Case study: Book Cover: ‘Crowded Platforms and Window Seats’

Personalised book cover to tell a family's adventure

Dipping your toes into self-publishing


The client intended to independently publish a book she authored detailing her family's European adventure. The book, designed for practicality, serves as a handy guide for planning an Interrail adventure with teenagers.

The challenge

She tasked me with designing a book cover featuring key points of interest, narrating their journey from London to Budapest. Her preference was for a hand-drawn and personalised design, aiming to establish a direct connection with the audience.


The collaboration proved excellent; once the style was determined, we promptly progressed to finalising the artwork for the cover, which included a preliminary mockup. I coordinated with the book designer to ensure seamless integration of the artwork into her overall designs.


Some drafts...


... and the final product

About the book

'Thirty-five years after her first interrail trip around Europe, Judy Yorke found herself back on the tracks again, this time with her husband and teenage sons in tow.

This is an entertaining account of the family’s adventures involving 3,000 train miles, 16 locations and a suitcase with a squeaky wheel.


Judy also takes a nostalgic look back at her first trip and offers advice and tips to help anyone inspired to interrail themselves.'

Judy Yorke is a journalist, editor, copywriter and tutor who has worked for national magazines and newspapers for more than 30 years.

She also runs courses for people who want to improve their writing at work and is on a one-woman mission to stamp out the comma splice.


Judy loves travelling, especially by train. She's never happier than when she's settled in a window seat with a new book on her kindle at the start of a four hour journey.

She lives in Brighton with her husband and two sons.

"Just to let you know the book has just been published - I’ve already been asked who did the cover! Thanks again for your fabulous illustration."

Judy Yorke

Key benefits of a personalised book cover

While personalised book illustrations may not be suitable for every genre or audience, they can be a powerful tool for creating a unique and engaging reading experience, particularly in children's books, family stories, and special occasion gifts.

  • Unique and Memorable: A personalised illustrated book cover stands out from generic covers, making the book more memorable.
  • Reflects the Story: An illustration can capture the essence of the story and characters. This helps create a stronger connection between the cover and the content.
  • Emotional Connection: When the cover resonates with the target audience, it can increase the likelihood of the book being picked up and read.
  • Author Branding: If the author uses consistent elements across their works, readers may recognize and associate the style with that specific author, building a brand identity.
  • Tailored Appeal: The cover can be designed to specifically target the book's intended target demographic.
  • Increased Visibility: A unique cover can catch the attention of potential readers, whether in a physical bookstore or online.
  • Enhanced Marketing: Eye-catching visuals are more likely to be shared on social media platforms, helping to generate buzz.
  • Artistic Expression: A personalized illustration allows for artistic expression and the opportunity to bring the author's creative vision to life.
  • Differentiation in a crowded market
  • Reader Engagement