Stepping Stones

The story of Billy Rising

Book Design | Design for Print

  • Working with complex print & production techniques to create a poignant and tactile tribute.

  • How do they make a difference?

    Sebby Salmon was only eight years old when he died of Leukemia and his father, Jay, wrote Stepping Stones as a response to the phenomenon of death and how different people cope with it. It tells the fictional story of a young boy named Billy Rising who has recently lost his favourite uncle and doesn’t seem to be able to process or recover from the shock and sadness. We hear him articulate his worries, struggles and the role of faith in his journey through the grieving process.

  • What we did for them

    We were honoured to work with Jay on the design and print of the book. It was important to us that the book felt like a true tribute – a tactile object with beautiful detail and finishing techniques. The holes cut into the front reveal the form of stepping stones of different sizes on the throw out beneath, moving subtly from darker to lighter, representing Billy’s journey, while the tactile rings embossed around the stones themselves hint at ripples of water growing calmer and calmer.

  • How did this make a difference?

    Jay has created a work that is deep and thoughtful, cathartic and thought provoking, and our small part in the process allowed him to see his work come to life in a tangible and elegant way. Friends, family and others going through similar tragedy are now able to take comfort in its pages, and be inspired, and the charity ‘Care for the Family’ benefit directly from a percentage of sales.

This was the second production entrusted to Upshot, and if I have the fortune to bring another, I know of no other design company that could compete at the same level. Testimony of those that have received copies of the work supports my appreciation totally; Owen’s team have evidenced their genius throughout.

Jay Salmon, author