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We had a different post in work but it turns out it’s our fifth anniversary with the blog and so we thought we’d take a moment to thank you for dropping by, reading, liking and commenting. We appreciate every single sign of interest. In fact, that’s what keeps us going, particularly now that our five-month-old has increasing demands on our time. But the blog is such an important part of our routine that we do and will make time for it as well. As a matter of fact, we have quite a few interesting side projects going that we will be sharing later this year, not to mention work stuff and all the books from our bookshelf that we want to praise.

So, not to bore you: thanks for your visits and keep coming back!

And in case you’re new(er) here, here’s a handy list of our favorite entertainments posts that we did during these five years.

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At the end of last year we designed the second volume of recipes from the cooking show Atelier of Taste, a brainchild of Jola Słoma and Mirek Trymbulak (here‘s volume one, by the way; it’s been a while since then). Jola and Mirek are fashion designers and chefs, now cooking only vegan and gluten-free meals, and the have gathered new 108 recipes to share with their viewers.

We couldn’t be happier with the assignment: not only are cookbooks always a fantastic thing to design but also we could go (a little bit) wild with special features and so the book has die-cuts and metallic spot colors.

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The spot color we used for the title page visible through the hole in the cover and for chapter title pages is one of those rarer metallic Pantones of a lovely magenta hue. We chose it because the identity of the show uses purple (and orange; we used mostly orange in the previous book) – and also because it’s quite striking. Since magenta is also used extensively on the show’s set, it appears in most photos and so the whole book gains a unified (purple) look. (All the photos used in the book are from the show’s archive.)

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Playing with special print methods is always fun but, of course, the real challenge in designing a cookbook – and so many other books – is the organization of information. Incidentally, it’s also one of our favorite things ever (because we’re loads of fun to hang out with).

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In addition to the list of ingredients and instructions, each recipe has a short introduction from the authors, time required for preparations, number of resulting portions and nutritional value. We used icons for these sections and, more excitingly, we also designed an icon for each type of dish, such as salad, cake, drink etc. (a total of 19 icons, not all of them quite easy to come up with). We used them by the page numbers and on chapter title pages (and on the contents pages, as shown below).

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Chapter intros consist of two spreads, one with a mosaic of photos and another, purple one with a short introduction. Thanks to the use of the same circular die-cut as on the cover, the two spreads are combined.

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We often say that this or that project was so much fun – and it’s true because we love a lot of things about our job – but few projects are as much fun as this one: a book, with special printing techniques and a whole lot of information to organize (and yes, spiral binding).

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January is always a good time to share calendar projects. This year we had the pleasure of designing a calendar for Energa, one of the biggest local providers of electricity. The calendar promotes their experimental project focused on renewable energy sources and is aimed at people whose households participate in the project.

The calendar is relatively small, spiral-bound (which might be our favorite kind of binding, but this time it was chosen by the client) and includes facts about the project and about energy saving practices.

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Since plastic was chosen for the cover, a part of the design is printed on the transparent plastic and the second part on the page underneath it so that together they form the whole image when the cover is closed. This bit of fun with the materials turned out even better than we expected.

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Colorful pages indicate the beginning of seasonal tariffs when electricity is priced differently: summer, winter and spring/fall tariff. The calendar spreads, on the other hand, are printed with just two Pantone colors, orange and gray.

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Each month also starts with a colorful page with the month’s number, while on the other side there is information about saving energy, e.g. about different kinds of electrical bulbs. We created a color palette, based on the colors of the project’s logo and broadened, so that each month’s separator page has a different color. (And if we were Irma Boom we’d love to have a different Pantone color for each month but that was a bit above the budget.)

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Winter is not always a great time for outdoorsy activities (call us lazy but we’re not that into freezing) but instead it helps creative behaviors at home – such as cooking. But instead of showing you food we’re eating (so much chocolate!), today we’re simply sharing a food-related illustration we designed a while ago for Experyment Science Center in Gdynia.

The illustration advertised a family workshop in molecular cuisine and so it invited all sorts of fun with combining scientific and culinary elements: and they are actually fairly close. It also needed a child or children and somehow the subject inspired us to think of Ratatouille (which is simply awesome, no question there).

This time we made a sketch decent enough to share (our regular sketches are maybe not so much indecent as really messy):

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And the final design looked like this (we’re showing you the version with just the title “Experyment in the Kitchen” and not the whole text):

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We hope you feel inspired to cook something experimental this week.

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After some holiday irregularities we return to our standard posting schedule (or, we try to).

This year’s Christmas (and New Year’s) card were not very mysterious in the making but they took a lot of work, fun and mess to get to and so we’d like to share the process with you.

We actually never made ginger cookies before (though gingerbread was part of our Christmas tradition for quite a while) and so we found a recipe in a cookbook. It was fairly easy and it took a whole lot of honey.

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Once the dough was ready and rolled out, we needed to draw the cookie shapes (because not only do we not have any ready-made cutters but it would also make for more generic cards).

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Then we cut the shapes out, simple as that (though the first attempt was a failure: we used too little flour and needed to scrap the first reindeer).

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The first batch consisted of the elements of the card: reindeer, trees and stars. At first, we tried to make very geometric trees and stars but they looked like bad results of using a commercial cutter. And so we let our love for Matisse guide us from then on. Once the first batch was baked we let our imagination run a little wilder.

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So, the culinary part was ready but, of course, that was nowhere near the final card. At first, we intended to be very traditional and decorate the cookies with icing. We got a lot of sugar decorations for that and were very determined to do this. Except time was running out and we still didn’t got to decorating. Also, we were a little nervous about it, having no experience with creative icing and no time to do another batch of cookies. So finally we skipped the icing and used the decorations straight on the background when arranging the card(s).

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Yes, everything on the cards was edible. The ground is white chocolate. Insider tip: chopsticks helped with the arrangement.

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We initially meant to do just one card but we had enough cookies for two so we did a more direct Matisse (/Miro?) tribute. And finally, here’s a bunch of other cookies we did just for fun (sadly, the dinosaur did not survive a fall untouched; and yes, it’s an X-men-related geeky cookie).

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So, we hope your year is off to a great (and delicious) start and we hope to see you around a lot!

redesign-xmas2015We wish you wonderful Christmas full of joy and peace with your dear ones; may you rest and have fun (and great Christmas food).

(The making of this year’s card might be more self-evident than sometimes but we’ll still show it to you later.)

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