salt fat acid heat

publisher: Simon & Schuster

type: Book, complete project

spec notes: One-piece case-wrapped hard cover. 480 pages, printed full color. Includes three gatefolds.

This years-long project was a collaboration with Samin Nosrat and Wendy MacNaughton. We began while Samin was still writing the text, imagining what illustrations would be needed, which Wendy sketched out and we placed on the page and within the overall sequence of the book in an organic way as the content grew — sometimes adjusting by going back to the drawings or to the text itself to make sure the pieces fit next to each other. Not entirely unlike kneading a ball of dough out from the center, carefully working one part, then another, until the entire dough is evenly spread out as big as it can go.

Which involved, however, choices no baker should have to go through, such as choosing fonts and colors that would neither detract from nor compete with whimsical hand-lettered text in the illustrations. Illustrations that encompass the natural beauty of food as well as much infographic-type data that had to be designed with the thought in mind that every bit of it, from words to meaning-laden color choices, would have to be hand-painted in watercolor.

Bookish Design is grateful for Samin’s trust in her choice of designer, and for Simon & Schuster in allowing an outsider to their renowned shop to participate fully in such an involved book at the top of their catalog.