Meet Kate Forrester, The Hugely Talented Lady Behind My Ivy Lane Book Covers!

When my editor, Harriet Bourton told me that she was going to approach Kate Forrester to design the book covers for Ivy Lane, I was ridiculously excited. And then I felt sad. There was NO WAY this talented woman with a string of A-list clients that would make Saatchi and Saatchi weep would want to design covers for my little book. Turns out I was wrong. She said YES!
And anyone who follows me on twitter, or Facebook or Google+ will know how much I really, really love the Ivy Lane covers. So guess what? I asked her to be on my blog and she said yes to that too!
Kate specializes in hand drawn typography for book jackets, packaging and many other commercial applications. Since graduating in 2005 with a degree in Illustration from the University of Brighton, she has developed her distinct lettering style, working for a diverse range of clients all over the world, from London, New York, Europe and the Middle East.
1. We have never met and yet the look for the Ivy Lane covers is precisely what I wanted to achieve. Where did you get your inspiration from?
I loved this brief. The idea of having one scene with elements that changed for each season is such a simple concept but such a beautiful idea for a series of books. Once I was given that direction, I started playing with colours and chose shades that evoked each season…and the rest grew from there.
2. You’ve worked with iconic brands all over the world, do you have a dream project that you would like to work on?
I have always wanted to design a range of textiles. It is something I have never done before but the more I work with colour and patterns, the more I think it would suit my skills. One day!
3. You lived abroad for several years. Do you think that your experience of other cultures has influenced your work and if so how?
Definitely. It is impossible not to be influenced by the culture around you. In the Middle East I was blown away by the colours and patterns on ceramics and textiles. I have always hated minimalism. I felt really drawn to the overly ornate and I think that has influenced my work on many levels. I was also fairly obsessed by Arabic calligraphy for a while. In Damascus I bought a beautiful map of the city, full of symbols and characters that I don’t understand but I could stare at it for hours!
4. I was delighted to find out that you had designed many of the book covers for some of my favourite books such as Jenny Colgan, Abby Clements and Hannah Beckerman. Do you have a favourite book and/or author?
I could not possibly say! But I would definitely say that I enjoy working on a full series of covers over an individual book. I like the challenge of developing the style so each one is slightly different but still very recognizable as a body of work. Sadly, (due to time constraints)  I do not always get the chance to read the books before I work on them but the publishers send me the books once they are printed so I get double satisfaction from reading a great novel with a cover designed by me!
5. What advice would you give to aspiring designers just starting out in the industry?
Honestly, I think the best advice I could give is to be nice. It is a competitive industry and there are many hugely talented designers and illustrators out there. You will get new clients from the strength of your portfolio but to keep clients coming back for more, you need to do more than just deliver good work on time. Be friendly, be enthusiastic, be humble and work hard.
Thank you, Kate for taking time out to answer my questions and I look forward to seeing your new range of textiles soon!
You can see more of Kate’s work at her website: or follow her on twitter @forrester_kate

By Cathy Bramley

Cathy is the author of the best-selling romantic comedies Ivy Lane, Appleby farm, The Lemon Tree Cafe and A Vintage Summer. She lives in a Nottinghamshire village with her family and Pearl, the Cockerpoo. Her recent career as a full-time writer of light-hearted romantic fiction has come as somewhat of a lovely surprise after spending eighteen years running her own marketing agency. However, she has always been an avid reader, hiding her book under the duvet and reading by torchlight. Now she thinks she may have found her dream job.

Comments (0)

Comments are closed.