The Secret Lives of Fry Cooks

It’s design week! And my first design project is (drum roll please)… The Secret Lives of Fry Cooks.

This is for the Weird Book Room design assignment. I brainstormed a number of different ideas for this assignment, most of them pretty lame or simply not weird. But looking at the examples offered by ABE Books, I noticed that a number of them focused on specific demographics and groups of people (or animals). And so I started to think about what groups of people are more obscure or often ignored because their chosen professions are less than glamorous.

Fry cooks. How often do you see a book about fry cooks? (Though they would fit well into recent trends in competitive reality TV shows.) And thus The Secret Lives of Fry Cooks by James T. Patisserie was born.

The image is from the Seattle Municipal Archives via their Creative Commons content on Flickr. I made a 9″ x 6″ canvas in Photoshop, added the picture, painted the background a dark red, and played around with beveling to get the style I wanted. I wanted this to look like an older paperback, the kind that has a slightly textured cover. It’s a pretty subtle effect – you might have to zoom in on the image to see the texture. But once I set the picture as a screen, it had the exact effect I wanted. On a whim I chose a typewriter font. I initially tried Helvetica, then Arial, but neither seemed to fit the overall look. I couldn’t say exactly why, but they just didn’t work. So American Typewriter it is.

I’m still trying to imagine what the table of contents for this book would look like – Ch. 1 The Melee of Culinary School, Ch. 7 Kitchen Cover-Ups, Ch. 15 Grease In Your Ears and Other Health Scandals? Something to think on…

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