1. Recipe Card Evaluation
1Creative Media Production 2013
2. Producing Print Based Media
3. Visual Language
How have you chosen to set out your designs and why? (Reference
layout, image/text ratio, busy/simplistic etc)
We chose to set out the designs in quite a simplistic fashion, ensuring that the cards
do not appear overcrowded but also do not seem too bare. This means that the cards
are interesting to look at and are busy enough to attract attention, but do not contain
so many different elements such as to look messy and unstylish.
The image to text ratio in the cards is quite balanced, the front of the cards have a
large image that takes up over 2/3s of the page and give the viewer an insight into
what the food they are cooking could look like. The back of the cards contains more
text and information but the use of space in-between means the card doesn’t seem
overcrowded and the images and graphical elements work to break the text and
The graphical elements of the cards work to separate certain parts of the card but do
not intrude or take too much attention away from important elements such as text
and the main images of the dish.
The VegSoc logo is an important part of the card and is always presented in the top
left of the page meaning the viewer always sees it and is sure to know who the cards
have been designed by and the graphic showing the difficulty level of each dish is on
the top right allowing a person to know if they will be capable of cooking the meal.
4. Visual Language
Discuss the contents of your final images and reflect upon decisions
made. (Content used- image/text/graphic, use of colour, original or stock
images. Compare to existing products.)
In our recipe cards we used stock images and a foliage graphic that we manipulated as well as the VegSoc
logo and a difficulty level indictor that we designed ourselves.
The stock images we used were photographs of the dish that the recipe card was giving instructions for and
the point of the images was to give the audience an idea of what the meal they're about to cook could look
like and to entice them. We did a lot of colour matching and picked some of the colours out of the stock
images we used to determine what the colour scheme for the rest of the recipe card would be. This method
of choosing the colour scheme worked well I believe, as it allowed us to ensure that the colour scheme
flowed nicely across the page.
Using two or three different colours picked from the stock images with the colour picker tool I manipulated
the foliage graphic by filling the leaves in with the colours. I think this worked very well and gave the recipe
cards a very clean and professional look allowing them to work well as a set because the
graphic was always the same, but also allowing the cards to look good with their individual
colour schemes. The naturalistic foliage graphic also fits in well with both the Vegetarian
and summer themes we were going for. Many existing vegetarian recipe cards feature
graphical elements from nature such as the one we have used and many recipe cards that
are going for a summery theme also use foliage as a motif.
The VegSoc logo was a graphic that was in the brief and had to be included in our design,
considering this fact I believe that we still made the logo an aesthetic aspect of the card
and it wasn’t as if it had been crammed in just so the brief was met. We added a outer
glow to the logo to allow it to stand out better from the background and I think this works
well to bring the logo out of the page and make it stand out.
5. We believed the difficulty indicators would be a nice extra element to add to the recipe cards. Because they are
showing information that wants to be easily read and understood by the audience so they can anticipate the
difficulty of the dish they should be simple in design and easy to recognise and read. This in mind I used a very
simple circular design that could easily be colour matched to fit in with any of the colour schemes and I believe
they worked very well in the recipe cards.
The fonts we decided to use were all sans serif using very similar texts for the headings, sub-headings and main
body of text. The Ayuthaya font works well in the heading as it is quite sleek and modernistic and I believe this
works well with the other graphical elements of the card. The subheading on the front of the cards is Tahoma and I
believe this also had a sleek look to it but worked better than Ayuthaya in a smaller font so I chose to use it. On
the back of the cards the font Bell MT has been used. This font has been made much larger, put in italics and made
bold in some places. The legibility is very important on the back of the card as that is where the instructions and
main information is. Because of this some designers may choose a very boring but easy to read text to ensure that
the information can be read. We have chosen a slightly more interesting type and manipulated it to further its
aesthetic qualities but it still reads perfectly so I am pleased at the outcome of it.
6. Visual Language
Discuss the semiotics and connotations created from the content you have
included. (What meaning or suggestions are created from the
images/colours/designs you have used? You could reference how they were used
in products you look at during the project.)
Our target audience is middle aged, middle class people and mainly women. This target audience warrants quite
a specific design and quite specific connotations must be given off by the elements in the card. The card also
needs quite specific design qualities to give off the correct connotations that fit with the spring/summer theme
we were aiming for.
