Guilty Pleasures

A taster for a book that I have just sent to print. Guilty Pleasures is an assemblage of 40 found images of pork pies, one of my guilty pleasures. The book itself is also a guilty pleasure, an indulgence on my part as I thought it would be fun (and interesting) to make a book that was purely visual, as a parallel to my purely typographic cook book, How to Cook/What to Eat. Inevitably, typography won over and I sandwiched the pork pies with a text about the history of pork pies by Alan Davidson with a recipe for pork pies by Nigel Slater.

As a way of thinking about and investigating the graphic language for my final project, a cook book for men who can't cook/won't cook, I decided to juxtapose Adobe Caslon with Cooper Black, a typeface I have used before (in small amounts) and have been eager to use again.

Cooper Black is a heavy, old style serif typeface that was designed, in 1921, by Oswald Bruce Cooper. It has loads of character and, as well as feeling essentially masculine, it perfectly expresses the cheeky, guilty pleasures of a pork pie. Cooper Black has been used in lots of memorable contexts: the title sequence of Dad's Army; the EasyJet logo; the cover of David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album; and more recently, by Oxfam in their Be Humankind campaign.

Caslon is a number of serif typeface designed by the Englishman William Caslon I (1692–1766). Adobe Caslon was designed by Carol Twombly in 1990 and is based on specimen pages printed between 1734 and 1770. Because I wanted to contrast the chunky cheekiness of Cooper Black with a more refined and formal typeface, Adobe Caslon was perfect as it includes refinements such as small caps, ligatures, fractions and oldstyle numerals. Caslon has an interesting character, it is very pleasing to the eye with good readability but it also has a nice quirkiness, a playfulness, that is somehow amplified by juxtaposing it with Cooper Black. Although Caslon was based on Dutch letterforms, it feels very British, perfect for a book about pork pies.




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