Student work

The Method · Cookbook

170501 SP 4313 Albe Cookbook
170501 SP 4313 Albe Cookbook

Kara Albe

SP 4313 (Special Projects) #senior | 2017 | Texas, USA

Project Statement:

This project aims to create a digital book and a printed & bound volume for a cookbook inspired by a plant-based diet.

Designing a book that is easy to read and reference that has beautiful imagery, ample white space and clear hierarchy is my first priority. It should be a tool and not a hindrance for people who are cooking for a big crowd or just for one or two. Showcasing my ability to curate great food, photography, and typography is the essence of what I want my profession to be and what gets me most excited.

I grew up with a mom who cooked dinner every night from recipes handed down from her mother and her mother’s mother. I’ve always been fascinated with food and its ability to bring people together and break down cultural walls. It’s a commonality that we all share as humans that brings joy and passion to our everyday lives, and creating a cookbook to facilitate that is a dream come true.

Using InDesign and well-organized styles and masters, the type will be clean and consistent leaving time to focus on content creation and recipe adaptation. The food showcased will be uncomplicated, seasonal, and inspired by a plant-based diet. A digital book and a printed and bound volume will be the end products along with a blog chronicling the process and recipes.


The idea of ingredient-driven cooking for me originally stemmed from necessity. I'm a college student with 3 roommates, one kitchen, a small refrigerator, and the budget of a full-time student. I don't like having to buy one specific thing for a recipe that will later go to waste or just sit in the pantry for months. I'm also a big fan of the Food Network show Chopped, so the idea of being limited and coming up with a creative dish is a fun challenge to me rather than an annoyance. When I cook, I rarely follow a recipe, but rather take the idea of a dish and create something with what's accessible to me. The idea of this book is to give you a jumping-off point to create dishes that work for you and suit your taste. Nothing is set in stone, and I encourage you to break away from the recipes I've included.

The contents of this book are pulled from cookbooks that I love, blogs that I reference, and my own experiences in the kitchen. I've adapted the recipes followed by (via…) from their original authors through trial and error and lots of dirty dishes. It seems counterintuitive to take something from digital to print instead of the other way around, but for me it's a logical step in the experience of cooking. Taking an idea, a recipe, a flavor profile that you have knowledge of and creating something that you can eat and share with other people is a little bit of magic. As a designer, creating a tactile object that you can hold in your hands, pages you can flip through, earmark and spill sauce on, is equally as gratifying.

At the end of the day, I want this book to jump-start your creativity and get you excited about putting your own twist on things. The method on the page will help you get there, but it's your job to use great ingredients and your taste buds to make something memorable.


Hesser, Amanda. Food52 Baking: 60 Sensational Treats You Can Pull Off in a Snap. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2015.
Oliver, Jamie. Jamie Oliver's Comfort Food: The Ultimate Weekend Cookbook. N.p.: Ecco Press, 2014.
Pelzel, Raquel. Toast The Cookbook. Berlin: Phaidon, 2015.
Popova, Maria, and Gareth Cook. The Best American Infographics 2015. Boston: Mariner , 2015.
Miglore, Kristen. Food52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2015.
Tosi, Christina. Momofuku Milk Bar. Bath: Absolute Press, 2012.

The Coastal Table. Vol. 7. N.p.: Coastal Media LLC, 2016. An Anthology of Seaside Living.
“Spectrum.” Gather Journal 4.7 (Summer 2015 ).
Roy, Sneh. “Journal.” Cook Republic. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

Chef’s Table. Dir. David Gelb. Netflix, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2017.

101 Cookbook Blog
Alison Roman

Choosing and Pairing Typefaces for Cookbooks
Sartre’s Cookbook
Under Consideration, Art of the Menu
Vintage Cookbooks at Flickr

Material: Food, photography, Photoshop, InDesign, local print shop.