Sami Stephenson

Graphic Deisgner

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Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah

I chose the book "Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris" by Ann Mah. This is not necessarily my favorite book, but I just so happen to be reading it now. 

Here's a brief summary from www.goodreads.com

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city.  Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Like Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French and Julie Powell’s New York Times bestseller Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love—of food, family, and France.

Sound interesting? Read the reviews 

Ok. So. I'm going to make a drop cap for the letter "M". Not only is it the first letter of the author's last name, but also the first letter of the book title. Nice!

Here's a list of words I used to get started. I asterisked a few words/themes that I find particularly interesting.

To be continued....

After a long hiatus, I finally found some time to finish this project! Below are some scans of concept sketches I based the final dropcap on. I did a lot more initial sketching, but they got lost somehwere moving across the country. 

I decided to go with the first concept—the one with the slab serif M. I chose this one because it felt a bit more french to me and I love how the spoon & fork fit nicely inbetween the serifs.

Overall, the concept ties to the book, "Mastering the Art of French Eating" in several ways. one being FOOD. This one is just quite obvious, the entire book is centered around food and travel. Ah yes, travel. The main character travels all over France to experience the regional food staples and cultures. The flourishes represent all of the traveling the main character does. 

I went through a few different iterations once I built the concept out in Illustrator: 

After getting some feedback from my lovely co-workers I decided on the middle option because of it's simplicity and subtle details.

Check out the final!

ok...but I still love this one. I'm a sucker for orange this summer.

Can't decide. What do you all think? (is there anyone on here still?)

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