In the creative brief, author C.G. Moore shared his thoughts to inspire the designer:
Gut Feelings is a book that records my experiences living and coming to terms with a genetic condition that required life-changing surgery and the effects on physical and mental health that this resulted in … Many of the poems were created with the idea that the text itself would create visual impact and imagery through use of typography and layout … This is a book I’m really excited by and which is very personal to me and I would love to work in partnership to create a really exciting work of ‘art’ in how it is presented.
In an email conversation, Becky Chilcott explains how she created her design:
The visual identity for the book was sparked by the author’s words describing his surgery scar as a smiley face “mocking him” from hip to hip. I started thinking about the clean stitches on the outside of a wound hiding the pain and trauma contained within – much like our emotional state where we may look fine from the outside but inside it might be a different story. With this in mind I used stitching as a common thread throughout the book and contrasted this with bold inky mark-making and imagery. When approaching the text design and typography within the book, I wanted to use two contrasting typefaces that complimented each other well – the serif typeface, Kingfisher was used for poems set in the present and a the sans serif, Pembroke, was used for poems set in the past. I wanted the typefaces to have clarity and conviction on the page without distracting the reader too much which these achieved perfectly.
The British Book Design and Production Awards 2021 shortlisted Gut Feelings for two awards: Children’s Trade 9 to 16, and Literature.