November 16, 2016

making a family cookbook: part 2

While on a family vacation a couple years ago, we decided to make a family cookbook. It would be recipes from aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. This year it was finally completed! Read ahead to learn how it went from an idea to finished books. This project will be broken up into 4 parts: 1. Getting started, collecting recipes, and taking pictures, 2. Organizing the book and design, 3. Naming the book and making the cover, 4. Printing and finished book reveal.

Part 2: Organizing the book and design

After the deadline passed, the book took me a little over a month to complete and then 2 weeks to print & ship. 

1. Organize the page order. Once the deadline has passed and all the recipes are logged, it's time to order the pages. Since I did this project in photoshop, it was important to determine page order and page number before starting on the actual recipe page layout. This was important because I made one page at a time and there isn't a way to insert a recipe page further back and have the rest of the book automatically adjust. InDesign is another great tool for this kind of project but I have no idea how it works. First off, start a numbered list in word so that you can record the page order. #1 is the front cover (the pages number printed at the bottom of each page will be different than this list). Include any extra content, table of contents, and section divider pages. It will automatically adjust the numbers as you rearrange the list of recipes. To start ordering the pages, I did one category at a time starting with breakfast at the front of the book and working my way to drinks at the back. Looking at the first category, I made a note next to each recipe with information like long, short, picture, no picture, 2 pages. Then it was just a matter of putting the puzzle together. I made sure long recipes had the entire page, recipes with a picture had the necessary room or an additional page, short recipes could share a page, recipes with 2 pages started on an even page so they would lay as a spread and not get split up, etc. I also made sure to mix up the recipes as far as what family submitted it and that pictures were spaced throughout the category. For the larger category like desserts, it was easiest to cut up a piece of paper and physically layout the section in front of me. This was by far the most complicated part of the book. Because once I started working on the actual page, I couldn't go back and add/subtract a recipe before it. This order had to be final.

2. Design the pages. I made my book 8.5x11" with a full bleed so my templates were 8.75"x11.25". I designed a right page and a left page template. I looked at a lot of my favorite cookbooks for layout inspiration to help figure out exactly how I wanted this cookbook to look. I wanted spacing to be comfortable and an overall clean, minimal feel. I set up the design and placement of the recipe name, submitted by, personal comment, ingredients, instructions, and picture. I used GoBold Thin at 50pt for titles, and Avenir Next Condensed Regular at 14pt for the rest of the page. When the templates were complete and identical, I started on the actual pages. In photoshop, I made one page at a time and saved the file in a master folder. This works best if you have the page order word doc open on the desktop as well. In photoshop, open the odd template --> save as --> Page1.psd --> fill with content --> save. Open even template --> save as --> Page2.psd --> fill with content --> save. My project ended up with 86 page files.

Part 1: Getting started, collecting recipes, and taking food pictures
Part 3: Naming the book and making the cover
Part 4: Printing and finished book reveal

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