BLOG: Eye-Popping Tips

From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

Spotlight on a Client Project: Designing a Children’s Book

Designing a children’s book was a treat for my team! As a team leader serving the publishing community, I have the privilege of helping authors publish their books and launch their websites. Every client is so passionate about his or her book, product or service, it’s fun to live vicariously through their work for a few months. Occasionally a client brings a project that seems to leap heads and shoulders above the rest in regard to the intriguing subject matter, quality of content, scope of work, artistic challenge and affect it has on our community.

One such project was Alphabet Denver, the first in a series of books by Kitty Migaki of Littleton, Colorado. It was so much fun taking her idea through the many phases — branding, cover design, interior layout, website writing, design and development — and sharing the work with multiple team members along the way.

Here’s the front cover of her book. Team member Kerrie Lian created the playful cover and interior design to complement the stunning photos and whimsical poems by Kitty Migaki.

I have a feeling this book will win many awards. It’s already won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in the Childen’s ABC Book Awards category. Kitty and her book were also prominently featured in The Denver Post.

Designing a Children's book Alphabet Denver

What is Alphabet Denver?

Alphabet Denver is a 64 page full-color hardback book of the ABCs rendered in photographs of downtown Denver architecture. Accompanied by 10 different styles of tongue-teasing poetry including alliteration, limerick, concrete poems etc. Each letter includes the longitude and latitude of it’s location so readers can go on a GPS Alphabet Hunt! No GPS? No problem — the physical addresses are listed in the back.For teachers and home schoolers Alphabet Denver is a teaching tool that facilitates learning. However, Alphabet Denver is REALLY about fun for families. Families can take the book downtown and find the letters in the kids’ names, turning the book into a fun game! Kitty has been contacted by several grandparents who found Alphabet Denver one of the few activities that they could share with their grandkids, and that the book commanded their attention whatever their age!I asked Kitty why she wrote the book and she said she wanted to “create a book that offers multiple learning opportunities, and also provide an activity that generations can share with each other, and build memories. For folks who buy the book from my website or in person I also include a sheet of ABC stickers so readers can put a sticker on the Keep Track Page in the back of the book to record their letter find.”

Designing a Children’s Book with Kitty’s Photos and Our Playful Graphics and Lettering

Here are several of the letters on the double-page spreads designed by team member Kerrie Lian:

Designing a Children's book Alphabet Denver

Designing a Children's book Alphabet Denver

Designing a Children's book Alphabet Denver

Designing a Children's book Alphabet Denver

As you can see in the pages from the book above, Kerrie Lian was able to take Kitty’s photos and text and make them jump off the page! Kerrie selected the font, the colors, the embellishments, and captured Kitty’s vision for the book perfectly.

Building a Brand and Website for Kitty’s Book

Team member and branding expert, Patrice Rhoades-Baum worked with Kitty to clarify her business objectives, identify her various target markets, see the many ways each different buyer can use the book, and create her top benefit message, which we transformed into a tagline.

Then Patrice wrote strategic hard-working website copy that educates the community, offers fun activities and sells books.

Lastly, Lauren Klopfenstein and Matt McKendree of Lauren Graphics Inc. collaborated with Kitty to design and develop the colorful, fun website. I’m proud to have such a talented team who can help my clients realize their dreams!

Shown below is the home page and a link to the site where you can buy her book:

Designing a Children's book Alphabet Denver Website

Kitty said, “The website looks very professional and I like the bold colors in keeping with the theme of the book. Lauren and Matt, like Kerrie before them, were very good at listening during our discussions and making sure that what they designed and built was in keeping with the theme and overall look. The website for Alphabet Denver presented some new areas to explore in design and Matt went after it!

“It was a joy to work with both Patrice and Kerrie on the MacGraphics team. Patrice was a font of positive and creative suggestions and went beyond her usual role to provide expertise in more areas of the book. I can’t imagine working with anyone else but Kerrie, the design could not have meet my expectations better if I had done them myself, if only I could do design! I am looking forward to our next project, Alphabet Chicago.”