Editorial Illustration
Unifying communities through the universal language of food.

东北菜谱 (dong bei cai pu), or North Eastern Chinese Recipe, is a recipe book featuring a series of editorial illustrations that showcases and teach the various authentic recipes of Northeastern China. Many, if not all, of the recipes are 家乡菜 (jia xiang cai) or hometown cuisine, although people from other regions of China have also adapted different versions of the same recipe to their taste and traditions.

The illustration designs in this book reflect a personal narrative. As a first-generation Chinese-American born in 沈阳 (Shenyang) and raised in the States, I am constantly trying to find the balance between being American and being Chinese. The combination of western technique of pop art and the eastern focus on food as a cultural and community signifier tells a personal story for me that is very dear to my heart. I believe food is always in the center of the community because it brings people together despite language barriers, distance, or political views.

The visual representations of each recipe are inspired by Risograph prints and Pop Art Minimalism. For each dish, I used a limited color palette with tiny hints of blue and red throughout the book. Red is a significant color in Chinese culture and used to convey fortune and happiness. All Chinese characters are drawn from scratch. These traditional characters are a modern take on ancient Chinese calligraphy in the Seal Script style.

Some applications of the recipe illustration are in the form of stamps, posters, decor, calendars, and tote bags; all of which are useful in kitchen settings.

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