Visual Book

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 2.37.31 AM

Print / Illustration | Adobe InDesign | 2015 | Individual Project

Link to Final Book PDF: FINAL BOOK


This visual project was one of the final and largest projects for the course. The goal of this assignment was to choose a topic we, as students, enjoy and use all prior knowledge (typeface, grids, hierarchy, etc.) to design and create a bound book. Some technical requirements for the book included having pages being a multiple of 8 and any images from outside sources should somehow be cited in the final product.

Project Process

Pre-planning and Brainstorming

The first step for this entire project was choosing the content for the book. I knew that the final look and feel of the book would be dependent on how much I enjoyed what the book was about, so I spent a decent amount of time figuring that out. After realizing this, I decided to pursue one of my favorite hobbies – cooking.

The next stage was finding inspiration to help create a certain theme and mood to my book. So, I spent time researching on Behance, looking at how different cookbooks incorporate different designs to appeal to different audiences. I combined my hobby and background with this research to finally decide on creating a cookbook that was targeted to college students. My goal was to create a cookbook that was very minimalist and easy to follow.

From this, I decided to look online for recipes that required very little ingredients, didn’t need much time for preparation, and still looked very appealing. I tried to roughly divide the meals among vegetarian, meat, and dessert selections.

Early Iterations

Probably the biggest goal for me for each iteration was to maintain the idea of a simple and minimalist recipe page. Initial research showed the most prominent parts of a recipe page were its ingredients and list of steps. Naturally, this inspired me to separate a grid for both of these sections while keeping a very simple color scheme and consistent type size. Here’s a screenshot of a spread from an early iteration

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 3.10.40 AM


There really wasn’t much to my early iteration. From the peer review session, it was very barebones and simply helped me decide some basic layout decisions. I wanted to create a defined grid for ingredients and steps, while having the whole next page occupied by some HD photo of the food. There wasn’t anything beyond that: no information about servings, quantities, or separating the foods into any categories.

I decided that I wanted to incorporate the separation of recipes into my final book, having some physical page that distinguished certain recipes from others. This inspired me to create the following chapter spread

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 3.27.22 AM

Similar spreads were used for the vegetarian and meat recipes. However, I still remained pretty unsure about adding extra information or “spicing up” a recipe page. I tried to incorporate extra information, but it didn’t really work well in this iteration:

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 3.30.58 AM

I liked maintaining the grid and hierarchy starting from the title, but the organization bothered me a lot. One common suggestion from my classmates was to create colored tabs that provided information for each recipe (difficulty, servings, preparation time, etc). I really liked this idea, but I felt that it went against my current minimalist goal and theme. Regardless, it was a good starting point for my final iteration.

Final Iteration

My final iteration changed the hierarchy and grid layout from many previous versions of my book. I used the idea from peers to include the extra information. But, I kind of wanted to maintain a strong grid, so I modified my title organization to allow for easy addition of this information into the grid. I also added a colored circle around the title and tab to help coordinate recipes with respective chapters. Here’s a screenshot for what my final iteration looked like:

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 3.43.15 AM

In the end, this new layout helped everything fall in place. I felt like this was a major improvement from my starting point, still maintaining the clean look I was going for while showing all the information I wanted. The point of the book was to be a simple and easy read, and I think my organization helped achieve that.


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