Asian Flavours Book Design

Client Quintet Publishing

Format 228 x 190 mm, hardback, 192 pages

Skills Quark Xpress, Photoshop, art direction

Asian Flavours was a cookery book published by Quintet Publishing, written by food writer and stylist Wendy Sweetser. It was an illustrated 192-page guide to cooking with Asian ingredients.

Asian Flavours book design. This is a sample spread from inside the book. The spread features a recipe for stir-fried pork with chilli and peanuts. The recipe features a small inset picture of dried chillis on a wooden spoon. The right hand page features a full bleed photograph of the recipe.

Asian Flavours book design. This is a sample spread from inside the book. The spread features a recipe for Korean French bean and scallion pancakes. The recipe features a small inset picture of some traditonal chopsticks. The left hand page features a full bleed photograph of the recipe.

Asian Flavours book design. This is a sample spread from inside the book. The spread features a recipe for peppered prawns with garlic and coriander. The recipe features a small inset picture of the spilled contents of a jar of peppercorns. The left hand page features a full bleed photograph of the recipe.

Asian Flavours book design. This is a sample spread from inside the book. The spread features a recipe for lime-dressed prawn salad. The recipe features a small inset picture of a sliced lotus. The left hand page features a full bleed photograph of the recipe.

Asian Flavours book design. This is a sample spread from inside the book. The spread features a recipe for pork and peppers in black bean sauce. The recipe features a small inset picture of some black pepper corns. The right hand page features a full bleed photograph of the recipe dish.

Asian Flavours book design. This is the front cover to the book. It features a close-up image of a bowl of grilled chicken with noodles and green vegetables.

The brief: Asian Flavours

While working as an art director for Quintet Publishing I was briefed to design Asian Flavours. The client wanted Asian Flavours to look like a contemporary cooking book. The emphasis would be on the photography of the ingredients and recipes.

The original plan was to reuse photography from previous Asian cookbooks that had been published. I was able to argue that it would be more consistent to have one style of photography throughout the book. It would give the book more value and make it look modern.

The design: Asian Flavours

As the art director I was responsible for the design and art direction of Asian Flavours. I designed the paged layouts to be clean and balanced. This ensured that each recipe was easy to follow. I used a wide text column, which included the step-by-step instructions for each recipe, while the lists of ingredients appeared in the more narrow text column to the left of this text.

I wanted the book to be photography led, so I commissioned Ian Garlick for the food photography. The author, Wendy Sweetser, did the food styling for the photo shoots. By working together we were able to make each recipe look unique and exciting. We achieved this through the use of different props and backgrounds.

Food photography by Ian Garlick.