Green chile is unique to New Mexico, specifically the Hatch area. Since these chiles aren’t cultivated anywhere else in the world, green chile is a uniquely regional experience. While the agricultural history of green chile is debatable at best, green chile is one of the most sought-after and delicious experiences for those interested in spicy food.
Perhaps the most engaging way to explore a culinary experience through its preparation. I created a cookbook based on the idea of reader engagement, collecting several green chile recipes with a unique New Mexican flavor.
While researching recipes, I looked for dishes that are familiar to the traditional Mexican food canon, while adding the unique green chile element to create something new and different. Adding green chile to more common foods such as mac and cheese also factored into my recipe choice, creating a broader appeal for the reader.
The goal of this book is a clean, catchy product with broad market appeal. I’m confident that this cookbook could be successful as a printed product. While certain aspects of the project (works cited page for instance) are not quite within the boundaries, The New Mexico Green Chile Cookbook could easily be put into production with a few minor changes.
Readability while retaining the proper “feel” is a critical aspect of my overall design. I chose a color scheme based on the New Mexico landscape itself, which is rich in reds, browns, beiges and dark greens. I also included a turquoise color as my ingredients and directions heading color as a nod to the local Native American jewelry and culture.
My heading choices are based on a playful, fun style that retains the look and feel of New Mexican hand- painted signage that is prevalent throughout the area. The visual style represented in the book mirrors the style found in small towns and larger cities alike, while maintaining the readability necessary for a functional cookbook. The serif body font was chosen as a compliment to the headings, as well as for cleanliness and legibility.
I utilized elements of both photography and illustration throughout the book. I used repetitive visual elements from the cover I created in order to build coherence, recognizability and branding. The outline of the state of New Mexico appears on each page number, whereas the illustrated green chiles appear at various points within the book in order to break up the text and as space fillers. Photos, a necessary and enticing part of any cookbook, give the reader an idea of what the final entree should look like.
Ultimately I’m confident that this cookbook is successful both from a typographic standpoint as well as a study in creating an interesting, marketable product.