Growing up internationally book cover design

Growing up internationally book cover design

Project brief

Aimed primarily at young adults (college age) and teens (high school), Arrivals, Departures, and the Adventures In-Between talks about the issues, strengths and challenges of growing up internationally. It has been written very specifically to be chiefly entertaining while also teaching rather than the other way around. Chris requested an eye-catching, attention grabbing, fervour-creating book cover. Since it involves a lot of humour and real life tales of adventure, it was obvious it had to look fun and modern.

Design process

At the start of the project, Chris mentioned a few possible approaches, such as using images related to passport stamps or souvenirs. After a few different versions, he also suggested specific images that he liked. We both decided upon the main image of a fun-looking suitcase surrounded by travel destinations from various countries. To bring in even more variety, I also added a few monuments from Chris’ personal photo library and integrated them beautifully into the initial design. On the back cover, we used portraits of young people from different cultures to give the touch of reality that young audiences would be attracted to. I kept the overall background bright and stark for a modern clean look.

Final thoughts

It’s always a pleasure to work with authors who are open to ideas because this gives a lot of room for a designer to express her creativity. Chris has been a fantastic and important team player throughout the entire project. It was thanks to our combination of ideas and great communication that we got a beautiful cover design and a successful client-designer collaboration.


Christopher O’Shaughnessy is a very appreciated International Speaker and Globetrotting Adventurer. You can keep up with his amazing activities on his personal website,, and check out Arrivals, Departures and the Adventures In-Between on Amazon.

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