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Q&A with Madelyn Bilsborough

Published 26th November, 2018 in Behind the Book
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 You were the designer for Margaret River Press’s upcoming book, Fervor. What did the design process involve for the cookbook and how did you approach the design brief? 

Like most of my projects, the process starts off with getting to know the client and their needs. Understanding the brief is really important before moving forward so I tend to spend some time looking over everything provided and pulling out the essential points to begin building concepts.

With this particular project, I worked closely with Chris Gurney, the photographer for Fervor and began with some concept pages. The photography was a major component in Fervor so I started off trialling fonts, graphics and typography layouts that would complement the imagery, keeping it minimal throughout.

Once we settled on this stage, I was able to move forward with rolling out the rest of the book. We were able to develop about four alternate layout designs to assign to sections of the book, which included the recipe pages, background stories, title pages and ingredient descriptions. From there, I was able to work with this flow and it was a matter of replacing copy and imagery and doing a bit of shuffling here and there.

How would you describe the design of Fervor in three words? 

Minimal, organic, elegant.

Is this the first cookbook you’ve worked on? What other types of publications do you usually work on? 

Yes, this is the first cookbook! I have worked on other photography books, illustration-based books, but mostly magazines and look books.

 Are there certain golden rules when it comes to book design? 

I think the most important rule I implement in book design is making sure I maintain a consistent flow while at the same time making sure each and every page has its own unique layout.

Do you have a favourite recipe from the book, or one you’re eager to try? 

I have a major sweet tooth, so the Wildflower Honey Ice-Cream, Wattleseed Curd, Wattleseed Mousse and Sandalwood Nut sounds right up my alley!

Madelyn Bilsborough is a graphic designer from Sydney Australia. She seeks inspiration from most things in life, big and small, to feed her immense passion for design and creativity. As a self-admitted perfectionist, minimal, clean-cut work is her forte with a keen eye for detail. When she’s not putting pen to paper or sitting in front of a screen, travelling is the next best thing on her agenda. She wishes to one day travel the globe, designing and creating along the way.

We publish high-end literary fiction, crime and the best short stories currently being written in Australia.

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