graphic design, local business, photography

Doing Good

One of my most memorable projects of 2012 was definintely my first book cover design and layout. Every so often I get the opportunity to try something entirely new, and it's always a whirlwind of emotions... mostly excitement, some confusion and frustration, and in the end a sense of pride.

Nadine Riopel The Author has also been my client as a Public Speaker and as a Bride. I first met her when I was hired to take some headshots in 2011, then was asked to photograph her wedding and help design the cover for her first book, The Savvy Do Gooder: Giving That Makes a Difference.

Nadine studied international development and business administration in university, has spent a lot of her free time volunteering for a multitude of causes, and spent several years working professionally for a charitable organization. Her "misadventures" (as she puts it) in the charity world led her to conclude that the best way to truly do good was to help the masses maximize the effect of their giving for their intended result.

So Nadine wrote a book. She hired me to do the interior layout as well as concept and execution of the cover design. We threw around a lot of ideas, but ultimately Nadine wanted to stress the fact that "giving" doesn't always mean money; it can also mean giving of love, knowledge, skills, time, adivice... the list goes on. I had an idea for the cover design to create a heart shape out of smaller objects symbolizing these other ways of giving, then photograph the collage. Nadine really liked the idea.


The rest of the cover design was centered around some of Nadine's preferences: her favourite typeface, her favourite colour, a clean simple approach with lots of whitespace. 

After working back and forth for most of the summer, The Savvy Do Gooder went to print on September 2nd, 2012. The e-Book process was complicated, but once that was all sorted Nadine decided to have her official book launch on December 2nd at Audrey's Books on Jasper Ave. Audrey's is very supportive of local writers, which is a blessing for a first-time author like Nadine.


I went to the launch to support Nadine and take some photos. She spoke about the contents of her book, about how making a difference is often more complicated than donating your time or money. The part I most enjoyed was about finding the organization that is the right fit for the good you want to do in the world.

Look at her smile. She has truly found her calling.

I'm really proud to be a part of this project. If you're interested in learning more about giving smart while supporting a local author (and designer!) check out The Savvy Do Gooder Bookstore.