Awards: a few reviews too!

Illustration studio of the year 22/23

award winning happydesigner

Illustration studio of the year 21/22


studio award 2022

The judges were impressed by the upbeat ethos that drives Happydesigner and has made them such a popular studio with their clients. They are passionate about their work and offer a quirky and unique take on illustrations, which immediately sets them apart from their competitors. The services provided at the Herefordshire-based studio constitute a complete package for clients and cover every facet of the design journey in one destination, saving money and time and always going the extra mile to ensure satisfaction.

Book Awards

Gillie Can Series Awards

Mom’s Choice Awards® 2018

‘Gillie Can Share’ has been named among the best in family-friendly media, products and services by the Mom’s Choice Awards® Gillie Can Share is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient

Purple Dragonfly Book Award 2018

“Gillie Can Share” has been awarded a Purple Dragonfly Book Award! “Gillie Can Share” is the start of a series of books that gently teach children the basics of being nice to others, sharing their things and being considerate of others. Gillie doesn’t think about “can’t”, Gillie does! The books are a lovely way of teaching children to have confidence in what they do. The rest of the series so far includes Gillie learning to count, learning to play, learning to make and learning to help.

Gillie Can Share is now a ‘Story Monsters Approved Book’

Kid-tested, Story Monsters Approved!
Picture Books (Ages 3-8)

A ‘Book Excellence Award Winner’

Gillie Can Share // Picture Book – Pre school.
Picture Books (Ages 3-8)

Here’s a few Gillie Series reviews…

Readers’ Favourite… ★★★★★ 

“Gillie Can Share by Sarah-Leigh Wills is a cute and simple story about a young rabbit named Gillie, who is generous and kind and likes sharing things with people. Once upon a time, Gillie is baking cookies with her father. Once they are done, there are a big batch of cookies and she runs along to share two each with her grandma, grandpa, and her mother. After she has shared them with everyone, she finds that there are two left for her. Being the kind soul she is, she shares one with the reader. This is a very simple plot and story that is easy enough for very young children to read and understand or just be read aloud to.”Overall, on all levels, I really liked this book” 

The Bookbag… ★★★★

“…there is so much to love about this book. I thought it was wonderful that Gillie was baking cookies with Daddy, rather than the more usual Mummy. There’s no gender stereotyping here. I grinned when the first of the cookes to be delivered went to the grandparents: they’re getting older, but they’re obviously still a valued part of the family. Then there’s the offer of the last cookie to the reader – I thought that was a lovely touch! There’s so much to discuss here about family relationships, the value of having a generous heart and being considerate to others. It’s gently educational about sharing, but it’s done very subtly and there isn’t even the slightest hint of any preaching…. Most picture books for the toddler age group rely on simple pictures with as little as possible to distract from the main point but Wills has achieved a delicate balance. You’ll readily grasp the main point of the story from the pictures, but each time that you read through you’ll find something else that you didn’t spot before…” 

Aviva Gittle Publishing… ★★★★★

This book is perfect for 2-5 year olds. A simply written story about sharing, it’s also a counting exercise as Gillie the rabbit begins with eight cookies and, through sharing, ends up with one cookie. What she does with that last cookie is an adorable surprise. Highly recommend.

Red City Review… ★★★★★

“In Gillie Can Share by Sarah-Leigh Wills, an adorable gray rabbit sets out to deliver fresh-baked cookies to family members around the neighborhood. Grandpa gets two cookies, Grandma gets two cookies, and Mummy gets two cookies. But as the cookie stash begins to dwindle, curious readers will wonder: Does Gillie get any cookies? Luckily, this charming story ends with Gillie devouring just one cookie—and offering the last one to you, the reader!

Practical Pre-School Gold Award 2014 (Clickety Books)

Early Soundplay Series (Author: Sally Bates)

‘S’ Set of Books – Primary Teacher Gold Award 2013 (Clickety Books)

‘T’ Set of Books – Practical Pre-School Silver Award 2013 (Clickety Books)

‘T’ Set of Books – Primary Teacher Silver Award 2012 (Clickety Books)

‘c/k’ Set of Books – Practical Pre-School Gold Award 2012 (Clickety Books)

Sound Steps Series (Author: Craig Green & Dominic Vince)

DAF Award 2007

The Design Against Fur competition, which has expanded every year since its launchin 2001,is open to design students from the fields offashion, design, fine arts, advertising, marketing, graphic design and multi-media. Hundreds of students from across the UK and Ireland submitted designs, interpreting the theme that animals used in the fur industry are ‘fashion victims’. The brief was to convey a compassionate campaign message, in support of millions of animals killed every year for their pelts, in an innovative, contemporary way. For the first time this year, the competition encouraged students to submit designs across a range of media: for either poster, animation or t-shirt.

The winning entries were unveiled by Dr Nick Palmer MP and Judy Mallaber MP at a reception attended by Members of Parliament, design industry representatives, students and tutors. Amongst the judges were journalist, Liz Jones; Cosmopolitan magazine’s Fashion Director, Shelly Vella; advisor to the Mayor of London and head of Harry Barlow Limited, a company that specialises in issues-based campaign communications, Harry Barlow,; Graduating Creatives Manager of Design & Art Direction (D&AD), Rhiannon James,; and graphic design specialist, Lee Ellis.

“The Design Against Fur competition is an ideal opportunity for students to use their design and communication skills to interpret an issues-based brief and their work shows a very good understanding of the use of fur in the fashion industry,” commented Director of Respect for Animals, Nicki Brooks. “Our thanks go out to the students for submitting their highly effective designs and, of course, to their tutors for their enthusiastic support of this competition.”

Winning designer, Sarah-Leigh Wills, explained: “I decided to enter the competition just to build experience as a designer. I never thought that I would stand a chance of coming first. When I received the email confirming that I was the winner, it was life changing. I have learnt so much in doing this and am extremely thankful for the experience.”

“Design Against Fur provided a challenging and provocative brief for our students this year,” added Sarah-Leigh’s tutor, Bryan Clark, who is Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Graphic Design at University College Falmouth. “We were delighted that Sarah-Leigh went on to win, encapsulating the issue with such an iconic and powerful message. Uncovering such a simple and unique vision was great for us to see given the nature of a subject so strewn with clichés. We can only emphasise the importance of this poignant brief to our students and the issues that it raises and promotes.”

Featured in a publication “For a good cause” by Cactus Desserny. Published by Index Books! The book can be purchased on Amazon

The piece also featured at the London Design Festival

Some of our previous clients

happydesigner clients