Defining food culture in Australia

Australian Cuisine Begin is more than a cookbook, it is a bold claim of what it means to be Australian.

At more than 350 pages, we designed a rich visual language to sort and punctuate a compendium of recipes and chronicled Australian food history. Working with chef, Liam Randall, we captured seven different time periods in our nation’s history – from Indigenous cooking through to Modern.

Reconciling ancient and contemporary cultures in one reference is no small undertaking. Australian Cuisine Begin not only needed to appeal to those who are interested in food but also to those keen to learn about history and the culinary diversity of different time periods.

With Indigenous research a key component of this book, we developed a strong illustrative style that would acknowledge First Nations food culture without appropriating it. Running Colonial or Gold Rush era chapters alongside Indigenous food preparation called for a unifying style that might act as a form of visual reconciliation.
Australian Cuisine Begin is a cookbook that breaks new ground, and so needed to stand out in the marketplace. We researched competitor brands, designing cover art that would invite interaction. Colours are bright but earthy, inspired by the flora and fauna, sky, land and waters of Australia.

Our illustration style is simple but memorable, and can be added to as subsequent books are developed. Australian Cuisine Begin is a comprehensive tome, but as a catalogue of food history, it is just the beginning.

Australian Cuisine Begin features a rich visual language exploring our culinary diversity.

We developed a strong illustrative style that would link the culinary timelines.

Colours are inspired by the flora and fauna, sky, land and waters of Australia.

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Design Democracy meets and works on Taungurung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung lands. We pay our respect to the traditional custodians past, present and emerging, and support their endeavours and autonomy.

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