From books to the biosphere: how we’re helping the planet.

At Happydesigner, we’re all about children’s book illustration. We eat, live and breathe books – well, we don’t eat them, but some of them smell really nice (especially when they are new!).

But actually, this isn’t quite true; we’re not ‘all’ about children’s books. There’s a lot more to Happydesigner, and one of the most important things about us and our team is the values we hold dear.

We have a whole page on this website devoted to our passion for looking after the environment because we think as people and as a business, we have a duty of care.

childrens book illustrator

Last year, Cop26 brought together nations from across the world to talk about climate change, how to limit the degrees by which the planet is heating up, and about ways to move to net-zero.

Politicians will make the big decision and take the big steps (we hope). We can make smaller decisions and take small steps, but together, they all add up to a bigger whole.

So what do we do here at Happydesigner?

Let’s talk about trees. We love trees, and without trees, the world would, let’s be honest, be a much poorer place. Plus, trees are what goes into making paper in books, so we have a vested interest in them.

One way we support tree planting is through Ecologi, a great organisation dedicated to worldwide climate projects and UK deforestation schemes. Our subscription to this organisation is used to help offset the carbon we use, so we are fast moving towards being carbon neutral. 

You can check out how we are doing on our Ecologi page. We’re chuffed that in the ten months since we signed up, we have reduced carbon output by 28.58 tonnes and planted 774 trees in our forest. Oh wow!

We have also planted many trees through the National Trust and continue to support them every year in their quest to maintain the beautiful UK countryside.

Reduce, reuse and recycle is our mantra. We used to get through reams of paper, which we shredded and couldn’t (because of local rules here in Herefordshire) put out for recycling. We weren’t happy with this, so we invested in some very high tech equipment, and now all Sarah-Leigh’s drawings are done using a pretty snazzy screen and some very clever software. This means the amount of paper we use has dropped massively.

We are always looking at ways we can reduce our carbon footprint and hope to make more changes in 2022. We’ll keep you posted… If you have any ideas that you’ve implemented, either at home or at work, we’d love to hear about them and take some tips.

In the meantime, back to the books: if you have written a children’s book and want some superb illustrations to go alongside it, why not get in touch with the team here at Happydesigner? We’d love to hear from you.

Written by Jo Smyth (

A few of my previous clients

happydesigner clients

  • “Sarah’s advice has been invaluable, she could have just illustrated my first attempt but knew there was more to be had from the story and pointed me towards the right help." – Darron Jon Love

  • "The logos are absolutely fantastic, they are spot on brief and are even better than we imagined!Paolo Pini, Step Up To Languages

  • "Sarah understood what I was looking for and produced a fantastic logo for me.  She is very approachable and friendly – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her” Katie Jarvis, Fancy Prints

  • “I was so nervous ringing you as i've never done anything like this before, but you were so friendly and put me completely at ease.” - Donna Purvis

  • "I hope my recommendation will persuade you to use Sarah! I cannot fault her, for her professionalism, enthusiasm and talent." - Michelle Hawkins, Director: The Flying DoDo

  • “Books arrived safely today- I am absolutely delighted with how they look – I can’t thank you enough – you’ve made my dream come true :)” – Jane Collins

  • “When we first contacted Sarah, Dainty Dizzy was a concept;  an idea to be shaped into a brand.  Sarah took this idea and illustrated it perfectly….and our brand look and feel was born.” – Dainty Dizzy

  • Sarah has a great insight into how to best produce a children’s book and is really helpful in getting you there! I really cannot recommend Sarah enough – brilliant designer, friendly and professional. The experience has been a great one!“ – Jodie Jackson
  • Sarah is an extremely talented designer and illustrator. She has that rare gift of being able to find something in your business or character that you never knew existed" Craig Green

  • “Sarah’s re-branding of my business has given it a much needed fresh and quirky feel. She provided us with an extremely friendly courteous and efficient service and injected an energy into the project, that only Sarah could.” – Discovery Leisure

  • "Sarah is amazing - very fast at understanding the requirements, great pictures and never too much trouble. I recommend her wholeheartedly" - Fernando Caldeira-Saraiva
  • "Outstanding illustrator with exceptional talent. You couldn’t wish for a better artist, as it would be impossible to find. Such a spectacular gifted designer who is always happy!" - Rachel Lake

  • Sarah really understood the brief right from the beginning and has been able to translate my ideas and mental images, that at times were quite specific, into magical illustrations that are better than I’d ever hoped. She has absolutely nailed it!” – Gareth Edwards

  • "She has a keen eye for the quirky detail, she is punctual and a joy to work with. I simply cannot praise her enough.” - Clickety Books

  • "Thank you both so much for your hard work and dedication. Sarah is a fantastic illustrator! It is nice to know I have worked with someone who is so professional at her job, and will certainly remember her for the future if I need another book illustrating."
  • "WOW! Love it! I'm so happy with what you've produced- and with so little input from me. FANTASTIC!!! THANK YOU” - Darren Pascoe: 'Red Rabbit Book'

  • "Sarah loves her work, her friendly ‘can do’ approach is reassuring whether you’re on your first or tenth book."  – Darron Jon Love
  • “Thank you, Sarah, for the amazing work you did on the illustrations for my book. Working with you has been so easy thanks to your enthusiasm, flexibility, support, professionalism and, of course, the amazing quality of your work." – Stuart Neath

  • “Sarah was lovely to work with and keen to make sure that the illustrations were a perfect match for the story. It’s obvious that she really cares about her work and wants you, the author, to be happy with the final results.” – Marion Adams

  • “I am so happy that I found Sarah to bring my book to life. Sarah took the time to listen and really made the effort to make sure that I was happy and her brilliant designs translated the words of my book into a beautiful visual story." - Jodie Jackson

  • Sarah is professional, friendly and very knowledgeable, she delivered 100% with a new logo that was spot on! We can't recommend her enough!” - Lucy @ Get Active

  • "It's been great working with Sarah as our illustrator! She's been so great in taking all feedback on board and delivers work of the highest standard. Would 100% recommend :-)" - Michelle Gibbs, Doodle Dozen Series
  • "I am absolutely thrilled with the colours and love the look and overall feel of the book, its so different and unique, thank you so much"
  • "I can’t speak highly enough of Sarah! She has brought Roopert Snoopert to life in a way I could never have imagined.
    The illustrations are fantastic! Sarah keeps you update with progress from the draft stage right through to sign off." - Paul Micklewright
  • "Sarah quickly understood what I wanted to achieve and the look I was after. Sarah kept me informed and brought me into the whole process” – Darron Jon Love

  • "These posters and flyers are perfect”
    - Julia G, Manager at the Truro branch of Pets at Home