South Wind Through the Kitchen – Elizabeth David



South Wind Through the Kitchen:
The Best of Elizabeth David
Elizabeth David, compiled by Jill Norman

Published by Michael Joseph, 1997 (Hardback)
Designed by uncredited
Typeset by Rowland Phototypesetting
Illustrations by Adrian Daintrey, John Minton, Juliet Renny, Renato Guttuso, Marie Alix and Wendy Jones
Jacket photograph by Anthony Denney

South Wind Through the Kitchen is an anthology of Elizabeth David’s cookery books; her first book, Mediterranean Food, was originally published in 1950. David’s books have been published by many publishers, in different formats, notably by Penguin in their ‘Handbook’ series. David’s recipes still resonate today and it is interesting that the design of this anthology, published in 1997, makes no concessions to contemporary taste. This is a book that carries authority through its choice of typeface and through its formal neo-Classical typography; it is not illustrated, in the contemporary fashion, with lavishly-styled photographs: the text is the dominant element of the book. However, the one photograph, that appears on the cover, could be viewed as a metaphor for how David’s text functions: the photograph shows a darkened room, with a view through a window on to a sunlit landscape in the same way that David’s writings take us elsewhere.

Front Cover
The cover shows a photograph, by Anthony Denney, of a still-life of kitchen items: a large round demijohn containing olive oil or similar; a copper water jug; an oil dispenser with a makeshift lid of olive leaves, in a copper dish; a wooden-handled knife; a peach; and a small crusty bread roll stuffed with tomatoes on a plate. The items are on a rough-hewn wooden table that is placed in front of an oval window with wooden shutters. The interior is dark and shady and the light filters through the demijohn and leads the eye outside to the green terraces beyond.

The dominant tones in the image are rich blacks and dark browns with the bright sun catching the oil and offering a contrast. The photograph takes up the bottom two thirds of the cover, at the top it fades into a rich black on which the typography is placed. The title of the book is printed in red in an italic sans-serif (Monotype Ehrhardt) with the subtitle printed below, in white, in smaller, uppercase Monotype Ehrhardt. The type is centred and the two pieces of information are separated by a short rule, printed in red. The immediate feel is of informality, created by the photograph, that suggests, through signifiers such as the olive oil dispenser, the sunshine and the simple sandwich, the relaxed lifestyle of the Mediterranean. This informality is tempered by the typography which carries a sense of formality and authority by being centred and, through the choice of typeface which although has ‘character’ appears somewhat stiff and formal even in its italic form.


Inside Pages
The book is 15 cm by 23 cm and is printed black on cream uncoated paper and is set in Monotype Ehrhardt. The book is divided into chapters, some chapters are collections of recipes dealing with different kinds of food: soups, eggs and cheese, fish, meat etc while others contain Elizabeth David’s writings on topics such as 'Italian Fish Markets’. The Contents page establishes a hierarchy of these different kinds of information: editorial notes are set in italic, Elizabeth David’s own writings are set in title-case, chapters containing recipes are set in uppercase.

The book is based on a simple one-column grid with symmetrical facing pages; the outer margin is about twice as wide as the inner margin which means that the central gutter appears almost equal to the outside margins - this gives the page a sense of stability and solidity. Running heads are set in small caps, centrally positioned with pagination set in non-aligning numerals, centrally positioned at the foot of the page. Chapters dealing with David’s writings are announced with a title set in title-case Ehrhardt, set at a larger point size than in the rest of the book, centred and aligned to the second line of type; the body text itself begins approximately a third of the way down the page. When set in title-case and at a larger size, the character of the typeface becomes much more obvious; the type appears warmer and the formality is less apparent, perhaps representing Elizabeth David’s casual, conversational tone of writing. Chapters that deal with recipes are highlighted with a title set in uppercase Ehrhardt, the same size as the other chapter titles and positioned in the same place; an illustration of the ingredient discussed in that section is placed below the text. Illustrations also appear sporadically throughout the book, subtly breaking up the text and creating the book’s own internal rhythm.

Recipes and writings are essentially intertwined; the two are typeset in the same manner. Recipes are differentiated by three linespaces before and after and the title set in uppercase Ehrhardt at a slightly smaller point size than the body text. There are no separate lists of ingredients, they are written as continuous text, merging with the rather scant method: the assumption is that the reader is already a confident cook. Elizabeth David’s recipes are more like a conversation with a knowledgeable friend; the design of this book does not overly labour this point: the recipes are given authority by the formal layout and typography. The book looks more like a novel than a cook book; this is essentially a book that is designed for reading not for cooking. Aside from the typographic functionalism of the recipes, it could be argued that, when the books were originally published in the early 1950s, with rationing still in force and with ingredients such as olive oil only available in chemists, it was impossible to get most of the ingredients mentioned in the books so these really were books meant for reading not cooking.

The French Menu Cookbook – Richard Olney



The French Menu Cookbook Richard Olney

Published by Collins, 2010 (Hardback)
Originally published by Ten Speed Press (1970)
Designed by uncredited
Drawings by Gösta Viertel

Richard Olney is American and moved to France in the 1950s; The French Menu Cookbook was originally published in 1970, however the cover and the interior of this reprint feel like a book out of time: its cover with its Art Deco typeface, signifies an idea of both French chic and 1930s New York. Although this a subtle linking of the American Olney to France, I would argue that this cover is somewhat confusing in its signs and does not offer the reader an easilly-understood message of Richard Olney’s relationship to the cooking and culture of France. The use of the pink ink on the inside spreads and the sometimes overly-fussy typography feels like an old-fashioned French restaurant: the book has a veneer of sophistication that reflects the perceived idea of French sophistication in cooking.

There are no photographs in the book and only a few pages of illustrations of cooking equipment; two colour printing and typographic elements such as decorative borders, fleurons and the use of a hierarchy of typographic details help create a richness and variety to the text but do not necessarily help the reader navigate the text or, more importantly, help the reader understand the context of Richard Olney’s writings. The ‘sticker’ on the cover perhaps reflects the publisher’s anxieties about this.

Front Cover
The cover shows an illustration of a steaming stockpot. The stockpot is seen in silhouette with no shadows or attempt to represent perspective and is printed in one colour, a burgundy red against a creamy yellow background with abstracted swirls of steam rising above the lid. The stockpot is the dominant element of the cover; it sits on a petrol blue block that occupies the lower eighth of the cover and is separated from the stockpot and the background by three reversed out fine rules; the blue block contains a quotation that is reversed out in white type, centred and set in a sans-serif. The title of the book, set in a decorative Art Deco display font is reversed out in white on the stockpot and ranged left in a mixture of uppercase and titlecase. The author’s name and a strapline crediting the person who wrote the introduction appears at the top of the cover, centred and set in a condensed sans-serif and printed in the same petrol blue as the block of colour at the foot. A further element is a white circle, that on first glance looks like a sticker, over the top right-hand of the stockpot, containing another strapline “Number 1 Observer Food Monthly’s Best Cookbooks Ever”.


Inside Pages
The book is 15 cm by 23 cm and is printed black and light pink on white uncoated paper and is set in a sans-serif, possibly Ehrhardt or similar. The book is divided into seasonal menus, each section opens on a double-page spread with a decorative border printed in pink, the menu is centred on each page and is set in a variety of styles: italic, small caps and uppercase, printed in two colours. A fleuron is used to separate each course of the meal. A hierarchy is created with the different typographical elements: Large pink italic for the grouping of the menu; black uppercase for the title of the menu; black small caps for the food; black italic for the wines.

