The Little Book of Self-Compassion – KATHRYN LOVEWELL

A case study.


The Book

Discover ways to befriend your inner critic, and be happy with who you are, just as you are, no matter what you are doing or not doing.  With a self-compassionate approach to your life and living, you too can embrace a kinder, more compassionate way to take great care of yourself, especially in times of struggle.

The Little Book of Self-Compassion offers a gentle and delightful introduction to self-compassion.  With tender encouragement, this little book will inspire you to make friends with yourself.  Offering a warm and light-hearted approach, you can discover how to pay close attention to a friendlier voice inside and bring kindness to the most important relationship you’ll ever have, the one with yourself. 

The process


The author, Kathryn Lovewell, was in need of a fun, vibrant cover that would immediately catch attention, be consistent with the layout of the inside pages and would make use of one of the illustrations created by Penny Haynes.

To create an open and approachable feeling, I used a round script font – Shepia Script – and a wide, easy to read sans-serif font for the back cover. The author immediately liked the blue and white colour scheme combined with the image of a woman being lovingly hugged by her reflection, which led to quickly discarding the other concepts.



Arriving at the final design involved a lot of simplification. At the beginning, the additional text visible on the initial versions was removed to make space for the other elements. Th next step was coming to a decision to focus mostly on the illustration itself, with title and author’s name playing the secondary role. In the final version, also the tagline – “Learn to be your own best friend!” was moved to the back cover, giving the front cover elements a bit more room. The result is an engaging, cohesive and vibrant design.



Despite the book not being very long – the final page count reached 120 – the layout proved to be quite complex, as it involved multiple illustrations, as well as the use of ornamental typefaces and other decorative elements – for example heart-shaped bullet points, quotes, and writing spaces for the reader to fill with their own content.