Lost Recipes
Lost Recipes
Lost Recipes

Lost Recipes

Alfred A. Knopf Publishers, New York, New York, 2003


The statement that necessity is the mother of invention fits this project. On beginning the work for this book, there was a group meeting to determine whether we could do something special for Marion Cunningham’s latest book, Lost Recipes.

Our production manager, Andy Hughes, and Peter Andersen, interior art director, helped come up with an idea for a paperback bound into a case with an additional pocket on the inside cover for storing one’s own recipes and clippings.

There had been no budget allowed by the editor for art or photography, so the interior designer, Virginia Tan, had nothing to work with except type and a two-color format. I was working up the cover separately and wanted the book to have a kind of homemade collage sensibility. I began with selecting any bits of ephemera I had in my collection and putting these items together with things as varied as pages from a 1927 printer’s sample encyclopedia to dish towels to an old recipe card handwritten by my mother.

I wanted that feeling to exist inside the book as well because it was a shame not to create a cohesive package. Virginia and I worked on the type design and allowed room for special chapter opening pages, which could now be four-color. What I thought would start out to be eight or nine special opening pages turned out to be about 60 pieces of original art collages, all made from whatever I could find at home, in my office, or beg from friends. Everything was placed directly on the scanner and turned into electronic files. I may have spent a total of around $60 on special materials, background papers, and a clip art book—not bad for a heavily illustrated book with no budget.

Juror Notes

“Inviting—makes me want to cook. Great integration of art and subject. Innovative and useful packaging.” Archie Ferguson

Collections: 50 Books | 50 Covers of 2003
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book


Design firm
Alfred A. Knopf Publishers
Carol Devine Carson, Virginia Tan
Jacket designer
Carol Devine Carson
Carol Devine Carson
Production director
Andy Hughes
Production coordinator
Tracy Cabanis
Marion Cunningham
Judith Jones
Alfred A. Knopf Publishers
Trim size
6 1/8 x 8”
Quantity printed
North Market Street Graphics
CG Omega, Engravers Gothic, Mrs Eaves
Tien Wah Press
Jacket printer
Tien Wah Press
Nymolla Woodfree 130 gsm
Tien Wah Press
Binding method
Sewn paperback applied to rigid case
Book type