The book is laid out on a one-column grid with symmetrical facing pages; there are fairly narrow equal margins on the outside, inside and top with a deeper margin at the bottom. Body text is justified throughout with recipe ingredients inset slightly and ranged left. Running heads are set in italic and centred on the central column. Pagination, set in non-aligning numerals, appears at the foot of the page. A hierarchy of titles and sub-titles is established: titles set in uppercase, centred and printed in black precede the introductions to the recipes; the title of the recipe, in French, is set in larger italic text, centred and printed in pink; a translation from the French appears below in centred black titlecase, set smaller than the title above but larger than the body text; sections within the menu are preceded by black small caps.

Simply British Sybil – Kapoor



Simply British Sybil Kapoor

Published by Michael Joseph, 1998 (Hardback)
Designed by uncredited
Illustrations by John Spencer
Jacket photograph by Fleur Olby

Simply British is Sybil Kapoor’s second book, the design of the book presents Sybil Kapoor as a serious and authoritative writer. It is designed using the typographic conventions usually found in a novel - this is a book to be read not looked at. There are no photographs in the book apart from the one on the cover: from the start, this book with its simple, clean design, elegant layout and sophisticated typography helps signify the idea that Sybil Kapoor is an important writer whose views carry authority. Simply British is a book that is designed to be readable but that also suggests that the author is worth reading; its design which is rooted in tradition, helps create a notion of value to Sybil Kapoor’s writing and, in a very subtle way, connects her work to a lineage of English food writers including Elizabeth David.

Front Cover
The cover shows a photograph, by Fleur Olby, of a single stem of rhubarb in sharp focus, against a white background. The stem of the rhubarb is the dominant element on the cover; it is a deep claret red while the leaf is a verdant green, the stem bleeds off of the cover at the bottom left-hand corner while the leaf ends at approximately one third of the way up the page. The title of the book is the dominant element on the page after the rhubarb, it is printed in green ink that is almost black and set in uppercase Sabon, loosely letterspaced and centred on the page; the word ‘Simply’ is set about a third smaller, above the word ‘British’. The author’s name in title case, loosely letterspaced and printed in claret ink that picks up the claret on the stalk of the rhubarb is set in Sabon italic and is centred, above the title of the book.

A strapline of a quotation from Nigel Slater appears at the foot of the cover, on four lines, centred, set in sentence case Sabon and printed in the same dark green as the title of the book, Nigel Slater’s name, set in small caps, is printed in the same claret as Sybil Kapoor’s name.

This is a clean and elegant cover that uses white space and a minimal palette of colours to suggest simplicity. The typography references neo-Classicism, and utilises a traditional and elegant font in a traditional and elegant manner to further emphasise simplicity, order and to some extent, authority.


Inside Pages
The book is 15 cm by 23 cm and is printed black on cream uncoated paper and is set in Sabon. The book is divided into chapters, each dealing with different kinds of food: fish, meat, vegetables etc. Each chapter has an opening section that uses Sabon demi-bold, set at a smaller point size than in the rest of the book, justified in a centrally placed narrow column. Chapter headings are set in larger uppercase Sabon. A black and white wood engraving of the ingredient discussed in each section is placed below the text; these illustrations could be seen as a homage to the engravings of John Minton that appeared in Elizabeth David’s cookery books. Following the opening section are the commentary and recipes - these are also set in Sabon, justified to a single column grid. Recipes, one to a page, are announced with the title set in centred titlecase sans-serif, possibly a variation of Akzidenz Grotesk light. The lists of ingredients are set in Sabon at a smaller point size than the body text and arranged in a two column grid that is centred on the main column, indented at either side with a vertical rule dividing the equally balanced columns. The ingredients are emphasised not by size or weight of typeface but by isolation from the main body of text, an elegant solution. Running heads and pagination appear to the outside of each page, aligned to the outer margin. Non-aligning numerals are used for the pagination and in the body text to add another layer of elegance to the design.

The Silver Spoon



The Silver Spoon

Published by Phaidon Press, 2005 (Hardback)
Originally published as Il cucchiaio d’argento by Editoriale Domus, 1950
Designed by Italo Lupi with Marina del Cinque and Alessandra Beluffi
Photographs by Jason Lowe
Drawings by Francesca Bazzurro

The Silver Spoon, originally published in 1950, is the ‘bible of authentic Italian cooking’. It is the first cookbook to be published by the art book publisher, Phaidon. It is an unwieldy book containing over 2,000 recipes. The design of the book compounds, I think, some of the problems of the organisation of the book: the design adds to the confusing organisation this by creating an opaque typographic hierarchy which is difficult to navigate. The blurb on the back of the book suggests that it is a ‘bible’ and ‘authentic’ - rather than suggest authenticity through design elements that signify Italy, the designers seem to have aimed for a cold authority and neutrality using the machine-readable FF OCR F, Helvetica and somewhat bland photographs that concentrate on food, not the culture or people of Italy. The only concession to a human warmth is the use of Baskerville italic and the naive line drawings that appear sporadically through the book.

It is interesting that this book purports to be for ‘everyone who loves good food’ yet fails to inspire the desire to cook: I think that this has nothing to do with the recipes which are perfectly good recipes, well researched, simple and easy to make, and more to do with the graphic language used which somehow misses the point of Italian cooking. Or at least the British public’s idea of Italian cooking.

Front cover
The cover shows a photograph of a silver spoon, photographed from above, arranged centrally and symmetrically against a white background with no shadows; on closer inspection, the handle of the spoon carries the Phaidon logo. The photograph appears to be of an actual object but certain parts of the spoon suggest that the image has been Photoshopped to achieve a hyperreal sheen: the bowl of the spoon is particularly abstracted. As with all Phaidon books, the word ‘Phaidon’ appears in the bottom left-hand corner of the cover, in this instance printed in black in a crimson red box. The title of the book is split across three lines with the middle line roughly across the centre of the cover. The title is set in a monospaced sans-serif, possibly FF OCR F, printed in silvery grey. The three words are letterspaced to fit the almost entire width of the cover. The cover is shiny with a gloss laminate. A bright green sticker is placed in the top right-hand corner with several straplines contextualising the content of the book and a small black line drawing of a fork twirling spaghetti.

The cover photograph is repeated on the spine of the book at full size and on the back cover showing, appropriately, the back of the spoon. The elements of the cover present a sophisticated decorative minimalism that eschews the usual conventions of cookbooks by not having pictures of food or of the author (In any case, The Silver Spoon is not credited to one particular author). The presence of the sticker suggests that the publishers felt that the contextual information on the back cover needed repeating on the front. Given that Phaidon were, until the publication of this book, primarily known as a publisher of art books, you can understand their nervousness.


Inside Pages
The book is 18 cm by 27 cm and, more importantly, 6.5 cm deep including covers - this is a hefty book! It is printed on a lightweight - with some see-through - white semi-coated paper in full colour. The book is divided into sections dealing with meat, fish, vegetables etc. Within these sections are subsections for pork, lamb, beef etc. A colour coded box in the top right-hand corner is used as an index but, with so many sections and sub-sections its use is limited. Sections open with a coloured double-page spread with the title of the section set in FF OCR F at a size that fits the width of the column; this causes confusion because, in order to fit the width, shorter section titles such as ‘Meat’ or ‘Fish’ appear much larger than longer words and are therefore proritised as the reader assumes that the larger size indicates some greater significance or importance. A similar problem occurs with the sub-sections which are treated in a similar typographic style.

