New Cook Book

Better Homes and Gardens



Graphic Design

There's no denying that Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book—the red plaid—is a classic cookbook and an American icon. What began in the 1920s is now in its 16th edition, and it has evolved along with the people who use it. Cooks of yesteryear cooked much differently than cooks do today. In fact, the earliest editions had very few photos and instruction because cooking at home was required knowledge. Cooks back then just wanted lots and lots of recipes. As we evolved and developed more convenience products and prepared foods, much of the knowledge about how to prepare food began to be lost. The challenge in designing a book like this is how to adapt the layout and design for how we cook today without losing the long and storied tradition of this book. We incorporated many more how-to photos and presented the recipes with lots of tips and sidebars to help the cook through the recipe. Each chapter begins with a basics feature that provides details about how to prepare a dish. Recipes then build on what the reader learned in that basic recipe.


No job is too big for us, and a 600+ page book with more than 24 chapters and 1000+ photos is about as big of a production job as you can have. Books like this one have taught us to be very sophisticated in how we organize images and illustrations and how we create style sheets. With a book this size an overlooked mistake early on can become an alteration nightmare if discovered late in the process. Our clients can be assured that production deadlines will not be missed due to rookie mistakes.


cs-bhg-cookbook-4Complicated Printing Specifications

Going hand in hand with the production process is our understanding of the complicated printing specifications associated with books like this one. Ring-bound and spiral-bound books present a challenge simply because layout software currently does not allow for bleed in the center of a spread. We build our pages in such a way that the bleed is accounted for but we can still provide spreads for our editors. And we can also provide custom die-cut templates for chapter dividers.

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