The foliage is quite a detailed graphic and is nice to look at but isn’t particularly interesting in the sense that
children often need a face or some emotion in an image to enjoy it. Because of this I think the graphic gives off a
suggestion of maturity and also is quite a professional, clean looking image that fits in with the style that people
of a middle class background and middle age range may appreciate the most.
The foliage graphic is a very organic and natural shape and gives connotations of nature and freshness. All these
things contribute to the message we are trying to put across that eating a vegetarian diet is natural and healthy
and id the best thing for us. The naturalistic image gives the sense that it is natural and normal to eat a diet free
The images we have used are all stock images from professional food photographers and so all are high quality
images that make the food look as attractive as possible and show it off the most. This keeps in with the high end
feel to the recipe cards and makes them look very professional. The choice of using photographs rather than say
illustrations or cartoons also adds to the more mature feel to the cards and helps them be more suited to a
middle aged audience. Some existing recipe cards that are aimed at children use illustration instead of
photographs and we realised that to suit our target audience photographs should be used.
7. The colours we have used have all been chosen carefully to connote freshness and spring. I think the colours put
these themes across very well and although each card has a different colour scheme they all work well together
as a set. There is a sense of continuity between the types of colours chosen from card to card and even within
each card there has been care put into the different colours chosen with special attention put in to make sure
the foliage matches colours from the image. This gives the card a sense of unity and ties it all in very well. The
neatness between all the colours in the cards and how well they all work together gives the cards as a set a
Create an audience profile of your chosen demographic
(Age, gender, psychographic, geodemographic, NRS Social Grade, hobbies,
sexuality [if appropriate] etc)
Our initial audience research told us that the most likely audience would be middle aged heterosexual women
who are usually either B or C1 in the NRS social scale. Because of this we chose to target middle aged, middle
class people who are mainly women, we wanted to give the cards a feminine feel but not so much that males
would feel as though they couldn’t use them.
Our audience could be already vegetarians who are looking for some ore creative and exciting meals they
could begin to cook for themselves and possibly their families or it could be people who are not vegetarians
who just would like to try to eat healthily and are turning to vegetarian food to try and provide themselves
and their families with a healthier diet.
The target audience are middle class people as they are more likely than working class people to have more
money to spend on food and so can afford to experiment with different cuisines and ingredients.
The target audience are middle aged women because they are the most likely group to have children and the
most amount of housewives are middle class middle aged women. This is because the male of the household
earns enough to support the family on his own and the female can stay home. This means that they may cook
more and have more time to look at different diets and cuisines trying to provide the healthiest meals they
can for their family therefore are very likely to try our recipe cards.
The target audience’s hobbies could be cooking, an interest in this will make them more likely to decide to get
the cards and try out some recipes in them. Although not strictly a hobby, an interest in health and healthy
eating could also be a trait our audience members will have. Taking the time to learn about different seasonal
healthy vegetarian meals will probably mean the audience member is interested in their own and their
How have you constructed your work to appeal to this audience?
Include an annotated copy of an example of your work to help illustrate how you
have done this.
Images used are
style and class.
Our recipe cards often use quite
different and so often slightly
more expensive ingredients such
as the saffron in this risotto.
Slightly more expensive
luxurious ingredients are more
likely to be within the price
range of a middle class person.
This Strap-line will appeal to the none vegetarians who’re deciding to try out
a vegetarian meal. This fits our target audience who are not exclusively
vegetarians but people just wishing to try something new with food.
The repeated foliage graphic gives the card a nice
continuity but also will appeal to our audience as foliage
has strong connotations of nature and health, something
our audience is interested in. It is also quite a feminine
graphic and so will appeal to our audience of mainly
The repeated foliage with the lowered opacity is
included in the design to add some depth to the
appearance of the before quite bare bottom half of the
page. This addition gives a very professional finish and is
a graphical element that will be appreciated by a middle
The colours we have used are not
incredibly bright and vibrant. This
decision was made as very bright
colours can often look childish and
will better appeal to a younger
audience. The colour pallets we
chose are still attractive, but are
slightly more toned down to appeal
to the middle aged audience we
10. Cultural context
What did you use as your design influences and why were they chosen?
(What existing media products influenced the final look of your work?)
