For anyone living with cancer, the struggle can feel isolating and endless. As a young mum fighting Bowel Cancer, Nicola Bourne found that she had so many questions that most 31 years olds don’t have to ask, like how to fit chemotherapy around family life, how to explain cancer to her children and how to stay social during such a difficult time.
When looking for answers, Nicola could only find books that were either memoirs, or clinical journals written from a medical perspective. Speaking to other women fighting cancer, she found that this was a problem that many of them had faced, and being a writer she realised she was in a position to provide the advice she had desperately wanted. She set about collecting as many resources as she could: any advice, story, tip or article from other women in the same situation. In 2015, having beaten cancer, Nicola compiled everything she had learned into her book “The Fabulous Woman’s Guide Through Cancer”.
Having first published the book in 2015, Nicola came to us to design the cover of her updated edition. Presenting the book as positive and uplifting was key to making it jump off the shelves, moving away from the more subdued and pensive books in the same category.
We used a watercolour texture in bright hues to literally introduce a splash of colour and vibrance to bookshelves, paired with a friendly typeface to reflect the friendly tone and positive attitude used throughout Nicola’s writing. It was important to us that we create a cover which not only prompted shelf-browsers to pick it up, but that also felt at home sitting on a desk or shelf in someone’s house without appearing melancholy. Nicola intended the guide to be a reference book that can be brought out again and again, so creating visuals that were feel-good and “fabulous” (!) was essential.