The book uses a complicated and sometimes confusing grid: each page is divided in two, the wider inside column is used for commentary, recipe titles and methods while the narrower outside column is used for lists of ingredients. While the outside column stays at the same width the inside column sometimes becomes wider, extending into the central gutter: this is sometimes to do with the opening of a sub-section, sometimes to do with the presence of a photograph on the facing page; and occasionally to do with the ending of a sub-section but more often than not, it is seemingly at random.

Condensed Helvetica light in a percentage of black is used for the method and for the lists of ingredients. FF OCR F in uppercase and printed in a percentage of black is used for recipe titles which are inset slightly. A translation in Italian of the recipe title is set in italic FF OCR F, printed in the colour of the section. Italic Baskerville is also used in certain places such as the sub-section headings - its purpose is to add another voice which is used for commentary but the use of this dignified and refined typeface strikes a somewhat incongruous note with the machine-like FF OCR F.

Photographs are used sparingly throughout the book; not every recipe is illustrated. The photographs appear at full bleed almost on every other spread. The photographs are consistently styled and shot: the food is either shown on a white plate or bowl or in the dish in which it was cooked; the bowl or plate is shown at an angle suggesting that the reader is seated at a table with the food in front of them; a plain white cloth covers the table and no background is shown other than in the meals presented in the cooking dishes where there may be a suggestion of a cooker or chopping board. The presentation is, to some extent, neutral: this book does not create atmosphere through the use of props to signify ‘Italianess’ rather the food is left to speak for itself. The photographs are not saturated with colour and are, if anything, slightly pallid. The food is not unappealing but in its home-made qualities does not inspire aspiration or the desire to cook. The photographs are supplemented with simple and naive line drawings which confuse the message of the book further.

Casa Moro: The Second Cookbook – Sam & Sam Clark



Casa Moro: The Second Cookbook Sam & Sam Clark

Published by Ebury Press, 2004 (Hardback)
Design and art direction by Caz Hildebrand
Photographs by Simon Wheeler
Jacket photograph by Michael Thornton/Art Directors and Trip

The authors Casa Moro, Sam and Sam Clark, travel extensively in Spain, North Africa and the Mediterranean to research new dishes and find recipes that are “true to the origins of the dish”. The book establishes an idea of authenticity through several elements: through the use of photographs from the authors’ travel that locate the recipes and book in a place that is ‘other’ to the UK; through the use of colour food photography accessorised with hand-made and old-fashioned crockery and utensils; through the use of tinted paper and brown inks and the slightly quirky typeface Clarendon to suggest history, a book out of time (although this is contradicted by the use of the sharper Akzidenz Grotesk which locates the book in the present); and finally, through the cover which cleverly and subtly, through its mysterious signifiers, sets up this exotic fantasy of authenticity and history.

Front cover
The cover shows a full-bleed photograph of brightly-coloured and randomly-patterned mosaic tile wall printed on matt uncoated paper. The mosaic tiles appear dull and unglazed and are rough-hewn and irregular, in the centre of the wall is a raised tile relief showing a heraldic symbol of a large crown with a shield underneath that is divided in two and containing an image of a turbanned pale-skinned man with a red beard on the left and a red rose on the right. Underneath the heraldic symbol is the title of the book, printed in black over a panel of white tiles, set in the Arabic script-like logo that appears on the frontage of the restaurant and the word ‘Casa’ set in uppercase extended Akzidenz Grotesk. A smaller blue panel below contains the subtitle ‘The Second Cookbook’ set in uppercase Akzidenz Grotesk printed in white with the grey grout of the mosaic tiles slicing through the letterforms to create the feel of a stencil. This is the only information that appears on the front cover: the authors’ names only appear on the spine of the book.

The cover elements work together to create a rough-hewn hand-made aesthetic that feels ‘exotic’ and historic but that is given sharpness and a position in the present by the use of the crisp sans-serif Akzidenz Grotesk typeface. The ethos of the Moro restaurant is about authenticity, travel and discovery: the owners of the restaurant take pride in travelling to discover new recipes and find the roots of more familiar ones. This authenticity is encapsulated in the cover which appears to be of a mosaic wall photographed in a faraway country and adapted for a new purpose. Of course, the image could just as easilly have been constructed in a studio and the advantageously-positioned white and blue text panels suggest Photoshop has been used!


Inside Pages
The book is 19 cm by 25 cm and is printed on white uncoated paper in full colour. Each page of the book has been printed with a very subtle warm pinkish-grey that is only evident when photographs have white in them: the white appears very blue compared to the warm tones of the paper. The coloured paper creates a very subtle atmosphere which, combined with the two tones of brown ink used for the text throughout the book, creates a sense of history, of a book faded by age. Clarendon, in one weight and in two sizes, is used throughout the book for recipe ingredients (printed in dark brown ink) and methods and commentaries (printed in a lighter brown ink). Extended Akzidenz Grotesk in uppercase and printed in dark brown ink, is used for recipe titles which are centred on the central column. The layout is based on a one-column grid with symmetrical facing pages and body text is justified. Where a title is given in Spanish a translation appears below in uppercase Extended Akzidenz Grotesk set at a smaller point size. Running footers are centred, with the pagination, in a deep margin at the foot of the page.

The book is divided into sections: these are generally announced with a double page spread of a full-bleed photograph. Photographs are used extensively throughout the book to create atmosphere and reinforce the idea of research through travel: there is a wealth of details in these photographs that are used to signify not only the notion of unspoilt natural and authentic foreign parts (vegetables stacked up in markets, rich Islamic patterns, signs written in Arabic etc) but also the fact that the authors are involved in this research (the authors preparing and eating food, eating with local people and sitting in the landscape). This suggested place is ‘other’ to the UK and London, where the authors’ restaurant is based; it is different but not specific, rather through carefully-chosen signifiers an idea of a place is created in much the same way that in the restaurant, the food and accessories present the diner with an idea of a place that takes them away from Exmouth Market.

The photographs of food are presented in the same manner as in the first Moro Cookbook: full bleed, richly-saturated colour photographs show close-ups of the food, accessorised with black cast-iron pans, richly-coloured hand-painted plates and rough wooden chopping boards to emphasise the ‘natural’, roughly-chopped, unpretentious and ‘authentic’ nature of the food. The paradox is that these accessories as signifiers become very transparent in the context of the book and the construction of the idea of authenticity of the food in the book, presented through the experiences of the authors, is made very apparent. As readers we can choose to indulge in this construct or dismiss it but, given the deliciousness of the food in the book, anyone cooking these recipes at home would be happy to subscribe to the fantasy presented in the book.

Moro: The Cookbook – Sam & Sam Clark



Moro: The Cookbook Sam & Sam Clark

Published by Ebury Press, 2003 (Paperback), 2001 (Hardback)
Art director and design by Caz Hildebrand
Photographs by Pia Tryde
Front cover image by Popperfoto

Moro The Cookbook is a book from a restaurant that has a reputation for passion and authenticity, the owners of the restaurant and the writers of the book, Sam and Sam Clark, travel extensively in Spain, North Africa and the Mediterranean to research recipes. The recipes in the book have been designed for the home chef but are “true to the origins of the dish”. The book establishes an idea of authenticity through several elements: through the use of historical stock photography suggesting travel, the discovery of unchanged places and history; through the use of colour food photography accessorised with hand-made and old-fashioned crockery and utensils that are the opposite of minimal Modernism; through the use of tinted paper, fleurons and other decorative elements to suggest history, a book out of time; and through the choice of typeface - Clarendon, which although readable has a quirkiness, particularly when used at larger sizes and with loose letterspacing, feels out of time, a further distancing from the Modern world.