During our pre-production research many different existing products influenced the way our final products
looked. Existing VegSoc recipe cards helped us get an idea of what already released recipe cards looked like and
allowed us to form new ideas about how we wanted ours to look. Some of the main influences I gained from
existing products was the type of colour schemes they used to target a middle class audience and I gained an
understanding of how they chose similar colours so that a set of cards would look like a set rather than a
number of individual cards.
Looking at different cards that were targeting different audiences also helped me to see what different
elements both content and graphical wise would attract our target audience. For example the cards targeted at
children seemed to have a lot of motif you would associate with school such as lined paper graphics, ink
splotches etc. and they often included more illustrative images and more images with a lot less text. The cards
aimed at adults almost all had one very large, high quality image on the front cover and then one small image
(if any) on the back to break up the text. The adult cards also had more complicated mature recipes and so
have a lot more text on them.
11. Cultural context
Do vegetarian products have a specific design aesthetic and how does your
project reflect/contrast this? Why?
I believe that vegetarian product definitely have a specific and recognisable design aesthetic and I believe our
cards conform to this most of the time.
Vegetarian products are quite often colored using very natural colours, you never see a vegetarian product that
is a luminous yellow or a very unnatural neon green. This is because these colours do not exist in the natural
world and so do not have connotations of health and well being, something that vegetarianism does have
strong connotations of.
Vegetarian products also often contain images of fruit, veg or something like flowers of foliage as ours does.
This doesn’t always include the main image and could be other decorative graphical elements around the
product. This is because these things often have connotations of health, nature and vegetarianism. Products
released by groups such as VegSoc obviously do not have images of meat on them, sometimes they have
images of animals happily alive in a field or paddock but animals are usually left out of the designs.
12. Finished products
Does your finished product reflect your initial plans? How? If there are any
differences, describe why changes were made.
I believe that our product does reflect our initial plans of summery/spring seasonal dishes as they all feature
the fresh, natural foliage graphic and all have quite nice bright attractive colour schemes. The initial audience
we set out to target was middle aged middle class people who are mainly but not exclusively women. I believe
that our design fits this perfectly. It is quite a feminine looking card but not so much that it would put the male
gender off of using it. It is quite a sophisticated and professional looking design and so fits the middle aged
audiences interests and things they find attractive.
13. Finished products
Does your finished product match what you were set in the brief? How?
The VegSoc ask for “interesting and creative designs” and I believe that this is something that we have delivered
as a production team. Our designs are eye-catching and attractive to look at featuring a clear theme across all
eight cards with the foliage graphic that has connotations of spring and freshness. This graphic gave the cards a
nice sense of continuity and brought them all together well.
Our recipes are all vegetarian friendly and some are either vegan or we have provided instructions to easily
swap out some vegan unfriendly ingredients for friendly ones. This makes the recipe cards versatile and be
useful to all diet types be that vegetarian, vegan or meat eaters wanting to try out a vegetarian diet.
Our photographs were stock images and are all of a very high quality and make the food look as appealing as
possible. This is good as the more appealing the food looks the more likely a person is to decide they want to try
the food and use the recipe card.
All our recipe cards follow the presentation specifications of the prep time, cooking time, serving number and
vegan suitability at the start of the recipe. This allows this information to be easily and quickly seen by people
using the cards and they can work out things such as if it will feed sufficient amount of people and if it will suit
their diet preferences.
Metric measurements are used rather than imperial and method points are numbered but ingredients are not
as the brief requests, these things make the card more straight forward and easy to understand for readers.
14. Finished products
How did the use of peer feedback help you in your production?
(Reference specific examples and their final outcome in finished product)
I think that peer feedback helped me a lot in my production whether that be from asking my work partner for his
opinion on my work or getting advice and the opinion of my tutor. It allowed me to get a fresh set of eyes to look
over my work and point out any improvements that they could see that I would have overlooked.
One example of this was that the VegSoc logo was not standing out from the background very well and it was
difficult to read. It was suggested that to allow it to stand out better from the dark photograph background I could
add an outer glow effect to lighten the background slightly and pull the logo into the foreground.
