Online portfolio and print on demand catalogs for Graphic Design and Animation graduates from the Department of Design 2012. On this page you will find our conference presentations, and by hovering over the menu groups on the left you can read contextual documents. You are welcome to attend our Grad Show, opening on 29 November 2012 at 6pm, and daily from 30 November to 6 December 9.30am – 4pm.
E.A.T – Easy Alternatives to Takeaways – A Guide for Female Flatters
A print based project aimed to provide information to female students living away from home on affordable and simple food ideas.
The key contextual references in my work developed from a socially responsible aim to improve students’ lifestyles and eating habits through independent decision making. My work focuses on the student community, acknowledging their way of living and offering simple and realistic options in relation to food consumption. My work specifically targets female students living away from home and takes an enthusiastic and creative approach. I have found as a designer food offers innovative and fresh possibilities to represent ideas and to drive the key visual aesthetics of my work.
The idea of independence has been a reoccurring thematic throughout the development of my project, with qualitative research proving that once students have moved away from home, bad eating habits increase. The lifestyle changes that occur (such as earning money, socializing and eating out more) when young people become independent strongly influenced my decision to create something that was helpful for students, especially those entering this realm for the first time.
“Young people are seeking to make independent decisions about their lives and lifestyles… Teenagers now tend to ‘graze’ – to eat snacks or meals at random – and to use takeaway food outlets and fast food.” 
This quote acknowledges the bad habits teenagers/students adopt, that I wanted to highlight, offer alternatives to, and hopefully encourage young people to replace these habits with new and exciting ways to prepare meals for themselves and others, whilst still focusing on affordability and simplicity.
My project uses recipes that are written and tested by students themselves, collating a selection of easy “go-to” recipes ranging from ‘sweet treats’ to ‘meals for one’ and how to ‘feed the flat’.
Each recipe allowed me to emphasize simplicity through typography, quoting what students have said about the food. Some of the recipes I tested myself, and used photography to highlight the appeal of a home cooked meal or a freshly prepared snack.
Another reoccurring theme that initially influenced my research and has now also influenced my design decisions is the inevitability of becoming independent in life. My work is aimed at real people, who have made the choice to move away from the comfort of home and who have chosen to face the reality of adult life.
I decided to replicate this idea of realism through the use of photography – to capture the identifiable textures and colours of real food. The use of real food within my work also relates to the physical senses of the reader – taste, sight, smell, and touch, and aim to establish a relationship between the viewer and the food. I felt there needed to be a sense of familiarity of the ingredients in order to initiate an appeal to try the recipe.
Photography enabled me to capture the shadows of the food because of it’s 3D forms, and also the textural details, resulting in a visual 3D aesthetic on the 2D pages. This will hopefully encourage the viewer to attempt the recipe in order to see, touch, smell and taste the food for themselves.
Photographed food is a universal feature in my publication for this reason, and can be found on every page. I also styled the food as I deliberately wanted the food to be messy, as if the food had been “scattered” on the page or just “blobbed” on. This reflects my intention, stated earlier, for the publication to demonstrate the playfulness of food and cooking whilst being realistic; students tend to be a little bit messy sometimes.
I wanted to encourage a level of interactivity with my publication, so to ensure this I have used a range of different paper stocks. Throughout the publication there are full page photographs, as well as transparent paper stocks similar to baking paper that contain serving suggestions for the food. Not only does this physically represent the “hands on” nature of cooking but also physically relates back to the human senses, to touch specifically, establishing a sense of familiarity with such a common household item. Metaphorically, the baking paper creates the feeling that because they own or can own this item, they can also own their food and take control of what they are eating.
Collating the recipes into a cookbook required formal elements to be present in the publication. Firstly, I sorted the recipes into five chapters, and then developed a colour scheme for each of the chapters. I felt this was the easiest way to distinguish each chapter for the viewer, whilst also giving the book a sense of hierarchy. To discover the colour schemes I made up the recipes myself and photograph them on a patterned background – thus creating a colour palette of swatches for each respective chapter.
The idea of patterned backgrounds developed from my initial explorations where the patterns became a stage for the food, however, I have also used pattern in my work to reinforce the vibrant and creative feel I am trying to portray. I established that my food “blobs” would be on clean white pages to emphasize the shadows and to make the 3D forms pop out of the page more, so colour was only subtly added to my page layouts without dominating that all important food imagery.
With the use of typography and graphical elements I was able to establish a page layout that was continuous throughout the publication – enabling the colour schemes to be the identifiable difference between each chapter.
The key text on each page layout, was the ingredients and method for each recipe. The headings are done by hand, as I believe this intensifies the interaction between the user and object, and is also a continuous feature throughout the book. From there, I worked with the chosen colour palette for each chapter adding graphic elements to each recipe, such as quotes from students, helpful tips and other pieces of information. The shape of a speech bubble developed from my idea to include quotes from students on each page, as a way of locating the student community and their voices specifically within my publication. With more colours being added around the recipes, the images of food and the quotes from students I developed a double page layout that captured the playfulness and vibrancy of food. It is also easy to understand and follow, with simple words such as “what” and “how” as well as the effective use of icons, which are a clear measure of how many people the recipe will serve.
My decision to make a publication stems from my childhood memories; I remember being taught how to make French Toast for the first time when I was 7 years old, and this memory sparked awareness that new generations of children are not being taught how to prepare food. An article that was published in 1999 tells us how schools are phasing out home economics and how kids are less likely to be taught how to cook at home.
“…spawning generations who think gravy is made with granules and a custard only made from a packet or a tin.” 
With this in mind, I wanted to create something traditional but take the opportunity to be fun and creative with the medium of publication and information design, making sure my work appealed to my target audience. I also feel that print based media is appropriately suited to my work, and best shows my design capabilities and hands on approach. A hardcover kids cookbook was my absolute favourite object growing up, and I still use it to this day, this influencing my desire to create a traditional hardcover cookbook, a book you can always rely on and turn to for many years.
Throughout the different stages of this project, from research to final output, I have had many different challenges to overcome. I am proud to say, however, that I achieved the look I wanted to for my publication by taking on roles other than just the designer – I was also the photographer, food stylist, art director, and cook for the entire book, and managed to solve all the problems I faced along the way. It has been an exciting and rewarding journey.
 Bawden, Patricia. “Food, Health and Well-being for New Zealanders.” New House
Publishers Ltd. Takapuna, NZ. 1997. Chapter 3, p.18. Print.
 Catterall, Claire. “Future Food.” Food: Design and Culture.
London: Laurence King Pub. in Association with Glasgow, 1999. p.78-94. Print.