The imaginative ice cream focused mind of chef Kitty Travers, the founder of La Grotta Ices based in London, never holds back on concept or flavour. Vanilla plum? Yes. Tiny apricots filled with almond ice cream? Yes. Banana, brown sugar and rum? Yes, yes, yes. So, when it came to releasing a book Kitty pulled together an absolute dream team, bringing on board still life photographer Grant Cornett to take the snaps and Studio Frith to design it, taking it to her publishers Square Peg Books who couldn’t resist.
As a result, La Grotta Ices is a cookbook that can fit neatly on your parent’s kitchen shelf, but also wouldn’t seem out of place in the home of some 20-something foodie either. It shows personality, of course, but jumps between references that could apply to all. You can imagine readers of The Gourmand fawning over Grant’s photography, creatives looking intently at Studio Frith’s bold typographic design or an illustration enthusiast smiling at the sweet characters which inhabit it’s recipe pages.
For Studio Frith, however, its aim was simply to “make a book you want to lick, a book you want to eat,” the studio tells It’s Nice That. As the base of Kitty’s recipes are often fruits churned into sweet treats and frozen into a whole new entity, this took hold of Studio Frith’s concept too: “Fruit is nature at its most sensual,” it points out, “funny, fresh and fruity.”
Grant’s photography mirrors this by exploring “the fruitiness of nature, clashing colours, bucolic density, organic obscenity,” the studio continues. With pleasure always the aim of the game — whether you’re attempting to replicate one of Kitty’s recipes or just flicking through the book licking your lips — Studio Frith also designed a typeface to reflect this, “derived from the pleasure of ice cream, where nature and play come together.” Strictly linear in places before curving out to produce cone-shaped characters in its alphabet (look at that “T”), it jumps out in Studio Frith’s portfolio of work, and is totally apt for the job at hand.
The last design consideration of the book is the illustrated character who runs and jumps from one page to another, commissioned to represent kitty as “a cone-faced cartoon character; iconic, funny, anomalous,” the studio explains. It also sums her, and the book’s concept up as whole too: “A curator of the pleasure of nature.”
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