Front cover
The cover shows a photograph of a street seller carrying, over both arms, two baskets of what looks like fish printed on white paper that is laminated. The photograph is hand-tinted black and white and, judging by the man’s outfit, possibly dates from the 1940s: he is wearing a pinstripe suit with a wide collar, voluminous trousers and is sporting a pencil moustache and a trilby. The outfit is given a Spanish flavour by the addition of espadrilles and a wide cummerbund. The background is bleached out so that all that remains is a hint of flagstones and a very vague suggestion of a wall. There is very little colour in the photograph, just a little yellow in the trilby, a little pink in the man’s skin and suit and a hint of pale blue on the fish. The photograph has the appearance of a found image, possibly sourced in a flea market or found hanging in a local restaurant but is actually a stock image from a photo library, chosen to suggest eccentric authenticity and local charm.

The title of the book is written is hand-written script, in orange, at the top of the page. This book is a cook book from the Moro restaurant in Exmouth Market, London and the title uses the logo that appears on the frontage of the restaurant. The logo, with its flowing characters (the tail of the R is particularly exuberant) suggests Arabic script. The subtitle is printed beneath the logo, also in orange, but printed in uppercase Helvetica light. A strapline, in orange Clarendon appears at the foot of the cover, a quotation from food wiriter Nigel Slater: “A rare and very special cookbook”. The cover elements work together to suggest an exotic and timeless authenticity that is anchored in the present day by the use of Helvetica light. The authors’ names do not appear on thee cover of the book.


Inside Pages
The book is 19 cm by 25 cm and is printed on white uncoated paper in full colour. Each page of the book has been printed with a very subtle greenish-grey that is only evident when occasional text, rules between sections and some decorative elements are reversed out of the grey revealing the white of the paper. This is a very subtle effect which, combined with the darker grey-green text used throughout the book, creates a sense of history, of a book transformed by age. Clarendon, in one weight only, but in several sizes, is used throughout the book; interestingly, Helvetica light only appears on the cover. The layout is based on a one-column grid with symmetrical facing pages and body text is justified. Recipe titles are centred and set in title-case Clarendon, at a larger point size than the body text. Where a title is given in Spanish a translation appears below in uppercase Clarendon set at a slightly larger size than the body text. Fleurons and other decorative elements appear, somewhat at random, behind some of the recipe titles reversed out of the grey; in addition, what appear to be Arabic translations are sometimes placed behind the titles - these appear to be mainly decorative as the same script appears behind different recipes. Most of the text is printed in the aforementioned dark grey-green apart from the lists of ingredients which are printed in black and indented from the main body of text. Running footers are centred, with the pagination, in a deep margin at the foot of the page.

The book is divided into sections: these are generally announced with a black and white photograph showing an historic scene from the countries from which the recipes are taken: a man in Berber dress tending a bread oven, the Spanish fish-seller from the front cover and an extended Turkish family enjoying a feast. These photographs all help create an atmosphere of tradition: this is authentic food rooted in the past.

Other photographs concentrate on the food: full bleed, richly-saturated colour photographs show close-ups of the food in all its rough-edged beauty, this atmosphere of informal authenticity is amplified by the use of accessories such as black cast-iron pans, richly-coloured hand-painted plates and rough wooden chopping boards. Occasional, smaller photographs of food items such as Pine nuts, Morcilla and Saffron interrupt the text.

Jamie’s Italy – Jamie Oliver



Jamie’s Italy Jamie Oliver

Published by Michael Joseph, 2005 (Hardback)
Designed by uncredited
Photographs by David Loftus, additional photographs by Chris Terry and Peter Begg

Jamie’s Italy is Jamie Oliver’s sixth book, it exists not only as a cook book with simple recipes aimed at the home cook but as a travelogue charting the author’s journey through Italy. This book is very visual: the photographs are the dominant feature of the book. This photographs are printed on uncoated paper that gives a rich, tactile presence to the colour saturated images. The text is secondary to the images, line length is slightly too long for comfortable reading, navigation within the book is difficult and some typographic treatments appear to be about the visual appearance of words and not readability: this is a book that is for looking as well as for cooking. In terms of the appearance of the book and of its cover, it could be argued that the elements of the book create a hierarchy where Jamie Oliver, as one of the most well-known chefs in the UK, shares equal billing with Italy and Italian food.

Front cover
The cover shows a photograph, by David Loftus, of the author, styled in pink check shirt, faded jeans and just the right amount of scuzz on his Converse All Stars, sat on a red metal stool, casually eating a small bowl of spaghetti tilted to reveal the contents, with a waiting glass of beer placed on the tail-light of a vintage Fiat, against a wall of artfully peeling and crumbling ochre paint; a box of vegetables with some cherry tomatoes just in view, completing the picture. The photograph with its carefully chosen and arranged signifiers presents an idea of an ‘authentic’, rustic, relaxed and unpretentious Jamie Oliver, read in conjunction with the title ‘Jamie’s Italy’ it also has a secondary signification of an ‘authentic’, rustic, relaxed and unpretentious Italy. This photograph, unlike the others in the book, could well have been taken in a studio, the elements in it are so well constructed with no superfluous elements to distract from the main message of the image which is Jamie Oliver and how his face is used to sell product.

The author’s name is the second dominant element of the cover: it is printed at the top of the page, in uppercase sans-serif, embossed in shiny blue, contrasting against the matt, uncoated paper of the dustjacket. The title of the book appears below in white lowercase Baskerville - a strange conceit on a cover that works so hard to construct an idea of authenticity, to not use title case which usually suggests the definite article.


Inside Pages
The book is 19 cm by 24.5 cm and is printed on off-white matt uncoated paper in full colour. The symmetrical layout is based on a simple one-column grid with a wide margin that is occasionally used to highlight sections of the recipes. Baskerville is used throughout in different weights and colours. Full colour photographs are used throughout the book at full bleed, usually on a single page but occasionally on a double spread. The photographs are more informal than the photograph on the front cover and fall into several categories: portraits of the author cooking or eating; portraits of ‘local characters’, usually busy at work; photographs of the author engaging with local people; photographs of raw ingredients and close-ups of finished meals. All the photographs are shot in the same style; heavilly saturated colours with the emphasis on reds, oranges, ochres and greens with some dark, inky blacks.

The book is divided into sections: each section is announced with a double page spread of a full bleed photograph with text set in lowercase Baskerville reversed out of the photograph. All other pages are based on the same one-column grid that uses 11/13 point justified Baskerville throughout with the list of ingredients presented as a two column list within this column. A larger point size of Baskerville, in colour, is used for headings; demi-bold is used for ingredients and recipe titles which are written in Italian with the English translation underneath in italic. Running footers are also in colour, at the very foot of the page, along with the pagination, which is printed in black.

