FMP – Photography Styles & Choices

My plan was to have the recipes and method on the left page, with a lifestyle shot filling the whole of the right hand side of the page. This shows the audience the final product, whilst the left page highlights fresh ingredients .

I chose to use the studio at college to isolate key ingredients for each recipe. As my research suggests, I wanted to take the images from directly above, giving them a 3 dimensional style combined with shadow. I wanted to engage my audience, and I felt this would be a great way to do this. Below are the unedited images:

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On the first day of shooting, I felt all was going well until I looked at the images afterwards. I found I wasn’t properly exposing the shots, and therefore they were looking very dark. I could lighten them in photoshop, however they’re not as sharp as I’d like. I was able to get advice from the photography technician, who upped the light directly from the power source. He then upped the appeture to F20, and reduced the shutter speed to around 1/20. The results were dramatically different, and the sharpness of the images is there to be seen. He said that cameras and lenses work best at a mid range appeture, and to adjust the light settings around that. Using the arm to control the camera means the camera is much more still, and therefore doesn’t need a fast shutterspeed.

Edited Images

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At this stage, I looked back at my research and found that there were also a combination of lifestyle shots. I wanted to actually make the final product to show the audience what they can make in their own kitchen.

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FMP – Good Design Evaluation

  • In what ways have you considered the sustainability of your project process and outcomes?

I considered all options when thinking about the sustainability of my book. However, I came to the conclusion that paper isn’t as destructive as everyone thinks, as trees are replanted and specifically grown for paper. My book is only being printed a few times, with a small amount of pages, so the impact on the environment is small.

  • In what ways have you considered the ethical implications of your project process and outcomes?

I considered what the problem was, and aimed to educate students on healthy dieting and trying to get them to engage in healthy eating. I would say the ethical implications would be positive to my audience.

  • In sustainability and ethical terms in what ways was your work in this project an improvement or a backward step for you as a socially conscious designer?

I would say it has made me engage with my audience, making me aware of an issue within the food market, and producing an educational tool for them to use.

  • What targets can you make at this point for your work in the future as a socially conscious designer?

I would perhaps consider other sustainable methods of printing, maybe exploring vegetable inks, or using a cheaper, easily reproduced method of printing.

FMP – Evaluation

In what ways does the visual communication/message of the piece meet the needs of the brief?


I believe I have fulfilled the brief effectively, displaying the food in it’s most appealing state in order to generate interest from my target audience. I had identified the target audience to be students, and from my research, I concluded that the book should be image heavy with minimal text to sustain my audiences engagement with the book. It functions well as both a piece of art, and a cook book, stimulating debate about healthy budget dieting amongst students.

What are the strengths of the visual communication? Why?

I feel like my strengths lie in photography. I’ve shown that I’m able to effectively compose and expose images, whilst also showing strong image editorial techniques. It speaks to the audience in a way that is easy to read and follow. There is clear structure throughout the book, making it easy to navigate. I also like the typeface I ended up choosing. Originally, I looked at using a script font throughout the design, thinking it was relatable to students. However, after a short period, I chose to use Gotham, which gave the design balance and neutrality. This also gave the images the chance to shine for themselves, without distracting too much from the focal point of the page.

What are the weaknesses of the visual communication? Why?

I chose to use quite a stripped back approach to generate interest. I feel like I could have maybe added more stylistic elements, and given more space in other areas of certain pages.

In what practical ways could the piece be developed or improved?


Perhaps to complete the design I would add a contents page. I would also like to have given my lifestyle photography a bit more variation on setting. However, I wanted to use natural light and the perfect position I found was in my kitchen by a window. Perhaps I could have used more props, or a wider variety.

How was my time keeping?

I think considering I’ve had numerous other projects alongside this one, whilst also having outside professional work flooding in, I think I’ve worked tirelessly to produce an effective solution to the brief. I think this project has allowed me to follow the design process through constructively from start to finish. It allowed me time to explore my audience thoroughly, studying signifiers to implement in my design.

How was my analysis of the brief?

I felt this was a key stage that I may have missed in previous projects. I was able to analyse the learning outcomes and construct my own brief tailored to my strengths in photography and the food industry. My analysis of my target audience, students, allowed me to target what they would like to see in a cook book. Budget meals was one area that I wanted to focus on, simplifying the dishes to just a few ingredients, but making them healthy.

How was my research?

I started my research by looking at other cook books, looking at what audience they were targeting, and the style of visual communication I felt as the reader. This gave me a good foundation to move forward and look at my audience, which I heavily analysed to identify what they would like to see from a cook book.

How did I draw conclusions from my research?


I was able to identify and target my audience with visual signifiers. I used thumbnail sketches plan the layout of my design, though this later changed in the design process when I moved to the digital design.

 How did I use experimentation during the project?

I continuously changed the design, saving various different versions with different typefaces and layout structures. I gathered opinion specifically from peers at college, as I’m lucky to be amongst the target market already, and have a good understanding of student life.

In what ways did I show that I had achieved the Learning Outcomes? How can I improve this next time?

