Mapology Guides wanted to create an illustrated guide to help people choose their perfect pet. The twist? It was to be presented as a matchmaking tool for pets and people, written from the viewpoint of the pets.
I worked with the team from the start. We researched all kinds of pets, as well as different types of pet ownership — from puppies and ponies to pet rocks and pet sitting.
I then wrote about 40 pets. I described their characteristics, needs, fun facts and the type of person they want to live with, writing each description from the pet’s unique viewpoint. I worked closely with the designers and illustrator at every step, so that the words and images complemented each other perfectly. And to make sure the guide was accurate, we asked a vet to review it.
The result is a beautifully illustrated and printed guide. The pet profiles are on one side and the reverse contains practical information on how to choose a pet, a directory of helpful organisations, and our team profiles — written in the same style as the guide. There’s also a poster and a series of postcards, showcasing 12 of the pets.
Why do you deserve to win?
There are tonnes of resources to help people choose a pet — I spent a long time researching them. But this guide stands out because it flips the viewpoint from what people want from their pets, to what pets want from their people.
Changing the perspective opened the doors to thinking about pet ownership in fresh ways. It helped us design a guide that shows people that their pet’s needs must be considered before their own, and to offer them alternatives to traditional pet ownership.
As a freelance writer, you’re often brought on at the last stage of a project, but I was involved from the start. This meant I helped inform the design, format and contents, got to work with an amazing illustrator and design team, and I helped decide which pets to feature, and the tone and style in which to tell their stories.
The guide is available online (mapologyguides.com) and in store at great places like Foyles and Papersmiths. It also caught the attention of pet food company, Burgess, who asked Mapology Guides to create a unique guide for them.
It was a true team effort and I’m proud to have contributed as the writer.