500 Cupcakes and 500 Cookies were the first two books in the ongoing 500 series from Quintet Publishing. I was responsible for the original concept and design of the series.
The brief: 500 series
While working as an art director at Quintet Publishing I was briefed to create a stylish, small format, practical book series. As the name suggested, each book featured five hundred recipes. Each title would cover a different subject – cupcakes, cookies, cocktails, breads, etc. Over sixty recipes were photographed in each book. The brief also wanted the design of the books to have a gift appeal.
My design: 500 Cupcakes and 500 Cookies
The first problem I had to solve was how to fit in five hundred recipes into only three hundred and sixty pages. I also had to work out how to include over sixty photographs.
My solution was to use a simple, clean design. The ‘500’ bit is a bit of a cheat. Out of the five hundred recipes there were only one hundred base recipes. The rest of the recipes were smaller variations based off of them. I worked out a design that allowed for ten chapters in each book – these chapters contained the base recipes with a section for the variations at the end of each of these.
The main draw of the books was to be the photography, so the next problem was how to photograph over sixty cupcakes and cookies and make them all look interesting and different.
I commissioned Ian Garlick for the food photography. We had worked together previously on the Asian Flavours cookbook. We used different props and coloured backgrounds, which allowed us to create a unique look for each recipe.
By the end the photography shoots I was sick of cupcakes and cookies.
The 500 cookery series went on to be a big success for Quintet Publishing.
Food photography by Ian Garlick.