I used my blog as a tool to demonstrate my design process from start to finish. I continuously referred to the learning outcomes, ensuring I had covered each one throughout my blogging.

What parts of the project did I enjoy most? Why was this the case?

I’ve always enjoyed food photography, and loved the editorial side too. This project has allowed me to set me own parameters and work to my strengths. I’ve most enjoyed being in the studio and working along side the photography technicians, who constantly offer advice when they’re not busy. Utilising the amazing 105mm macro lens and the full frame camera has been so useful too to get amazing results.

At what times did I work best? Why might this be the case? How can I ensure that I work well at all times?

I think I work best whilst I’ve been pushed to a deadline. As previously mentioned, I’ve had other projects running alongside this one, and have had to ensure I complete the work to the set deadline. I’ve done so with days to spare. I also think I’ve worked best when I’m editing the image. Although I enjoy the photography side, It isn’t the most convenient process at college and takes a lot of effort sometimes.

What areas inspired me? Why was this the case?

One book the particularly inspired me was Joe Wicks – Lean in 15, which also followed a simplified principle. However, his target market was of all ages, and was necessarily very cheap to produce. I wanted to focus on another angle, but I was able to take elements of his design and use them in my own. Particularly the style of typeface and structure of text. I felt this was an effective way to layout text to inspire my audience, minimalise the bulkiness and focus more on the imagery. I also took a lot of inspiration from my peers, listening to what they like to eat whilst having to budget. This allowed me to gather research quickly and efficiently.

What areas were challenging or difficult?  Why was this the case?

I found sticking to a design very difficult. I was constantly changing my mind on layout of images, and this took a lot of my time. I think being decisive is something I need to work on, and perhaps attention to detail can sometimes be my downfall.

How can I go about developing and improving the parts I found difficult?

In future projects, I want to up the pace of my design process, and make decisions quickly so the project doesn’t go stale. I need to be more conscious of time, so I’m not rushing in the final stages and perhaps defect the final product


FMP – Type Choices

I tried a variety of different typefaces, thinking about the house style of my book. I wanted the design to seem clean and clear, whilst also being visually appealing. I tried something that I’ve previously been advised not to do, which was implementing a script font. From previous experience, using a script font reduces readability, however it does add a stylistic element to the overall design. I chose to look at script fonts mainly to add a personal touch to the design. However, after comparing them to the a sans serif I still feel like the title needs to be readable, and is more so using the bolder typeface.

I chose Gotham as the house font. The font comes with multiple variations of weight, which will allow me to add hierarchy and contrast between titles and texts. I like how it neutralises the design, which works well with the isolated white background and food imagery.


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FMP – Setting Up A-Master & Baseline Grids Indesign

I re-capped on how to set up an A-Master page by watching an online tutorial. This will allow me to keep continuity on each page, whilst also working quickly and efficiently.

They also help the reader navigate, by displaying direction such as a menu bar, page number, or book title.

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I used a simple design, automating the page numbers as I progress into the book, whilst also adding a reminder of the book title placed in the center of each page. I created margins and columns to give structure to my pages, however, some pages may change, and I will adjust the layout and grid accordingly.

I also used a baseline grid, adjusting the grid to the leading value of my text, and then snapping the text to it.This will further enhance the structure of my design

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I’ve learnt from previous experience it’s good to start with a good structure, as this gives the foundation in which to layout text and images effectively. I want the reader to feel engaged, whilst also feeling comfortable and enjoy reading the book.

FMP – G.F Smith Paper Choices/Research & Swatch Book

One of my design considerations was to choose the material on which to print my book onto. I’ve attended two lectures in the past couple of years from G.F. Smith, who provide interesting and quality papers to the design industry. They gave us samples of particular papers, demonstrating how they can be used to the best of their abilities. I looked back at these samples and reminded myself. I also examined the G.F. Smith swatch book, which allowed me to feel the paper in different weights, and explore a wide variety of options.

I refined my choices to two paper stocks:

  • Heaven 42 – A “blue” shade of white. Originally designed for a luxury car company, Heaven 42 was designed to lift metallic objects of the paper.
  • Strathmore – Almost like cartridge paper, I really liked how the feel can change dramatically from the choice of paper stock. In contrast to Heaven 42, the shade of the paper is slightly duller. This may mean my vibrant colours may be lost slightly in the darker paper, and the ink looks to seep into the paper more.

In conclusion, I think my book would benefit from a clean feel to it. From previous experience working with isolated food product images, I often add a blue tint to the white background to get a purer white. This lifts the vibrant colours of the fresh food from the background, as opposed to a yellow shade which would imply dirtiness.





Final Designs – Dungeness Postcards

After careful selection of my photography, I wanted to use simple but effect  way of identifying the area. I used a transparent box, with a scratched texture over the top to add interest. I also clipped the text to the background image, making it seem see-through, through the white transparent box.



To conclude on the project, I actually found it really interesting to be submersed into a different environment, whilst being able to see and and experience new sites. This is invaluable as a graphic designer, as it gives me inspiration for future projects, and encourages me to experience more and implement them into my designs.