Mise en place

one meal is made of three dishes: starter, main, desert. left the ingredients, on top the name of the dishes, on the right the process and a time; counting down: serving time is zero. organization galore

one meal is made of three dishes: starter, main, desert. left the ingredients, on top the name of the dishes, on the right the process and a timeline; counting down: serving time is zero. organization galore

“There are many recipe books, but very few based on meals. People often pick up a cookbook at home, but have no idea how to combine the recipe into a sensible meal. This book aims to help by providing meals that have been thought out in their entirety. They have been organized into thirty-one balanced menus each one containing three courses. You can also make your own menus by combining the recipes using the list.” —The Family Meal, Ferran Adrià

mise en place—prepare in advance, prepare in bulk, have components ready when needed

mise en place—prepare in advance, prepare in bulk, have components ready when needed

In el Bulli’s system the smallest unit is a dish—self-standing, tasty, ready to be combined with other dishes. This allows to create your own meals, and you cannot really go wrong. In addition the book offers 31 well designed meals, ready to be cooked. How can this system translate to publishing? For example what would be the smallest working unit? What kind of content would work well?

the tools

the tools

create your own menu. pick and choose, mix and mash. in a modular cuisine all things somehow come together as long as you keep the equation: starter + main + desert = meal

create your own menu. pick and choose, mix and match. in a modular cuisine all things somehow come together as long as you keep the equation: starter + main + desert = meal

how-to-phenomena

I came across more examples of how-tos and a nice critique by Craig Mod (below).

howto

howto

“To worsen matters, the navigation was confusing — each application a little different. The clarity of physical magazine usability — ‘just keep swiping’ — was lost in an effort to ‘innovate on’ and shoe-horn print workflows into a digital box. The apps just didn’t work.” — Craig Mod

More on that phenomena here and here.

What is in a Cover

Huber Fichte Cover

a recognizable design concept for hubert fichte’s lyrical works published by fischer verlag

Covers are an essential part of selling content in bookstores. It can even become and art in itself. Covers to identify with. Covers to recognize (50 shades of grey in airports). Covers as limited editions, covers for design awards, covers to mark series (Hubert Fichte). Signature covers of publishing houses (Merve). Very often the covers of the same book vary in different countries (Ghana must go, Taiye Selasi).

Let’s look at the music. The square cases for LPs are canvases for designers to communicate, visualize, and generate appetite for what was in it. Not that vinyl ever left the market, recently they’re back to selling as significant object to display, even to those who abandoned the respective playing device. If you buy the vinyl you’ll receive a code to download the mp3s for your digital devices.

Let’s stay with the music. Let’s stay with the square. Even in the digital realm, the image remains and so does the shape. You can find the square in various sizes across platforms: Soundcloud, iTunes, bandcamp.com, etc. And because in many cases the square is very small, the design has to adapt to the scale and still look enticing.

Covers disappear in some academic journals all together. And the same can be true if you download the pdf file of a book. If you use Calibre as your home library software you can retrieve the former cover (usually various versions to choose from) to complete your ‘book’.

What is a book without its cover? And how does the file do with just a few letters behind the dot (.doc, .pdf, .jpg, etc.)? Do we need visual representation and distinction? In recent digital transformations, I saw the cover turn into an opening page or a trailer.

Consider visual representation
Consider images, icons, logos
Consider signature shapes
Consider size