Samira Iravani on designing Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

For Julie Israel's young adult novel Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index, designer Samira Iravani wanted to communicate the stark contrast between the main character’s humor and the emotional turmoil she suffers from throughout the story. The plot revolves around Juniper "recovering from the unexpected death of her older sister, Camilla," Samira tells Spine. 


Samira began visually translating this by juxtaposing playful objects in bright color palettes against something unnerving or disturbing. While this concept may have come to her straight away, the overall cover design underwent numerous alterations before the final artwork was achieved. 


Her initial experimentation with objects alone was soon changed to place the focus on a person. She considered possible ways that her original idea of juxtaposing humor and grief could translate with a character featured on the cover before arriving at the decision to use confetti imagery. 


Conceptual cover with Inna Mossina’s photograph


After extensive research, she found Inna Mossina’s photograph. "I hit the jackpot," Samira stated. The photograph had been "snapped when [Inna's] confetti cannon went off too soon, making the model squint." It had everything Samira wanted to illustrate to the viewer: the confetti brought in the light-hearted aspect of the story and created the right tension with the uncomfortable girl. She simply added minimalist type and the cover was complete. 


Final Cover


"At the end of the day, we arrived at something that put a smile on everyone’s face." We couldn’t agree more Samira!

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Lucy Davies is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Graphic design from Falmouth University in the UK, where she focused on book and editorial design. She aspires to be a book cover designer.