocking filler. For all fans of Betty G. Birney's Humphrey books and young animal lovers everywhere, this is a funny, charming, and delightfully festive read. The world's cleverest hamster is back for a brand-new festive adventure. Bethany is SO excited about Christmas, and especially can't wait to show her su... read more

Happy Christmas, Hammy the Wonder Hamster! by Poppy Harris is the perfect Christmas stocking filler. For all fans of Betty G. Birney's Humphrey books and young animal lovers everywhere, this is a funny, charming, and delightfully festive read. The world's cleverest hamster is back for a brand-new festive adventure. Bethany is SO excited about Christmas, and especially can't wait to show her su... read more

The Bomber Dog

Megan Rix

The Bomber Dog is a gripping and heartwarming story for 9+ readers about a brave puppy who joins the paratroopers during the Second World War and becomes a heroic war dog. Perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse and Lauren St John. GREY is just a puppy when he arrives at the War Dog Training school. NATHAN, his trainer, is a brave young soldier. WOLF is a war dog who's seen it all. Gr... read more

The Bomber Dog is a gripping and heartwarming story for 9+ readers about a brave puppy who joins the paratroopers during the Second World War and becomes a heroic war dog. Perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse and Lauren St John. GREY is just a puppy when he arrives at the War Dog Training school. NATHAN, his trainer, is a brave young soldier. WOLF is a war dog who's seen it all. Gr... read more

Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City

Will Mabbitt

A funny fantasy-adventure series for fans of LEMONY SNICKET, NEIL GAIMAN, and CRESSIDA COWELLWhat do you do when you survive a pirate kidnapping, a milk-drinking contest with a giant grizzly bear, and a stint inside the belly of a whale? If you’re Mabel Jones, you do everything you can to avoid another UNLIKELY ADVENTURE! But when Mabel's baby sister is plucked from her crib by an EVIL witch, ... read more

A funny fantasy-adventure series for fans of LEMONY SNICKET, NEIL GAIMAN, and CRESSIDA COWELLWhat do you do when you survive a pirate kidnapping, a milk-drinking contest with a giant grizzly bear, and a stint inside the belly of a whale? If you’re Mabel Jones, you do everything you can to avoid another UNLIKELY ADVENTURE! But when Mabel's baby sister is plucked from her crib by an EVIL witch, ... read more

The Outsiders (Puffin Modern Classics)

S. E. Hinton

The Outsiders by S E Hinton is a ground-breaking, timeless story by a brilliant writer. '...the hand at the back of my neck was strong. I'm drowning, I thought ...' The Socs' idea of having a good time is beating up Greasers like Ponyboy. Ponyboy knows what to expect and knows he can count on his brothers and friends - until the night someone takes things too far. The original teenage rebel st... read more

The Outsiders by S E Hinton is a ground-breaking, timeless story by a brilliant writer. '...the hand at the back of my neck was strong. I'm drowning, I thought ...' The Socs' idea of having a good time is beating up Greasers like Ponyboy. Ponyboy knows what to expect and knows he can count on his brothers and friends - until the night someone takes things too far. The original teenage rebel st... read more

Delilah Darling Is On The Stage

Jeanne Willis

Delilah Darling - Queen Delilah from the Land of Far, Far Away to you - is desperate to play the part of the gingerbread man in the school play. So when Horrible Charlotte Griggs gets the part instead, Delilah is cross. But she soon discovers that there's lots of fun to be had playing the big, bad fox. And besides, in the Land of Far, Far Away, things always have happy endings...

Delilah Darling - Queen Delilah from the Land of Far, Far Away to you - is desperate to play the part of the gingerbread man in the school play. So when Horrible Charlotte Griggs gets the part instead, Delilah is cross. But she soon discovers that there's lots of fun to be had playing the big, bad fox. And besides, in the Land of Far, Far Away, things always have happy endings...

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