Nickel City Chef 2012,
published by Buffalo Spree Publishing, Inc.
Starting with the tagline “Where There’s Smoke There’s Fire” and the request for simple, clean imagery to represent it, I began to cull together stock photos of both fire and smoke. Having been supplied early with the four Nickel City Chef portraits (shot by Nancy J. Parisi, I was able to get an idea for the aesthetic’s tone and therefore lean heavily on the stark contrast of yellows and oranges on black. The design went through a couple iterations until the mirroring of fire on top and bottom to engulf the information at middle stood out as the winner.
Keeping the previous year’s book in mind as far as left hand page containing competing chefs and right hand holding the three judges, I tried to instill more of a bracket look in order to maintain the feel of a rivalry and high stakes contest. The chefs then get their vitals going head-to-head vertically as fire consumes the page and the judges counter perpendicularly in a horizontal list.
Continuing the background throughout, all other information pages mimic the feel whether text- or image-based. The choice to go white/bright text on black background was a no-brainer as the dark abyss became the perfect vehicle for the glow of everything laid above it.