Carrie, Ink earned Best in Show for this showcase of Southern cuisine in the South category of the 2015 Regional Design Annual—the most prestigious design competition in the USA. See more winners from the South, and be sure to enter by the April 29 deadline!
Sixty-eight recipes, all hailing from 24 restaurants within the 804 area code—this is 804ork, a self-published book completed over the course of two years by one designer, in collaboration with a team of writers and photographers. Designer Carrie Walters says that 804ork was created to showcase the city of Richmond, VA, and its vibrant culinary community.
804ork // Carrie, Ink, Oilville, VA; www.carrieink.com: Carrie Fleck Walters (creative director/art director/designer), Christophile Konstas, Molly Peterson, Kieran Wagner (photographers), Susan Howson, Chris Gatewood, Kate Bredimus (writers); Blunt Objects (client)
Art and content collide beautifully on each page, as the stunning photography brings to life the recipes and human-interest profiles of restaurateurs and chefs. To top it off, you’ll even find commentary from regional food critics.
“It is southern storytelling in the vernacular of the people, places, recipes, photography and design that make Richmond a unique place in America,” says judge Ann Willoughby.
This project was a true labor of love for its sole designer. “For me, personally, it was a vehicle to do the type of design work I enjoy most (long-form print work), work with and meet new creative people in Richmond (the chefs and photographers), and challenge myself to produce a project of this magnitude,” Walters says.
In addition, it let her strengths shine. “I can’t draw my way out of a cardboard box… so I naturally gravitate toward projects with interesting photography because I know I can use my skills (and typography) to show it off.”
It was important to Walters that everyone involved felt the freedom to flex their creative muscles. For instance, although she would share a vision with the photographers for the types of shots she hoped to acquire, she never went to photoshoots, as she wanted the artists to have fun and not feel “art directed to death.” The chefs also presented dishes as they normally would in their restaurants. “No props, no styling—we let the chefs show off their dishes the same way they do every night,” Walters says.
This approach was clearly the right recipe for this Best of Region winner.