After I designed Marci Fair’s The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant, she recommended me to Chad Hyams. Chad wrote a short rhymes story for children inspired by his beautiful father-daughter relationship. He creatively entitled his book Ketchup Can’t Hurt and he was in need of a highly creative book interior design too. He didn’t want custom illustrations so he was happy for me to come up with a creative design using outsourced illustrations.
Even though I admire custom illustrations for children’s books, my drawing abilities are limited. Nonetheless, I like to use my vivid and rich creativity in books for children even if I don’t personally draw the illustrations.
Working with third party design resources is tedious. First, I need to research and find the right illustrations which have been drawn in a similar style. Then, I have to come up with creative scenes to reflect the verses on each page. Finally, I must combine multiple elements in such a way to make the pages and scenes look flawless. The great thing about using third party illustrations in children’s books is that they are never going to be used as-is in a stand alone matter. By combining so many different elements, the end product is creative and original in itself. It’s a lot like cooking a dish based on some basic dull ingredients; in the end, it is all about the cook’s creativity and skills to create a delicious and memorable dish.
Ketchup Can’t Hurt is so much more than a fun story for children: it is an inspiring reading for parents too! Based on his own experience as a father, Chad has wittily enclosed valuable advice for parents on how to better enjoy the time they spend with their kids.
Chad was absolutely lovely to work with. His constructive and thorough feedback made our collaboration smooth and pleasant. He’s waited to publish Ketchup Can’t Hurt for so many years and so I felt really honored to be the designer who helped him bring his vision to life. I am very proud to be part of his project and I am also very grateful he’s trusted me with something so dear to him!