Feast for the Eyes is a book published by Aperture that delves deep into the rich history of food photography and Atelier Dyakova was tasked with bringing the delicious tome to life. “The book features photographs from across fine art, fashion, photojournalism, social networks and advertising,” says Sonya Dyakova founder of the studio. “We thought what we were looking at was a treasure trove of an incredibly diverse collection of images and it’s brilliant to see how food photography has evolved with time.”
With that evolution, an array of different aesthetics and time periods are present in the book, and presenting a digestible amalgamation of the various styles for the book’s design was the main challenge for Atelier Dyakova. “We scratched our heads a bit in wonder at how best to represent these images in one graphic proposal,” Sonya says. “We looked at quite a few vintage book overs. It was fascinating, absorbing the completely bonkers aesthetics of the past and then rebelling against it and shedding the temptations to make it look really kitsch.”
The studio simply used the kitsch and the retro as inspiration, resulting in a tasteful balance of the new and old. “We borrowed a flavour or two, but in the end the book had to exist today and be contemporary,” explains the designer. “The typography for us was an essential tool to express both qualities. In our typographic direction we chose to employ modern revivals of Victorian typefaces, and used them in a stark way, without being overly illustrative.”
Initially Sonya was keen for the cover to be purely typographical, yet after discussions with the publisher aimed to make the book more accessible to a wider audience. “So, we have a beautiful image by Irving Penn on the cover and the title with expressive typography on the back,” she says. Though the cover is subtle, Atelier Dyakova played with the “tactile and physical aspects of the book” during the design process. “We used gloss black foil on a pre-dyed book covering paper. The image is inset into the cover,” says Sonya.
The book written by Susan Bright, building on years of her research into the history of food, and to celebrate the images, the layout is where Atelier Dyakova has really gone to town. “We wanted the imagery to be larger than life – it’s a real showcase, so there is a lot of large images engulfing you inside the book. The content made us realise how central food is to our life, and we tirelessly go on documenting it, now more than ever. Just look at social media,” explains Sonya.
About the Author
Rebecca Fulleylove is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and culture. She is also senior writer at Creative Review, having previously worked at Elephant, Google Arts & Culture, and It’s Nice That.