How to Eat – Nigella Lawson



How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food
Nigella Lawson

Published by Chatto & Windus, 1999 (Paperback), 1998 (Hardback)
Designed by uncredited
Photographs by Richard Caldicott

How to Eat is a book aimed at the home cook with uncomplicated, easy to understand recipes. It is Nigella Lawson’s first book, published in 1998, ahead of her first television series in 2000. Visually, white space, a restrained colour palette and the use of the sans-serif Futura with its single-storey schoolbook letterforms suggest simplicity. This is tempered with a sophisticated typographic hierarchy that guides the reader through the different levels of information present: chapter headings, recipe titles, ingredients, method, commentary, tips etc. At this stage, Nigella Lawson was not a household name, and it is perhaps for this reason, that the book is not illustrated with (expensive to commission) photographs of finished meals - or of herself. Lawson’s relative newness is reinforced by the typographic hierarchy of the cover with the author’s name relatively low in the hierarchy of the cover elements and by the placing of two quotes to establish the author’s name to the reader. Interestingly, both of these quotes are from voices that represent ‘middle England’ - not the audience that Lawson eventually appealed to.

Front cover
The cover shows a photograph, by Richard Caldicott, of random pieces of kitchen equipment (grater, plastic beakers etc) and food (a cabbage, boiled egg etc) shot against a white background with a suggestion of the edge of a white table or shelf against a white wall. The photograph, in its hyperreality, primary colours and with little or no shadows appears Photoshopped/processed and the items are shot in such a way that they appear more like objects in a decorative frieze. The title of the book, in uppercase Futura, is printed at the top of the photograph in magenta with the subtitle below in cyan blue. The author’s name appears at the bottom in blue. There are two quotations on the page, from the Daily Mail and from Delia Smith.

This book is unusual for cook books in that it is mainly white. The dominant element on the cover is the photograph of the food and equipment - these feel quite subdued and occupy approximately a quarter of the cover. In the typographic hierarchy, the title and subtitle of the book, because of their position and size on the page, are the dominant elements. The quotation from the Daily Mail second in the hierarchy; the author’s name is third in the hierarchy with the quotation from Delia Smith is fourth in the hierarchy of cover elements.


Inside Pages
The book is 19 cm by 24.5 cm and is printed on white matt coated paper in full colour - although most of the book is actually designed in two colours: black for the body text and a second colour for headings, titles, and recipe ingredients; these colours are chosen to indicate the chapters of the book. The symmetrical layout is based on a simple one-column grid with a wide margin that is occasionally used to highlight sections of the recipes. The book uses two typefaces in different weights and colours: Futura medium in colour, for chapter headings, running heads, ingredients and, in uppercase, for recipe titles; Futura light is used for the methods of recipes and a serif, possibly Bembo, is used for the commentary. The book contains very few photographs: the images used are of kitchen equipment and random items of food, as on the cover. Small black and white photographs of food and kitchen utensils are used throughout the book. Chapters are announced with a double page spread with a full colour photograph at full bleed, with text reversed out on the left-hand page; on the right-hand page the photograph shows an item of kitchen equipment or food on a coloured table or shelf against a contrasting coloured wall.

Running heads are set in Futura medium, arranged vertically on the edge of the page in a coloured block, these blocks move down the page with each chapter, creating a visual index on the outside of the book.

The Kitchen Diaries – Nigel Slater



The Kitchen Diaries Nigel Slater

Published by Fourth Estate, 2005 (Hardback)
Designed by Sam Blok
Photographs by Jonathan Lovekin

The Kitchen Diaries is Nigel Slater’s eighth book, written as a diary, it is aimed at the home cook with seasonal and simple recipes with commentaries by the author. The book is based on a simple grid with seemingly simple typography - using one typeface, Baskerville, only - and layout. It is printed on uncoated paper which feels good to the touch, this tactile quality is heightened by the cover details. Photographs and text are in balance - each has equal hierarchical importance.

Compared to Real Good Food and Real Cooking, The Kitchen Diaries is unique in that the cover and the interior share a common design identity, the book was designed as a whole rather than an inside section with separate cover. The paperback version, published in 2007, has an updated cover but it still shares an identity with the hardback edition and the inside of the book: Baskerville is used with the author’s name being the dominant element and the title of the book coming second. The text is printed over a photograph - that does not appear in the book - of a table set for lunch that was obviously from the same session as the Christmas Day photograph. This has a remarkably different feel to the original hardback edition - the dominant colours being whites, greys, blacks and muted browns.

Front Cover
The book has a lavishly produced and complex cover: it is a hardback, covered in black book cloth with a half-image wrap covering over just over two thirds of the front and back. The exposed cloth at the spine and at the margin is blocked in sliver foil with Nigel Slater’s name arranged vertically with the title of the book in much smaller text at the foot. The author’s name is clearly the dominant element. The image wrap shows a photograph, by Jonathan Lovekin, of a close-up of rustic-looking apples, slightly irregular in shape and size. The photograph is shown at full bleed on three sides and is finished with a matt laminate, creating a contrast of textures with the book cloth. Other elements include head and tailbands and a ribbon book marker in a colour that matches the pale green colour used on the back cover.

The photograph shows the apples in close up complete with fresh-looking apple tree leaves suggesting that these apples have been freshly picked - this is somewhat contradicted by the darkness of the image suggesting not the gold of autumn but the half-light of winter. The dominant colours are dark reds, rich greens and shadowy blacks. The book stands in contrast to Real Good Food and Real Cooking where the dominant colours are warm oranges, browns and yellows.


Inside Pages
The book is 17 cm by 24 cm and is printed in full colour on cream uncoated paper which is identified in the colophon as "Munken Pure 130gsm." The book is divided into sections, each dealing with a month of the year and the seasonal foods of that time. ‘A Note on the Type’ tells us that “This book is set in Berthold Baskerville 10.5/12.5. The typeface was originally designed by John Baskerville (1706-1775) in the 1750s.” This note and the note that follows about the paper stock suggests that the book is aimed, not only at cooks, but at visually aware readers interested in the minutiae of design. Each section opens with a double page spread with a full bleed photograph on the left and a list of recipes on the right set in bold Baskerville with the name of the month set in larger bold Baskerville arranged vertically. These pages are perhaps the least satisfying in the book: the photographs of flowers and plants, presumably taken in Slater’s garden, are too obvious signifiers of the seasons and the typography, compared to the rest of the book is unresolved with the list of recipes with no page references serving no real purpose.

The rest of the book is much more resolved and is based on a simple symmetrical layout of two columns: a wide column for diary entries and recipes and a narrower column on the outside for dates and edited highlights from the diary. The text is set in Baskerville in one size with bold Baskerville used in the outside column and for the titles of the recipes. Photographs are placed throughout at a consistent size within the margins of the page. This is a design that is simple but refined and, for the reader, easy to navigate (aside from the list of recipes in the opening sections).

The photographs were taken by Jonathan Lovekin and, in common with Slater’s other books are taken in a similar style: close-up, little or no backgrounds, saturated colours and with rough and burnt edges on the food; a photograph of roasted butternut squash could have been taken form the same session as the photograph of squash on the cover of Real Cooking published ten years before. Interestingly, the entry for Christmas Day shows a photograph of a room with a table set for six people - an interior detail that does not often appear in Slater’s books.

In this book the photographs and the text share equal billing: this is a book for reading as well as for looking at. The recipes are very simply laid out and although, arguably, they are difficult to consult whilst cooking, Slater’s recipes are generally simple enough to understand after a single reading. If you are at all familiar with Slater’s recipes then it is easy to see that there is an element of recycling going on - the roasted butternut squash is a good example - I would argue that the tone of this book is informal and conversational, reflected in the simplicity of the design. Imposing a complicated recipe hierarchy and structure in this book would not work: his recipes are passed on like a conversation with a friend.