With the “Saffron risotto with spring vegetables and ragout” recipe I was at a loss as how to fit in the title on the
front cover with it looking good and fitting with the house style of the set. I asked my work partner for his opinion
and he suggested having “Saffron risotto” in the same large text used for the other titles but then in slightly
smaller text underneath the rest of the title. This is the decision I went with and I believe it looks very good and
allows the longer title to still fit in with the house style of the set of cards.
15. Finished product
Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your final product regarding its
Use box below for text or page space to include an annotated copy of your work
to help illustrate how you have done this.
Reference what you like and dislike about the work with consistent reference to
correct terminology of tools/effects used. Reference existing products.
I think that as a whole the technical quality of our final products is very strong. As a set the cards work well and
are recognisable as set because the same techniques have been used throughout and we learned the methods
well to allow us to make the different aspects look the same on each card.
Understanding how to set up the rulers and guidelines was a strength as it allowed us to place different
components such as the VegSoc logo and the difficulty indicators in the same places. This gave the cards a
professional look as each part was neatly in the correct place.
Using the same foliage graphic for each card and colour matching two or three colours with the image, then filling
the leaves with these colours worked well as it made the image and foliage match. It was a good method to use,
using only the fill tool allowed the graphics to be adapted to a complimentary colour scheme quickly and easily.
One weakness was that it did not always allow every part of the graphic to be coloured however and sometimes
the original green was left behind in the graphic making the foliage not look as good as it maybe could have if
another method was used.
16. Finished product
Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your final product regarding its
The foliage graphic repeated
throughout all the cards is
very good as it has
connotations of freshness and
health. It also is very east to
colour match and so making
all the cards look individual
and have their own colour
scheme but still carry a sense
of continuity with the same
The images we have used are
all very engaging and bright
and work well with the rest of
the image as we have colour
matched the other page
elements with them.
The way the cards are set out
is very good. They don’t look
overcrowded or as if there is
not enough content on them.
The font we have used for the card
text is easy to read and can be
deciphered easily. It is not boring it
adds to the aesthetics of the card.
17. Finished products
What skills/knowledge have you gained/developed in this project? How could
these be applied in future practice?
During this project I believe I have gained many skills and developed a lot of knowledge. My idea generation has
improved as we had to come up with a number of them quickly in order to chose what one we were to go with as a
group. The more ideas I came up with the more ideas we could choose from and the better our final decision was.
Idea generation forced me to think outside the box more and improve my creativity, thousands of recipe cards have
been made and so I wanted to come up with some new original ideas. One idea I thought of was the idea to suggest
a vegetarian friendly wine that would go well with the meal or dish the recipe card is about. My creativity was also
tested and improved when the final idea had been chosen and I was tasked with designing the front covers. To make
a professional looking card that that looked good but was interesting I found enjoyable and believe I improved in
order to achieve this.
Many existing products I looked at in my research before production seemed over simplistic and were very boxy
with little or no detailed graphics. Because of this I wanted to add a slightly more complicated and eye caching
graphic and so created the foliage. I believe this was a show of my creativity improving, but also my knowledge and
understanding of what already exists and how I can improve on that in my own work.
My knowledge and skill with the computer programs I used improved greatly during the project. In Photoshop my
understanding and competence in using many tools such at the clone stamp and spot cleanser tool increased
greatly as I took full advantage of them to clone parts of the photographs I used to ensure they filled the whole
page and there were no white gaps. I found this method better than stretching the image to fill the gap as this often
warps and distorts it, decreasing its quality and aesthetic appeal greatly.
Although I did not use this program in my final production, during the project I learnt to use InDesign for the first
time. I found it very simple and think that for prints with a lot of text InDesign offers a very simple and quick way of
arranging all the elements onto the page. Because I was designing the front covers of the recipe cards I thought that
Photoshop would suit my mainly graphical task better. Now I have a grasp of InDesign however, I will no doubt use it
in the future.
18. Production process
How effectively did you manage your time?
(Could you have used time more wisely? Did a particular aspect of the project
take longer than expected? Did you complete everything on schedule?)
I believe that we used our time very effectively. We completed all the work before schedule and had time to move
on to the extension tasks.
