I usually never release works-in-progress here on the blog but I wanted to share with you an initial spread from the cookbook I'm designing for Mel (she shared this design over on her blog a couple days ago too). I also wanted to share a little bit of my process and how I use inspiration, along with my own established aesthetic, to create this initial look.
When I went down to Austin to meet with Mel and Dave I wanted to get a sense of who they are and what this cookbook is all about. Just from reading Mel's blog I get the sense that she's a little bit of a badass (with her awesome bangs and tattoos). But then when I walked into her home I found a kitchen that felt like home. The place was warm, friendly and eclectic. From there I knew what I wanted her cookbook to feel like before we even started hammering out the logistics of what it might look like and how it would function for her readers. I'll get more into how I crafted and married the functionality of the book with the look of the book (that's what design is after all - beautiful problem solving) but for now I want to focus on just the look and the inspiration behind it.
The Chocolate Bar - When Mel and I were shopping to stock up on groceries for her food shoot that day I came across this bar of chocolate (see figure b). The design stopped me in my tracks - I bought it because it was a visual representation of what I had been crafting in my head. The typewriter font, the minimal color palette, the dotted lines... I loved everything about it. As you can see, my design doesn't look like a direct rip-off of this chocolate bar packaging - it just happened to spark a couple ideas for execution moving forward. It also helped to visually articulate some of the ideas I had been brainstorming earlier in that day with Mel.
2-Colors - I feel most comfortable designing with a limited color palette. So for this book I've decided to pull a color from the photography (shot by Mel's husband, Dave) and use that paired with grey in each spread.
Kraft paper - You've seen me use kraft throughout this blog. I use it as a backdrop on all of my invitation photography. It's a neutral texture that I love but here it makes sense, as it can also represent a grocery bag - the process of cooking.
Photo callouts - I've been using little callouts on my own food posts for a while now. This is something I definitely wanted to incorporate in this cookbook design. Mel and I are using it as a tool to share anecdotes the story behind the food she cooks.
Typography - I pulled from the own typeface I used for my own wedding invitations for the typewriter font.
So this is not just a sneak peek into Mel's cookbook but a little peek into my creative process. Like my Good Design post, I want to demystify this initial design process a little bit. As you can see, I'm pulling design components from my old designs as well as being open to finding inspiration in places such as a bar of chocolate. I then find a way to combine these elements and inspiration to create something new for my clients. I also like to find inspiration in unlikely places such as vintage medicine bottles, old vacuum repair stores and graffiti on walls - I feel like pulling from these unlikely places (opposed to just scouring Pinterest and design blogs) creates a more authentic and genuine design - and not just for my graphic design but for the clothes I wear and the way I decorate my home.
Where do you all find unlikely inspiration?
J & K started this blog project to document the remodel of their 1929 historical home in the heart of Oklahoma City. It has now turned into a documentation of life, food, fashion, freelance, inspiration, design, adventures and details around the J & K house.
Kathleen works as an award-winning brand consultant and designer specializing in small business branding at Braid Creative & Consulting. Jeremy is a software engineer and is the left-brain to Kathleen’s right.
You can contact Kathleen at
jeremyandkathleen (at) gmail (dot) com.
All photos and graphics by Kathleen unless otherwise stated. Feel free to use them with permission or credit.
Anatomy of an Outfit
Sometimes I like to get dressed and take pictures of myself. For all of my outfit posts click here.
Freelance Matters: A series about how I tackle freelance issues such as estimating, billing, to-do lists and how to fire a client.
Trekking to Everest
In October 2010 Jeremy and I trekked through the Himalayas to Mt. Everest Base Camp. It completely changed my life. Read about the entire adventure, day-by-day, here.
Braid is a creative & consulting business I own with my sister. We do branding and business visioning for creative entrepreneurs. On the Braid blog I share branding adventures, how-to articles and advice on the creative process. If you need a little brand therapy of your own visit Braid or subscribe to the Braid blog RSS feed here.
What We Eat
We like to eat really good food - at least 3 times a day. Sometimes I blog about it - click here for recipes and yummy ideas.
J & K: Blog Archive
- ► 2012 (182)
- Huevos Veggies
- A Press Check for Jason Hudson
- Anatomy of an Outfit: Boots and A Skirt Up to Ther...
- The Lake
- Vintage Typewriter Wedding Invitations
- The Blinking Game
- Vegetarian Empanadas
- Langston's Western Wear + Justin Boot WINNER!
- Cheers to Friday
- Freelance Matters | Managing Your Client
- Glory Days
- Identity: Photographers Skeen
- Anatomy of an Outfit: These Boots (+ A Giveaway) [...
- Marriage Equality Tote Giveaway - WINNER!
- Life Lately
- More Michigan
- Cow + Girl
- For the House
- Marriage Equality (+ a giveaway) [closed]
- Cookbook Inspiration
- Watching: Documentaries
- ▼ August (24)
- ► 2010 (387)
- ► 2009 (406)
- Eva Black | Spaces
- Emma Dime
- Life as an Artistpreneur
- Jane Reaction
- Ink & Letters
- Meg Biram | The Edit
- Sarah Von Bargen's Small Biz Blog
- Design Crush
- The Equals Record
- Emmarie Designs
- Rory Gordon
- Yellow Brick Home
- The Creatives Project
- Silly Grrl
- Photographers Skeen
- The Clothes Make the Girl
- Bringing Design Home
- Pip & Estella
- A Practical Wedding
- Kind of a Sideshow
- Sandra Juto
- Old Sweet Song
- Rambling Renovators
- Brooklyn Bride
- Design Crush
- Experiment in Poverty
- The Jealous Curator
- Making it Lovely
- Dressing on the Side
- The Oklahoman
- Young House Love
- Oh So Beautiful Paper
- A Cup of Jo
- Brooklyn Limestone
- Glamour Weddings