Real Cooking – Nigel Slater



Real Cooking Nigel Slater

Published by Michael Joseph, 1997 (Hardback)
Designed by uncredited
Photographs by Georgia Glynn Smith

Real Cooking is Nigel Slater’s fifth book, it is aimed at the home cook with simple, clear recipes and enlightening commentaries by the author. The book is based on a simple grid with some elements (the chapter openings for example, breaking out of the grid) Photographs are the dominant element and represent a shift to the visual from his previous book, Real Good Foodwhich is predominantly text-based. There are three photographs of the author and details of his hands making food; at this stage, although the author had achieved fame as the Good Food Awards Media Personality of the Year, he was primarily known as a journalist, known better for his words than his face.

Typographically, the book is more sophisticated and consistent than Real Good Food: Baskerville is used throughout in different sizes with a condensed light grotesque for recipe titles, ingredients and running feet. As with Real Good Food Baskerville has perhaps been chosen because if its schoolbook authority and the warmth that it projects, particularly at larger point sizes. The grid is broken up with the positioning of photographs which, although are lined up to the grid, are placed in an almost intuitive manner creating an informal, playful atmosphere that reflects Nigel Slater’s ideas about cooking and eating.

As with Real Good Food and other commercial books, the cover has a different identity from the interior. Covers are often updated with the content remaining the same: this is fairly common with novels, particularly when a novel is turned into a film, the cover is changed to show a scene from the film. In Nigel Slater’s case, it appears that there have been three different covers for Real Cooking: the second, published in 1999, shows Nigel Slater eating goat’s cheese on sour dough toast while the most recent, published in 2006, shows a sketchy illustration of kitchen equipment and ingredients hanging from a rack. This is the opposite of what Jost Hochuli calls ‘total design’, a unified plan that treats jacket and the interior as one to create an overall impression. I will do some further research to see if the interior of the new editions has been updated as well as the covers.

Front Cover
The cover shows a photograph, by Georgia Glynn Smith, of a close-up of baked apples. The photograph is shown at full bleed with an extra bold sans-serif type printed over the top. The author’s name in title case takes up the width of the book and is reversed out of the photograph; the title of the book, in titlecase and in bold italic sans-serif, is placed at much smaller size and is printed over the top of the photograph in a blue-grey. There are no other elements on the front cover.

The photograph shows the baked apples very close up and with a shallow depth of field - the parts of the photograph that are in focus are the shine on the skin of the apple and the golden flesh within; the edge of the baking dish - with burnt-on bits - is just visible. As with Slater’s Real Good Food, the photograph reinforces the idea of ‘real food’ by presenting food that is the opposite of complicated food, positioning the book in the domestic sphere.

The dominant element on the cover is the photograph of the baked apple and the author’s name; the title of the book is third in the hierarchy of cover elements. The dominant colours are warm yellows, oranges and browns with a smattering of rich blacks.


Inside Pages
The book is 19 cm by 24.5 cm and is printed in full colour on white coated paper. The book is divided into chapters, each dealing with different kinds of food: fish, meat, vegetables etc. The book is set in Baskerville. Each chapter has an opening section that uses Baskerville at a larger point size than in the rest of the book, justified in a single column with a chapter heading in larger Baskerville printed in grey. Following the opening section are the commentary and recipes - these are set in Baskerville but use a different layout and margins: a two column grid with a wide central column for the method and commentary and a narrower column on the outside for ingredients which are set in a light condensed sans-serif. Titles and running feet are set in the same light condensed grotesque with page numbers at the foot, aligned to the outside of the wider column, set in Baskerville.

Full colour photographs, concentrating - with extreme close-ups - on the food with little or no background are used throughout the book. The photographs were taken by Georgia Glynn Smith, according to Nigel Slater: “they are totally natural - not set up or contrived in the typical way of food photographs - Georgia simply followed me around my home kitchen taking her photographs while I cooked.” Some images are presented as full page, full bleed, others are fitted at a smaller size within the grid of the page. Chapter openings use full page black and white photographs at full bleed, taken in a similar manner, with large headings reversed out in white. Occasional black and white photographs at full page, full bleed, punctuate the book.

The photographs are the dominant element in the book. Not every recipe in the book has a corresponding photograph while some recipes are presented with several images. The dominant colours in the photographs are golden ochres, oranges, browns, reds and rich blacks with occasional sprinklings of green. Despite Slater’s claims for ‘naturalness’ the photographs look almost hyperreal with saturated colours and an almost Photoshopped shine on some of the ingredients, the close-ups - and sometimes unusual camera angles - adding to this unreal effect. Often there are pairings of photographs of before and after - cooked and uncooked ingredients - adding to the effect that this is food that can be cooked at home, by anyone.

Real Good Food – Nigel Slater



Real Good Food Nigel Slater

Published by Fourth Estate, 1995 (Paperback), 1993 (Hardback)
Cover design by React, photograph by Kevin Summers
Illustrations by Juliet Dallas Conte
Typeset by Type Technique, London W1

Real Good Food is a book aimed at the home cook with simple, clear recipes and enlightening commentaries by the author. It is Nigel Slater’s fourth book, published in 1995 when he was food editor of the Observer and cookery writer of the year. Visually, the book presents mixed messages: on the cover you have the contrast of the burnt, rough and ready food and the formality of the centrally alligned uppercase sans-serif type; inside there is a contrast between the informality of some elements - the illustrations, the ranged left lists of ingredients, the use of similar but different typefaces - and the symmetrical, justified formal aspects of other typographic elements. The overall effect, I would argue, is friendly but with a hint of authority suggesting that, at this stage in his career, Nigel Slater understood what kind of image he wanted to cultivate through his cooking (relaxed, friendly, simple and easy) but, as he was not a household name, he still needed to develop a sense of trust in the reader hence the authoritative elements of the design.

Front cover
The cover shows a photograph, by Kevin Summers, of a close-up of roasted butternut squash. The photograph is shown at full bleed with a narrow black strip at the bottom that contains the author’s name in a red uppercase serif typeface. The title of the book, in uppercase serif, is printed over the top of the photograph in white and is embossed. A strapline at the foot of the page, under the author’s name states ‘cookery writer of the year’.

The photograph shows the squash burnt around the edges, on a baking tray, with burnt spices and shiny with olive oil. The photograph reinforces the words ‘real food’ by presenting food that is the opposite of processed food and, in its simplicity, positions the book in the domestic sphere rather than the sophisticated food one might find prepared in a restaurant.

The dominant element on the cover is the photograph of the squash and the title of the book; the author’s name is third in the hierarchy with the strapline being the least dominant element. The dominant colours are warm yellows and browns and rich blacks.


Inside Pages
The book is 19 cm by 21 cm and is printed black on white matt coated paper which comes as a surprise after the richness of the cover. The layout is based on a simple two-column grid: sentence case Perpetua bold is used for headings which are contained a tinted text box; Baskerville (?) is used for the body text, uppercase Perpetua regular is used for chapter headings. The book contains no photographs and is illustrated with black and white reproductions of etchings of food. Chapter headings are aligned centrally on the page creating a formal, authoritative sense of symmetry which is slightly at odds with the ranged left recipe titles, ingredient lists and the playful placing of the illustrations.

