MA – Layout -04

The Mandatory Assignment -4 was about the layout. I was very excited about it and it seemed fun but turned out to be harder than I thought but still LOTS OF FUN.

We were instructed to make a layout for a fictional Jamie Oliver’s cookbook called ”The boiling water”. The guidelines were quite tide but in the end there was lots of options and decisions to be made. We were giving eight fonts and from these we were to choose one serif and one sans serif font.The fonts were: Adobe Garamond, Adobe Caslon, Minion, Calluna, Calluna Sans, Gill Sans, Myriad and Museo. The page format is 200 millimeters wide x 260 mm high by 3 mm bleed. Grid, margins and typography were emphasized in the assignment and it had to have the pagination (page numbers).

The book had the text for the following pages: Title Page, Imprint, Table of Contents, Foreword and 4 Recipe pages.


The giving attachment included five pictures. The recipe pictures had to be placed on the left side so that it coved the hole page and the extra picture of the strawberry could be used as we wished.


After watching the video about the InDesign and doing all the Learning Assigments I started this project by doing a web-search. I looked what kind of cookbooks there is, how are the covers, how are the inside recipe pages and what kind of books Jamie Oliver already has. What is his style?

There was two kind of styles used for the covers. Others had lots of pictures about the recipes and the others had only single picture – usually the chef of the book or one of the dishes. The used colours varied a lot as well. I was more keen to the simple and more elegant ones than the ones that had a lot of going on on the cover. I also notice that the title had been placed either inside a square or written right on the picture.

The Jamie Oliver name gave it’s own aspect to the task and to the cover. The name had to be on the cover and because he’s a well-known chef it couldn’t be left without a notice (meaning written small in somewhere). Then again I think the purpose wasn’t to follow straight any of his old books but I still explored those a bit too.


Then I explored the giving fonts. I read about the history – who had made them and importantly when the typeface was made. I copied one of the recipes and compared them. I made a valuation about their x-hights and readability.

I liked the Museo font but I wasn’t sure would it be too funky with the pipe like serifs. I also reached information about which of fonts had been discovered to match well together (for example and For the first digital sketches I wasn’t still sure which ones I would use. It was the change of the title text that made the diocesan easy and clear. I chose to have Minion as the serif font and Myriad as the sans serif. Both fonts are quite young. Myriad was designed in 2002 and Minion a bit earlier 1990 by a same designer, Robert Slimbach. Minion was made in a collaboration with Carol Twombly. Both fonts were also originally designed for Adobe Systems. This should theoritically give the fonts some similarities and should work together.

 “Myriad is clean, has well-drawn letter proportions, open shapes and extensive kerning pairs” ( It fit for the title text the best (especially the letter R) and with it’s clarity it was easy to use and looked good in all of the pages.

Minion is used particularly as a body text in a classical style. It’s neutral and practical while also slightly condensed to save space. It’s good for different text sizes. (Wikipedi.coma) It gave a good pair for the Myriad -”especially bolded Myriad” (


Existing cookbooks:

Next I found five cookbooks and traced explored the columns used in them and measure the margins and cutters. I also studied how and what kind of fonts, colours and other elements were used. The books were very different from each other. One was older and you could see it in the layout. There was couple that I really liked and they gave some ideas how this cookbook could look like.

I also explored the grid systems of the books.

Then I created a moodboard and made a mindmap to have some ground to base my ideas.



First I made some thumbnails to see what options I would have for the layout. I think the layout for the hole book should be quite similar. A magazine could have more veriety in the pages but the cookbook should be informative, easy to read and follow the instructions and give inspiration. There has to be something that connects the hole content together from the cover to the end. But the grid system should also give flexibility to insert different amount of text for each page.


I chose to put the text into two columns side by side. The ingredients to the other and the instructions to the other. I think that looked modern and stylish. After that I made some coloured sketches.

I explored and translated the text giving for the cookbook. Different recipes had different length for the ingredients and instructions. Different recipes also had tips or/and information about the dish. That had to be taken into consideration when planning the amout of grids. How to spread the text so that it would fit nicely in all of the pages despite the varity of the amount of the text. The content had the heading, information, for how many persons, the ingredients, instructions and tips.

I sketched variety of choices how the layout could look like. First just the balance between the components and then more detailed thinking already the grid/system as well.I decided to try two different layouts in InDesign to see how the different amount of text would fit to the layouts and how it would look. Quickly I realised that I needed more columns to make it work better. If I only have 5 columns the three columns where the recipes supposed to go is too small.


Then I started working with the cover. It means a lot to the rest of the layout. I made a lot of different kind of solutions for the cover and chose to continue working with this one. I think it was like a teaser to open the book and read more. The pictures were like the food would be packed already for you. I chose the best cover and started to work with it. On the left cane seen how it looked in the end.

kansi_kokeiluja12                           Cookbook_finished.jpg

Then I finalised the recipe pages.

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Here’s the final result:

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