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Book Design - Trade

The Scented Victorian Garden

Book Design - Trade 3

This series of perfumed diaries, birthday and address books, and a household companion were designed for Penguin's Special Sales Division, for sale in supermarkets and newsagents. They were reminiscent of Victorian-era books and tapped into the nostalgia market. With no budget for illustration, I used instead, Victorian and Edwardian cards featuring pretty young ladies, flowers, and birds, etc - all bought cheaply from an antiques bazaar.

Click on the thumbnails to view pages. 


Australian Story

Book Design Trade Australian Story

Australian Story is an abbreviated history of Australia produced by the National Library of Australia, designed for use by kids under 12 years of age. It outlines the importance and variety of major events from pre-history to 2010. The visual elements are mostly drawn from historical images in public archives. They are augmented by my illustrations and photographs to fill gaps, and the time-line design creates impetus, showing the onward flow of time.

Graphic illustrations were used to begin and end the open-ended text, and this style carried through to the maps and other miscellaneous illustrations sprinkled throughout. Many graphic treatments and devices were created to carry and spice up the images, and to recreate the 'feel' of each era. Typefaces used in each era were also added for variety and interest.

Click on the thumbnails to view page details. 


Mountains, Mists, and Mystery

Book Design - Mountains Mists mystery 

This specifically targeted book was aimed at the Japanese tourist market in Sydney and environs. The photos were taken by a catholic nun living in the Blue Mountains of NSW, and the text had a contemplative aspect, with seasons as the theme. Poetry text was drawn from the canon of famous Japanese poets. Translations into English broadened the book's appeal in the market-place.

The cover design is very simple, but in the manner of Japanese book publishing fashion at the time of this book's production. The text grid allowed me to make all pages asymmetrical while maintaining a cohesive set of layouts.

Click on the thumbnail to view page details. 

Childrens' Picture Books 

HOP! Little Hare

Book Design - Trade - Hop!

Little Hare's art-director - David Francis, wanted a soft, nostalgic, water-colour look, reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, to match this sweet story of how Little Hare grows up in a hurry. Originally intended to be a 32-page text, I felt that it would look punchier if we reduced the extent to 24 pages and used a variety of illustration sizes and layouts, and lively text formatting to enhance the action words in the language. Happily, David agreed.

You can buy it online at:,,, or order through your local bookshop.

IIllustration - Picture Books


Prayer for the Animals

Mark Wilson is a very experienced and well-known Australian illustrator, especially of books with historical and environmental themes. In this title he celebrates the diversity of environments and animals on Earth in the form of a prayer for their continuing existence.

Existing artwork in a variety of painted and drawn media and formats had to dealt with when designing this text, so I chose a calligraphic text font that sits sympathetically with the varied, loose nature of the different images.

I also suggested the sketchy image used on the cover to replace a more finished illustration that the illustrator and publisher were originally going to use. The end-paper image is a much-softened version of the original artwork, to tie the cover and text pages together.

To see other Mark Wilson books:

Book Design - Trade1