21 Recipes Cookbook

Editorial Design, Design System, Photography

A tablet showing a cookbook page sits on a cuttingboard next to a knife and ingredients.

A collection of recipes from 21 third year graphic design students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 20 Recipes from California (and 1 from Virginia) highlights the stories and significance of the recipe to the student. I especially wanted to showcase the geography of the unique combination of recipes, exploring what food is being made where.

This project was selected for Cal Poly’s 2019 Juried Student Show.

See the full cookbook here.

Select Spreads

The cookbook cover
The table of contents spread
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup full spread
A pull quote from the sarma recipe
The cookbook introduction with recipes mapped across the states.
The Southern California section introdution
Pollo a la Brasa recipe photo and story

Design System

To create a consistent experience across more than 70 pages, a solid design system was needed. This wasn't only a matter of colors and text and imagery, but how they would interact with each other. All colors used for text match appropriate WCAG color contrast ratios as a part of good accessibility practice.

A list of the text, colors, imagery, and styles used throughout the cookbook
An example of how text, colors, imagery, and styles interact to create consistent layouts


Just as individual stories create a narrative, ingredients create the dish. The photography for this project showcases the ingredients as the start of a culinary journey just as each recipe’s story instigates how it became a part of a someone’s life.

Radishes, green onions, and soy sauce on a white background.
Scallions, ginger root, cinnamon sticks, and star anise on a white background.
Dried chilis, ginger root, green onion, and cauliflower on a white bakground.
Fresh chilis, green onions, pinto beans, cilantro, and garlic on a white background.
Oyster crackers, cooking oil, and rainbow pepper on a white background.
Fresh and dried chilis, rosemary, and ginger root on a white background.