Tuesday, 30 April 2013


I began designing my publication after I had finalised the content choices. I wanted to design the book to look quirky and different, yet modern and simple, using illustrations opposed to photos. The aesthetics were inspired from my research and my personal design style.

I began designing the first page of the book, the 'haitian voodoo bottle', by drawing the outline of a bottle, and creating a clipping mask on photoshop with a background stock texture which reminded me of wine. I wanted the illustrations to be simple yet fun.

I added additional details to the bottle; a label, cap, and outline. I felt these details gave the bottle more character, and personality with the label stating 'a hangover in a bottle'. The tone of voice is to be light hearted and slightly humorous, which is reflected by the illustrations and aesthetics. 

The wine glass drawn above was created using the pen tool and gradients. The colour was made slightly deeper and then duplicated for the final illustration, with spillage drops and the pun '1 glass, 2 glass, 3 glass, 4..' to correspond with the contents of the bottle and the label. I am happy with this illustration as the digital collage style reflects my personal design tastes as well as being unusual and different in terms of aesthetics.

Each page used the same grid structure and layout. This came from the thumbnails drawn for the typogateaux guide, however they were overlooked again and altered to suit the different content and style. Cooking books follow quite a structured layout throughout and I wanted this to follow that format also.

Rulers showing the main areas for design elements and content

15x15 Grid Structure

The 2nd page was designed in the same way as the first. The illustrations were drawn using the pen tool, and clipping masks. 

Used as the background on the lefthand side and the stock without the clipping mask applied was used for the right handside. Textures or colours reflecting the cure being relayed to the reader is reflected in the aesthetics throughout.

I drew the illustrations originally in black and white and added in the clipping masks as backgrounds where desired. I tweaked the widths and stroke pt size until desired. I placed the illustrations where necessary on the layout. Each individual image was placed into indesign and arranged as needed on the grid.

Body copy was added. 3 Fonts were used; Frenchy, Wisdom Script and Aaargh. Frenchy for headers, and subheaders, Aaargh for body copy and Wisdom script for major headers. I felt the fonts chosen reflected the target audience, tone of voice and aesthetics by being hand rendered in style and simple.

Wisdom Script was used for quotations and content dividers in the book. I felt the font worked really nicely with the overall aesthetic and breaks up the pages of hangover cures with something inspirational and relatable to the reader, context and the content of the book.

"Pay heed to the tales of old wives. It may well be that they alone keep in memory what it was once needful for the wise to know" - J.R.R. Tolkien

"Some of those Old Wives were pretty smart" - Charlie Brown

"Early to bed, early to rise"

The third page was the "rabbit poop tea" cure. A background image of rabbit fur was used for both sides, however the clipping mask tool was used on the left hand side. This is my favourite page. I think the illustration of the tea bag and cup enhance the visuals of the page.

I experimented with the background for this page trying colours out with the clipping masks, however I felt the chosen one featuring fur was much more fitting.

This page was designed in the same way as described above. The below two illustrations were not used in the end, after the layout was altered. The bulls faces were replaced with spirit bottles which suited the page and content better, whilst the bottles reinforced the drink being noted.

This was drawn on illustrator using the pen tool.

Gradients and textures were used to create the buffalo milk illustration.

A clipping mask once again used to create the cut out bulls for the background imagery.

Stock texture used for clipping mask and background imagery.

Clipping mask experiment. I was much happier with the cocktail glass clipping mask. It added an element of contextualization to the book and emphasised the drink is a cocktail, whilst being more aesthetically pleasing.

Further background experiments.

Tabasco bottle designed using the pen tool and gradients on illustrator, with the added logo shown below. I was really happy with the illustrated effect the gradient tool produces.

Black and white imagery illustrations used for clipping mask.

Bloody Mary illustration. I was pleased with the depth of the illustration, and it fitted in well with the previous illustrations created.

Used for experiments with clipping masks and background imagery. 

The same design process has been used for the above page. 

Clipping mask using the stock image shown below.

The above clipping mask was layered with the inner apple and pips to create an illustration of a wedge of apple.

Illustrations drawn on Illustrator for the page.

Each page follows the same design structure with the information on the food/drink to the right and "what you need" and "what to do" on the left. They have been placed in the same place on several page spreads, whilst others vary slightly keeping the illustrations at a focus point.

Image used for background and clipping mask of different shaped chillies.

The next page was designed in the same way as the other pages however I felt it wasn't aesthetically pleasing or fitting so I decided not to use this in the final book. I was happy with the illustrations but not the background imagery. I didn't feel it lived up the the standard of the other pages.

This page is another of my favourite designs due to the intense colour and simplicity of the illustrations. The background image shown on the right is an image of canary fur, which was then used to make clipping masks for the background on the left, and as a base for the canary bird illustration. I then added detailing such as an outline, shading for the wing, eyes and a beak as well as using a clipping mask of a log for the branch. I'm really happy with the simplicity of the double page spread.

For the next page I drew the illustrations on the left hand side page all by hand on illustrator. No clipping masks were used, just the pen tool, colour and illustrations.

I experimented with creating a clipping mask of fries, however the image chosen wasn't suitable to do so with, and looked out of place, and therefore was not used.

Final illustration for Poutine.

This page was designed very simply in order to reflect the simplicity of the food. A simple image of toast was placed behind the body copy, and an illustration of eggs benedict was added under the two sub headers on the left. These again remain the same throughout the publication. 

The aesthetics of this page relate to the theme of herring and fish, using a bright fish scale background and clipping mask on the left keeping in line with the collage/illustrative style chosen for the aesthetics. The illustrations of the food were drawn on illustrator but have been moved to the right hand side, as on the left there was too much going on with the clipping mask background.

I really like the simplicity of the "roll mop" illustration above, which was created using gradients and by altering the widths of the lines.

The final page was designed again like any of the other pages. The same layout and style of illustration was used throughout.

Illustrations that weren't used:

Background images created on photoshop using the pins drawn at the beginning of the blog post. These weren't used due to the overall aesthetic.


For the cover design I wanted to design something which fitted aesthetically but also kept inline with the title; "old wives tales; weird and wonderful hangover cures" by creating a slightly antique yet aged aesthetic.

Final Front and Back Cover Designs

Before coming up with the final design I experimented with background images to see which aesthetic worked the best.

The ivory background here was manipulated using photoshop for the final cover and back. The ivory background was placed beneath the two images whilst they had the overlay filter applied to achieve an older, grained look.

This frame illustration was drawn on illustrator using the pen tool, and then altering the strokes to add depth by changing the widths of each line. I felt this style could be adapted to be modern if designed in the right way.

Overall I am happy with the designs and happy with the cover chosen as I feel it portrays the title appropriately as well as the aesthetics relating to a hangover/old wives.

After researching binding I am going to bind the book in both coptic and perfect binding to see the different looks, however I feel the perfect bound book will look much more professional and like a real cookery book in format.