What’s Cooking cookbook 7½ × 10½ inches (approx), 50+ pages; Fall 2005

'What's Cooking' cookbook

I'm proud to have been part of a group of graphic designers from MassArt who designed and oversaw the production of a cookbook, titled What's Cooking. The cookbook is unique in that it caters specially to the nutritional needs and complex appetites of kids living with cancer.

We worked closely with specialists from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at the Boston Children's Hospital who provided us with the recipes and other relevant info. We also worked closely with a representative from our printer, the W.E. Andrews company in Bedford, MA.

front matter, including a key to the symbols used throughout the book

The book was wire-bound and fixed within a flexible cover, allowing it to lay flat during food preparation.

Each recipe is tagged with a set of small symbolic icons which give information about its particular benefits (high in fiber, quick & easy, nutrient dense, etc).

In addition to recipes, we included a bunch of anecdotal information: food safety tips, interesting food trivia, cooking and kitchen advice, tips from other families dealing with cancer, etc.

table of Contents

intro spread for the chapter of Smoothies

My role in the group was to oversee the book's typography, including typeface selection, the hand-cutting of letters used in the intro spreads (above), and the finer details of formatting (below).

macaroni & cheese spread

The accompanying photography features the actual recipes from the book, and was taken by Jim Scherer with food styling by Catrine Kelty (under our art direction, of course).

Under advisement from our printing rep, we decided to utilize a stochastic method of printing (as opposed to traditional line screen halftones), which worked ideally with our vibrant, high-resolution photography.

diagram showing how to make potato prints

Throughout the book there are diagrams instructing on several things, some fun (how to make macaroni necklaces), some funtional (how to knead dough).

I was psyched about this project because it was another reminder that there are better things to do with graphic design than sell cigarettes and dog biscuits.