From ‘fitspo’ bloggers to the West’s worsening obesity crisis, the topic of healthy eating is increasingly discussed and debated in the global press. In order to educate families on the importance of a balanced diet, Berlin-based studio Büro Bum Bum has designed Felix Bork and Deniz Ficicioglu’s plant-based cookbook Und Was Isst Du Dann?. Having worked on an impressive range of projects in the past – including art direction, branding, editorial work, visual identities and illustration – the design studio has constructed a beautifully simple and engaging publication to get youngsters excited about veg.
“Our aspiration for Und Was Isst Du Dann? was to develop a concept with the two authors so that the recipes, illustrations and photographs were displayed in harmony,” Büro Bum Bum explains. The collaboration came about when Felix, a good friend of the studio and part-time colleague, approached the innovative team asking them to help design his new cookbook. Both Felix and Deniz had given up sugar, meat and gluten and wanted to illustrate the health benefits in a way that is available to all age groups. The result is a delightful book in which the playful illustrations are equally as charming as they are informative.
Büro Bum Bum was tasked with creating an appealing, accessible book that also presented the hard food facts; delicious recipes are placed side-by-side with honest explanations about intolerances, allergies and their unpleasant, and potentially fatal, consequences. It was important, the team explains, to combat the stigmas surrounding food-related complications. The studio’s approach was to balance the text-heavy, factual extracts with cheery comics and vivid photography yet maintain the book’s cohesion by structuring all content within a strong, linear framework.
Through their imaginative design, Büro Bum Bum subvert the bland aesthetics of your average cookbook – even Und Was Isst Du Dann?’s documentary-style photographs of finished dishes are tweaked with the team’s cheeky drawings. “Imagine that you don’t have any luxury tabletops, beautiful tablecloths or exquisite tableware available to you. But you do have an illustrator. We thought we would use our strengths to our advantage and allow the artists to reinterpret Deniz’s recipes and the settings she cooked in into illustrations. What we then realised was that cooking vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free is equally as improvised and creative.”
Und Was Isst Du Dann?’s layout, the design studio explains, is simple and direct. Despite the colourful imagery, the book’s structure is defined by a clean and rigid linear structure that encompasses the visuals. The team’s aim was to reimagine how food can be displayed and to present it in new and unexpected ways. “You can show a freshly baked loaf of bread wrapped in a kitchen towel on a floured cutting board, but everyone has already seen that. It’s equally as effective but also unexpected to show a simple line drawing instead.” Additionally, Büro Bum Bum point to the informative potential of illustrations; their essential visual language can be very effective in communicating complex technical instructions in a way that is entertaining and engaging.