A few people have asked me about who did my book cover for Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds and how it was designed, so I thought I would  show the evolution of it from the spark of an idea to the finished product. Part of the success of a great artistic project is the designer and for me that was the awesomely talented Sally Walsh at Sillier Than Sally Designs.

I contacted Sally at the end of October and told her about the idea I had for the memoir and she was keen to help. I was only a month into writing the book at that stage and did not even have a title.


Short description→ Inspired by a blog written while travelling for three months with three generations through Turkey, Russia, the Baltics, Europe and the USA, my travel memoir is not only about the wonder of discovering the world but also the extraordinary bond of family, the abiding love we have for our pets and how hard it is when we lose them.


♥Book Cover Evolution♥

I also told Sally about how Coco, our dachshund, died tragically just before we left on this epic trip, leaving me (and the family) broken-hearted, and of our dachshund spotting competition we had all around the world. I wanted Coco on the cover, and I showed her a picture of a travel tag from Typo with a vintage map.

Evolution 1Sally and I discussed ideas – should Coco be an illustrated drawing or black and white? Or an acrylic painting with multimedia background? What colour should the map be? After many emails and a Skype session I left it all in Sally’s capable hands and went back to writing the book.


Firstly I received a concept image from Sally and we discussed the layout. I decided to make Coco 20% smaller but loved the overall layout. Sally then began to paint the portrait of Coco and I went back to the seemingly never-ending task of writing the book.

Only a week later Sally sent me the book cover and it was pretty much perfect. To make the title stand out Sally took a normal travel tag, aged it and took a high resolution photo of it and then brought all the elements together in InDesign. Coco is perfect, as is the map background and the whole design but that travel tag made the cover in my opinion. The only change was to lighten the cover a little so the map background was more visible. Sally is a genius! I am so happy with it! Now for the book launch!

Evolution 2

And finally, after the book cover was created, Sally went back to acrylic painting and finished it off to make a wonderful pet portrait for my family. We love it ♥

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For your own pet portrait, mixed media canvas art, wildlife art, logos, murals and more, please contact Sally at Sillier Than Sally Designs


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