© Courtney Soden Designs. Designed By: Courtney Soden.

Thesis Brief

My objective for my thesis project was to take the concept of illustrating a children's book and elaborate it for my project. I fully illustrated the children's story, “Meatloaf, Beatloaf” written by local author, Kimberly Daley. In addition to producing the illustrations for the story, I also advertised Kimberly Daley as an upcoming children’s book author. In an effort to do so, I established a social media presence on Instagram, designed a fully functional website, and produced advertising pieces to incorporate my advertising minor and both web and print design concentrations.

Content Produced

Branding Materials


Inspired by the feather motif, resembling that of a quill pen for writing, Kimberly Daley wanted a simple yet sophisticated logo. She also wanted something that would resemble her persona, with the bubbly sans serif, serif mixed fonts. Turquoise and chocolate brown were used as the color scheme of the logo.


To complement the logo initially designed for Kimberly Daley, I created a style guide. The style guide contains a palette of similar shades of turquoise and chocolate brown. It also includes the fonts used for all content created for Kimberly Daley as well as the alterations allowed for the logo.


Click Image to View

Full Style Guide

Gathering Content


To create content for social media, I first scheduled a photo shoot with Kimberly Daley. At one location we took several shots that could be used for designs in potential posts on Instagram. I also captured her picture for the portrait image that would later be used inside of her book and on "Meet the Author" promotional pieces. These images to the right are unedited, raw images.

Product Development : The "MEAT" of the Project


Illustrating "Meatloaf Beatloaf" was an incredible experience that opened my eyes and allowed me to see the back end of illustrating a children's story. This included taking on the task of being a publisher which later included promoting the book and author, editing the story, copywriting the story, setting up a way to sell and purchase the story, and arranging book tours.


As for the story, "Meatloaf Beatloaf" it was designed to target children between the ages of 4 and 8 years old. Fun, colorful, detailed illustrations were in order to bring the story to life. Considering that the story was based on Kimberly Daley's son, Tommy, I wanted to also incorporate as many subtle personal details as possible that would make the book unique. The main character is very relatable for children and parents with picky eaters at home. However, his appearance derives from photographs of Tommy when he was younger. The dog Bailey in the story is also inspired by their dog that followed Tommy everywhere when he was younger.


JUNE 2019

Social Media/Marketing


To promote Kimberly Daley as an emerging children's author and add authenticity behind the creators of the story, I created an Instagram account. I targeted posts to relate directly to other emerging authors, small publishing companies, mothers of toddlers or young children, and pre-schools. I figured there would be a greater response from other smaller Instagram accounts. We received more comments and actions from those who could identify with our standpoint in the market of children's stories.


I began the social media campaign at least 14 weeks prior to Thesis Night, April 24. By the time of Thesis Night, we accumulated a wide variety of followers supporting the newly illustrated book.

As a Result


Within the first 4 days, Kimberly Daley reached over 100 FOLLOWERS! Because of its fast increasing popularity on Instagram, the number soon tripled and continues to climb. In addition, a local pre-school requested that we set up a book tour with them and other local schools to promote the book. Aside from the book tour at pre-schools in New Jersey, we also coordinated to have a story and craft time at local libraries. Above all, we have had an ongoing list of pre-orders even before the story was completely finished!

Promotional Materials


I designed a promotional banner to showcase Kimberly Daley. I wanted to make sure to include the Instagram handle and her email in case anyone wanted to contact her. The banner will be hung at children's storytimes.


As a promotional handout, I designed a bookmark. I felt that the bookmark would be beneficial and a relevant promotional piece that individuals of all ages could enjoy. I wanted to include the fun illustration from the story as well as informational content about the author on the back.


An additional handout was the stickers that I designed from scenes of the story.


Considering that most children's stories also end up having merchandise, I designed a plush doll version of the main character of the story.

Website Design


The purpose of the website was to have a location where followers on Instagram could be redirected to find out more information about how to order the book. Its sole purpose was also to be user-friendly for the author after the fact, hence why a templated website was used. However, I designed the layout of the entire website from scratch.


Click here to be redirected to website.

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