Each chapter of the book contains several elements (in order of dominance): A chapter heading alligned centrally in uppercase, letterspaced regular Perpetua in a grey text box; A commentary set in justified Garamond at a slightly larger size than the recipes with drop caps; Recipes -title set in Perpetua bold, method set justified in Garamond, ingredients set ranged left in smaller Perpetua bold and indented very slightly rom the left margin; Illustrations of varying sizes arranged playfully within the text; Running heads aligned centrally, set in a smaller version of the chapter headings; Pagination is at the foot of the page and is aligned centrally, set in a smaller version of the chapter headings.

Foundry Gridnik



From The Foundry website:

Foundry Gridnik, described as 'the thinking man's Courier', derives from a typeface that was originally designed by Dutch designer Wim Crouwel in the late 60s, as a single weight typewriter face, but it was never released as a font. A modified version of it can still be seen today in Crouwel's 1976 designs for the low-value postage stamps of the ppt, Dutch post office, which feature the stamp value only, displaying the numerals to full effect. The Foundry has named the typeface Gridnik because of Crouwel's devotion to grids and systems in his work to create visual order; he was often affectionately referred to in the 60s as 'Mr Gridnik' by his friends and contemporaries.

Royal Mail



This is a great proposal for a new identity for the Royal Mail by Mash Creative who were commisioned by ICON magazine to 'rethink' the Royal Mail identity as part of the magazine's ongoing feature.


TD 63-73 (Unit 03)





TD 63-73: Total Design and its pioneering role in graphic design (Unit 3)

TD 63-73 is a unique insider’s account of the evolution of Total Design, one of the most important and influential design groups in the history of visual design.

Written by Ben Bos, a key member of the studio, the book describes how a group of idealistic Dutch designers came together to form a multidisciplinary design studio that helped shape the future of graphic design.

Total Design began in Amsterdam in 1963. Ben Bos joined the founders (Wim Crouwel, Benno Wissing, Friso Kramer and the Schwarz Brothers) from the outset. Together, and individually, they set new benchmarks for identity design, cultural design, exhibition design and product design. These benchmarks have rarely, if ever, been surpassed.

TD 63-73 is the story of Total Design’s golden period. It contains hundreds of images from the TD archive, and in Ben Bos’s text the reader is given an ‘up close and personal’ history of a design group that remains as important today as it did when it launched in the icy winter of 1963.

Pre-order now from Unit Editions and get free postage to anywhere in the world.

Black




I was asked to work on a series of texts by Maria Fusco that she had written for a collaborative exhibition with Giles Eldridge. I tidied up the typography and sharpened the design but tried to keep the essence of what Maria had given me; she was particularly keen to use Futura. The texts were printed A4 and arranged in stacks under Giles' work. The show continues until March 5th.

Total Design

"As already stressed on several occasions, whatever design principle is followed, all the parts of a book should rest equally on a unified plan, so that the same elements are treated in the same way, from the first to the last page. This is not just an aesthetic demand, but is also important for an understanding of the text. Headings and sunheadings, the space under a chapter heading, line spaces; these are signs, and are there to communicate. For the designer the binding-case or cover belongs to the book. He or she will bring them into an overall plan, just as the jacket will also be made a consistent part of a proper book. Colours belong to total design too: something that cannot be shown here. The tone of the text paper, the colours of the endpapers, binding material, head- and tailbands and ribbon bookmarker, and the colour(s) of the jacket: all contribute decisively to the overall impression."

From Designing Books: Practice and Theory by Jost Hochuli and Robin Kinross, published by Hyphen Press

The Elements of the Book Page

As part of my audit of cook books I have been reading about the parts that make up the page of a book. I found this article by Joel Friedlander at thebookdesigner.com to be very useful.

Running Heads

Running heads play an important role in orienting the reader within the book. Any material that takes up more than one page should have a running head. In books with long chapter titles it’s common to shorten the title to fit on one line along with a page number.

In some cases running heads reflect the content of specific pages by using subheads as copy or another editorial scheme.

If subheads are used as running heads, some pages will have more than one subhead on them. In this case, use the last subhead on the page as the running head if the page is a recto (right-hand page) and use the first subhead on the page if the page is a verso (left-hand page).

Running heads are often omitted in novels, unless they are used specifically as a design element. They can be eliminated if they serve no particular purpose. When they are placed at the bottom of the page, they are called running feet.

When Not to Use Running Heads

Running heads are never used on display pages like the title, half title, chapter and part opening pages. They are not used on matter opening pages, like the first page of the Preface or the first page of the Contents.

Running heads are also omitted on pages that have only an illustration or a table on them. On the other hand, if there is any text at all, even one line, then running heads should appear.

If an entire section or run of pages contains only illustrations, running heads can be used to help orient the reader.

Front Matter and Back Matter

Like all other parts of the book, any particular element that is longer than one page should have running heads if they are used in the main body of the text. Ordinarily running heads in front matter use identical copy for both verso and recto pages.

Running heads in the backmatter, however, are quite the opposite. For instance, in a book with several Appendices, use the Appendix number as the verso running head and the Appendix title on the recto. Likewise if the book has more than one Index, use the Index name in the running heads.

In Notes sections, use the method employed in the text to decide how to organize the running heads. If notes are organized by page number, then the relevant page numbers should be cited in the running heads. On the other hand, if the notes are organized by chapter, use the chapter designations in the running heads.

In all cases, running heads act as guideposts for the reader, and the reader’s ability to orient himself to part, chapter, page and topic are paramount in the use of running heads.

Different Types of Running Heads

There are many ways to use running heads, depending on the type of book and the organization of the material within it. For instance, any of these possibilities are acceptable:

  • Verso = Part Name. Recto = Chapter Name.
  • Verso = Chapter Name. Recto = Chapter Subtitle
  • Verso = Chapter Name. Recto = Page Subhead.
  • Verso = Page Subhead. Recto = Page Subhead.
  • Verso = Author Name. Recto = Chapter Name.

Page Numbers

Page numbers, an intrinsic element of the book page, are covered extensively in the section on Pagination.

Notes

Notes become a page element when footnotes are used, either alone or in conjunction with endnotes. Endnotes appear at either the end of the chapter or in a Notes section in the back matter.

When footnotes are used they are placed from the bottom of the text block and allowed to expand upward as necessary. Notes are sometimes separated from the main text block by a short rule at the left margin, but are often separated only by extra space inserted between the note and the last line of text.

Very long footnotes may need to run over to the bottom of the succeeding page(s) as necessary, but every page in the work must have some text.

Typically footnotes are set in a smaller type size than the main text block. Although there are various schemes for identifying and sequencing notes, if there is only one footnote on a page, only an asterisk is used to annotate the text and identify the footnote.

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2009/11/elements-of-the-book-page/

The Parts of a Book

As part of my audit of cook books I have been reading about the parts that make up a book. Derek Birdsall's Notes on Book Design is a great book as is Designing Books; Practice and Theory by Jost Hochuli and Robin Kinross. I have been looking for a glossary of terms that describe the parts of the book. I found this article by Joel Friedlander at thebookdesigner.com to be very useful.

Major Divisions of the Book

Books are generally divided into three parts: The frontmatter, the body of the book, and the backmatter. Each contains specific elements, and those elements should appear in a specific order. Certainly authors who know and understand these divisions may well have aesthetic or organizational motives to stray from these conventions, but usually they have a good reason to do so. Deviation for no reason does not help your book.

