In June 2019 I released the cover design for Joyful Eating, which was then redesigned in 2021. Here I share the process of determining the cover design.
It took quite a bit of consideration to decide what the front cover should be…
It’s not a diet book
Given that the book is not a diet book, and does not contain meal plans or a prescription of the right way to eat, I didn’t want an image that depicted a healthy food. Nor did I want a picture of a food that could be controversial.
It’s not an eat whatever you want and lose weight book
Although in the book, I discuss doughnuts numerous times and have a section entitled, How to Consciously Eat a Doughnut, I felt that people might think I am encouraging them to eat doughnuts.
The intention is not to encourage or discourage the eating of any specific foods. So, in 2019 for the original design, I decided against food imagery on the front cover.
It’s not a spiritual book
I considered a cover design that depicted freedom or self-awareness, given that the book is more so a philosophy of self-acceptance and self-care than diet or nutrition book. However, this could be woo-woo and look non-descript. I it would be unclear what is the topic of the book.
Although it is about our self-perception and beliefs, it is still a book about how this influences our relationship to food.
It’s not a book about me
I asked around for advice…
Some people recommended I have a photo of myself on the front cover, which is what I ended up going with, in 2019.
I was hesitant, as so many books that have an image of the author depict beauty or confidence. They give the illusion that the author has discovered the way to eternal health and beauty.
Often the image is of the author standing in a power-pose—this does not align with my personality. Nor is Joyful Eating about me having all the answers but acknowledging your own unique body, preferences and journey. I am not a guru or authority, which is why originally I went with a design that looked more joyful and reflective.
In 2019, I decided to fuse the concepts I had for a cover together: a photo of myself, an item of food or drink that was indistinguishable as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, and a lightness that depicts awareness, joy and contentment.
I put my husband, an inexperienced photographer, to work taking a photo that represented the essence of Joyful Eating. He managed to take a photo that became the front cover.
2021 cover redesign
However, in the following years, I realised that it needed to be clearer that the book was about our relationship with food.
So, I got to work with the talented designer Melinda Childs of Studio Orchard to create a cover that depicted food freedom and joy, where a variety of foods were depicted in a way that didn’t give the appearance of a cookbook. I am overjoyed with what we created!
I hope you love it as much as I do.
I now think I have a book that will look great on anyone’s coffee table, where it can be picked up from time to time as a reminder to tune in and enjoy eating without the diet rules.