I think we worked so quickly and effectively because we divided the work evenly and both had a shared vision of
what we wanted to create and a good understanding of how we were going to do that. This allowed us to pretty
much get our heads down and concentrate on the work we had set ourselves without having to keep stopping
and checking with each other if we were doing something right or what to do next. After each card we finished we
may have asked for peer feedback and improve if needed but this did not take long and I think we worked very
The schedule we planned out at the beginning definitely helped with out production speed even if we did not
stick to it completely as I believe we completed the work quicker than we had planned on it.
Creating the first card I think took the longest but after I had that done and had the template ready with all the
rulers and guides I made the cards very quickly. It was just a simple method of dropping different elements into
the correct places, colour matching and inserting a bit of text and then it would be complete. This allowed me to
work very quickly but also with little room for error; everything has its place. This meant I was not realising I had
done something wrong and having to waste time rectifying it.
Because we finished in such good time we were able to move onto the extension tasks and get some of them
done hopefully improving our overall grades.
19. Production process
If you could repeat the process what would you do differently?
If I were to repeat the process there really is not much I would do differently. I believe we planned the work
thoroughly, divided the labour fairly and to each of the teams strengths and kept communication going well.
We worked quickly and effectively and got the work done on time with enough left over to move onto the
One thing I may have done differently would be that after completing the main task, if we would have come
together to discuss what we could do for the extension tasks and shared ideas it may have helped as I was
often struggling for ideas with those tasks.
20. Working to a brief
What constraints did you encounter and how did you consider/avoid them?
There are a number of legal constraints that apply to our work. Copyright is one thing that we would need
to consider if the cards were to be published. We used stock images and ones from Google and so would
not be able to use them unless permission was sought and attained. Ways we could have got around this
could have been to take our own photograph and so It would be our own work not the work of someone
Because the cards would be published and are a kind of an advertising and promotional item for the
Vegetarian Society we would need to make sure that it fits with standards of the ASA and the publication
will not upset of alienate any audiences. Because it is being released to the public no swearing or vulgarity
must be used in the publication and we have checked that none is included.
Because it is for vegetarians the recipes must fit certain requirements in order to be able to be labelled a
vegetarian meal. We ensured that our meals do fit with these requirements.
We did not come across any financial issues as the budget sheet we made ensured we knew what we
were spending all our money on. All the money we spent was hypothetical and so things like computer
hire, software cost and stock image cost we budgeted for in our sheet but we did not pay for. We stuck to
the budget sheet well and did not have to for example take longer than scheduled to complete our work so
would not have had to hire equipment for another day, something that could have become a financial issue.
How did you work as part of a group?
(Did you lead the project? What parts of the project did you take charge of? Did
you enjoy working as part of a group? Why?)
I think that as a group worked very well. We divided the work between ourselves fairly and evenly and the
pieces of work we had played against our strengths. I took charge of the front pages of the cards while
Henry did the backs. It was felt that I was working slightly better creatively at that time and Henry was more
interested in the copy side of production. This split was good as it allowed us to both be happy with our
tasks, understand them and get on with them quickly and almost independently, only checking every now
and then for each others opinion and ideas.
I think that this way of working was enjoyable and having someone to bounce ideas off really helped to
develop my designs to how they looked finally. I am very pleased with how we worked together and the
outcome of our work.
How important is communication when working in a group?
(Use specific examples from working in a group on this project)
When working in a group communication is very important. We had to communicate in order to think up ideas,
develop these ideas and check that we each thought the way we were working was good.
I think me and Henry both had a very good idea of what it was each of us needed to do and how we both
wanted it to be done. Because of this we did not need to communicate and go through it together every step of
the way; we were able to work relatively independently. It is important however to check over each others work
and ask for/give feedback every little while to allow a fresh set of eyes to look over the work and check it is all
ok. For example we pointed out a few spelling and grammar mistakes in each others work and near the start of
the project me and Henry were discussing his back page design being too simple and so he redesigned the
whole think into something that looked much better.
What have you learnt about working in a group and how will you apply this to
I have learnt that working in a group is beneficial but it is also essential that every member of the team knows
what their role is and how to fulfill that role in order for that team to work effectively.
I realise the benefits of having someone else look over your work as they more often than not spot a mistake that
you have over looked or come up with a new and better way of doing something.
As much as you need to keep an open mind about the ideas and opinions of others it is also important to provide
ideas and feedback to other members of a team.
All of these things I can take with me and apply to any future practice when I find myself in a group work