Keep in mind that there is no book that has all of these parts. Use this list instead to make sure you have the right content in the right category, and that elements of your book appear in the sequence in which they are expected.

Frontmatter

The pages at the beginning of a book before the body of the book. These pages are traditionally numbered with lowercase roman numerals

Half title—Also called the Bastard title, this page contains only the title of the book and is typically the first page you see when opening the cover. This page and its verso (the back, or left-hand reverse of the page) are often eliminated in an attempt to control the length of the finished book.

Frontispiece—An illustration on the verso facing the title page.

Title page—Announces the title, subtitle, author and publisher of the book. Other information that may be found on the title page can include the publisher’s location, the year of publication, or descriptive text about the book, and illustrations are also common on title pages.

Copyright page—Usually the verso of the title page, this page carries the copyright notice, edition information, publication information, printing history, cataloging data, legal notices, and the books ISBN or identification number. In addition, rows of numbers are sometimes printed at the bottom of the page to indicate the year and number of the printing. Credits for design, production, editing and illustration are also commonly listed on the copyright page.

Dedication—Not every book carries a dedication but, for those that do, it follows the copyright page.

Epigraph—An author may wish to include an epigraph—a quotation—near the front of the book. The epigraph may also appear facing the Table of Contents, or facing the first page of text. Epigraphs can also be used at the heads of each chapter.

Table of Contents—Also known as the Contents page, this page lists all the major divisions of the book including parts, if used, and chapters. Depending on the length of the book, a greater level of detail may be provided to help the reader navigate the book. History records that the Table of Contents was invented by Quintus Valerius Soranus before 82 bce.

List of Figures—In books with numerous figures (or illustrations) it can be helpful to include a list of all figures, their titles and the page numbers on which they occur.

List of Tables—Similar to the List of Figures above, a list of tables occurring in the book may be helpful for readers.

Foreword—Usually a short piece written by someone other than the author, the Foreword may provide a context for the main work. Remember that the Foreword is always signed, usually with the author’s name, place and date.

Preface—Written by the author, the Preface often tells how the book came into being, and is often signed with the name, place and date, although this is not always the case.

Acknowledgments—The author expresses their gratitude for help in the creation of the book.

Introduction—The author explains the purposes and the goals of the work, and may also place the work in a context, as well as spell out the organization and scope of the book.

Prologue—In a work of fiction, the Prologue sets the scene for the story and is told in the voice of a character from the book, not the author’s voice.

Second Half Title—If the frontmatter is particularly extensive, a second half title identical to the first, can be added before the beginning of the text. The page following is usually blank but may contain an illustration or an epigraph. When the book design calls for double-page chapter opening spreads, the second half title can be used to force the chapter opening to a left-hand page.

Body

This is the main portion or body of the book.

Part Opening page—Both fiction and nonfiction books are often divided into parts when there is a large conceptual, historical or structural logic that suggests these divisions, and the belief that reader will benefit from a meta-organization.

Chapter Opening page—Most fiction and almost all nonfiction books are divided into chapters for the sake of organizing the material to be covered. Chapter Opening pages and Part Opening pages may be a single right-hand page, or in some cases a spread consisting of a left- and right-hand page, (or a verso and a recto). Statistically, if a spread opening is used, half the chapters (or parts) will generate a blank right hand page, and the author or publisher will have to work with the book designer to decide how to resolve these right-hand page blanks.

Epilogue—An ending piece, either in the voice of the author or as a continuation of the main narrative, meant to bring closure of some kind to the work.

Afterword—May be written by the author or another, and might deal with the origin of the book or seek to situate the work in some wider context.

Conclusion—A brief summary of the salient arguments of the main work that attempts to give a sense of completeness to the work.

Backmatter

At the end of the book various citations, notes and ancillary material are gathered together into the backmatter.

Postscript—From the latin post scriptum, “after the writing” meaning anything added as an addition or afterthought to the main body of the work.

Appendix or Addemdum—A supplement of some kind to the main work. An Appendix might include source documents cited in the text, material that arose too late to be included in the main body of the work, or any of a number of other insertions.

Chronology—In some works, particularly histories, a chronological list of events may be helpful for the reader. It may appear as an appendix, but can also appear in the frontmatter if the author considers it critical to the reader’s understanding of the work.

Notes—Endnotes come after any appendices, and before the bibliography or list of references. The notes are typically divided by chapter to make them easier to locate.

Glossary—An alphabetical list of terms and their definitions, usually restricted to some specific area.

Bibliography—A systematic list of books or other works such as articles in periodicals, usually used as a list of works that have been cited in the main body of the work, although not necessarily limited to those works.

List of Contributors—A work by many authors may demand a list of contributors, which should appear immediately before the index, although it is sometimes moved to the front matter. Contributor’s names should be listed alphabetically by last name, but appear in the form “First Name Last Name.” Information about each contributor may include brief biographical notes, academic affiliations, or previous publications.

Index—An alphabetical listing of people, places, events, concepts, and works cited along with page numbers indicating where they can be found within the main body of the work.

Errata—A notice from the publisher of an error in the book, usually caused in the production process.

Colophon—A brief notice at the end of a book usually describing the text typography, identifying the typeface by name along with a brief history. It may also credit the book’s designer and other persons or companies involved in its physical production.

http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2009/09/parts-of-a-book/

Cook Book Audit 1

I've started my visual audit of cook books. I'm not sure whether I have a watertight methodology: my descriptions of the books are probably too subjective. I'm trying to articulate what message - I think - the design of each book is transmitting. Messages of course, depend on context: I wonder whether I'm projecting my ideas onto the books based on what I know about the authors of the books. I've been looking at Nigel Slater's books - even just looking at the hierarchy of information on the covers, it is possible to spot the shift in Nigel Slater's career as he moves from a newspaper column to becoming a known face on television.

In a wider sense, my aims for this project are to look at the shift that has happened in cook books where, in my opinion, books have become about looking and not about cooking. Books have replaced, to some extent, art books as signifiers of taste - this shift is exemplified by Phaidon's move to publishing cook books as well as art books, starting with The Silver Spoon in 2005. I want to show the development of high production values - normally associated with art books - in cook books as an indicator to the change in value given to cook books. This use of high production values (full colour printing, tactile paper stocks, interesting bindings, marker ribbons, embossed covers etc) is possibly connected to the availability of cheaper printing and is lead by marketing; I am interested in analysing how these details add value to a book and why these details are added to cook books. For example, if cook books are meant to be used in a kitchen and given that kitchens tend to get messy, why are so many recent cook books (Jamie's Italy, Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries etc) printed on uncoated paper rather than the more practical wipe-clean coated papers?

I am re-reading Sean Hall's excellent introduction to semiotics This Means This This Means That (1) as a way of framing my writing about cook books within the audit. I am conscious, however, that from the start, despite my concerns about my methodology being watertight, I want this audit to be accessible and readable: I want my analysis to be more than a list of which cook books use serif typefaces and which use sans-serifs and that increases my design language in both senses: practical and theoretical. My intention in doing an MA is to understand why I make design decisions and to be able to articulate more clearly those decisions; I hope that with a rigourous written analysis of the design of cook books, I will be able to articulate the signs within and the messages that the design is transmitting.

(1) Hall, Sean (2007) This Means This, That Means That: A User's Guide to Semiotics, London, Laurence King

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