Spaghetti Bolognese Book

This book emerged from an idea that I had to make a purely visual cook book about pork pies. After realising that pork pies were not something that were generally cooked at home, I decided that spaghetti bolognese was a much better idea as this was a dish that most people had heard of, could cook and whose authenticity was in dispute with many recipe variations. I used Google to collect many images of spaghetti bolognese, editing them down to 30 distinct images with the idea that this visual overload would - or could - act as a 'recipe'.

The cover was a challenge. I wanted the cover to be quite different from the content: because the images together represented an idea of spaghetti bolognese - a kind of visual recipe, to have one image of spaghetti bolognese on the cover would prioritise that version of the dish. I initially worked on a typographic version, using Georgia and Bureau Grotesque; in this context, using images that were found on the internet, Georgia, as a system font, designed for the web, seemed a perfect match. I had wanted to use Bureau Grotesque for some time and thought that it would combine well with Georgia for this project. I wasn't totally happy: I felt that the wobbly quirks of Bureau Grotesque needed a more elegant match. After some experimentation, and initially working on the interior text pages I found that Caslon was surprisingly pleasing with Bureau Grotesque (the text pages are an account of the tricks of food photography and a recipe for the perfect spaghetti bolognese - so not a totally visual book as I had originally planned).

From here I worked up the idea of the Italian flag - a hackneyed idea, possibly, but one that hinted at the inauthentic internationality of spaghetti bolognese. As a way of moving away from a flat image, I tried layering photographs under the colours of the flag eventually settling on a found image of a fork twirling spaghetti. Because the images inside the book are all full colour, I made the image grayscale so that it became more like an illustration and less in competition with the images inside which, for me, exist in a different space and carry a different meaning.




Click here to subscribe to James Brook / Design

Please visit for more information

The content (content being images and text) of this website is copyright © James Brook
All rights expressly reserved
Powered by Blogger.