Cover Design Q&A: The Italian Deli Cookbook

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30 Apr 2021 |

Cover Design Q&A: The Italian Deli Cookbook

Introducing our new blog series Cover Design Q&A, we’ll be chatting to designers and illustrators to take us behind-the-scenes on their process of designing covers for our titles.
We’re kicking off the series with one of our recently published titles The Italian Deli Cookbook, designed by our very own Katherine Keeble, Senior Designer at Quadrille Publishing. (Follow Katherine on Instagram here.)

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Katherine and I’ve been at Quadrille now for over 15 years. I studied Typography and Graphic Communication at Reading University. I live near Cambridge and have 2 kids, Poppy (aged 8) and Reggie (aged 4). I had a love for art and making things from a really young age and always knew I wanted to do something creative as a job.

What was the brief?
To produce a cover which was elegant and modern but classically timeless, not retro. A subtle nod to Italian through the use of fonts (but no clichéd Italian fonts). The insides needed to have a relaxed, clean layout; natural colours and tones.

Whom did you have in mind as the consumer or audience? Where did you envisage the audience coming across this book?
People who enjoy cooking – regular home cooks who might treat themselves to one or two bits from a deli at the weekend, and want to know how to use them at their best. Although there are a few more detailed recipes for foodies, most of the recipes are pretty simple to make. I imagined the book sitting in places like Waterstones and independent bookshops, but also gift or homewares shops who might be attracted to the cover.

How did you approach the brief?

The brief was pretty wide-open so I came at it at a lot of angles – both typographic and photographic – and I think I presented at least 10 different cover directions in the first round. That was a lot, but I was determined to create the perfect cover for this book and wanted to show that I could create something striking and beautiful.

Can you share with us the process of this project? What was the idea and inspiration for the cover design and layout?

The chosen cover inspiration came from the kind of beautiful packaging that you might find in an Italian Deli. I had done some alternative colour ways using a more contemporary approach but everyone agreed the classic Italian colours were the best. 

We also knew we wanted to get some gold foil blocking in there somewhere to make it feel like a luxe and stunning book to have on your shelf. In order to give the cover that extra something, some foil blocking and de-bossing is what we decided on and it worked really well, especially as the design is so intricate and we went for foil on the front, spine and back.

Do you go through the same process with each project or how can it vary?

If a cover brief is pretty open, I usually tend to look at both typographic and photographic approaches. If the direction was already decided upon, then that does narrow down the approaches. I tend to give 5-6 options at least for each book cover I design.

How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
I spend a lot of my time at parks and beside football pitches… anyone with kids will know exactly what I mean. I really enjoy walking and often put my walking boots and headphones on for a good long trek. I am a big foodie so enjoy cooking, especially as I have so many wonderful cookbooks at home. I also love wandering around food and craft markets.

What are you most looking forward to when we’re (100%) out of lockdown?
Hugging my friends – I’ve realised just how much I love a good squeeze!
If you were a typeface, what would it be?

A bloody good one! Haha.

The Italian Deli Cookbook by Theo Randall is out now, available at local bookshops, Waterstones and Amazon.