the flavor equation – cover reveal

Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

My Books

Today, I finally get to reveal the cover for my new book, The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking, with you.

A few days ago, I took you behind the scenes and showed you the two other book cover options that were in the running and why they got dropped. Now, it’s time to show you the cover we immediately fell in love with.

You’ll also hear from my editor Sarah Billingsley and designer Lizzie Vaughn and their thoughts on the cover.

When I saw the options for my book cover, this one immediately stood out. It’s simple, limes are also my favorite choice of citrus (most of my recipes feature limes in some capacity or another). When I photographed the limes, I wanted to get as close as possible to the fruit so you could almost imagine the fresh perfume of the limes, the bright taste of the citric acid, the texture of the fruit’s flesh, the cool and calming green color, and perhaps you might even think about the sound that is made when a lime is squeezed. So here it is, folks, the cover to my new book, The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking

“What’s truly special about this cookbook and what we needed to convey in the cover is how Nik presets science through beauty,” explains my editor, Sarah Billingsley, who is the Editorial Director at Chronicle Books. “In this book, Nik has really pushed himself to show something beyond the beauty of finished or in-process dishes—he has captured flavor sensations as expressed in food. The cover needed something that conveyed all of this in a single recognizable picture, and bright, juicy limes said “flavor”.”

“Our biggest design challenge was selecting the perfect photograph,” explains Lizzie Vaughan, Senior Designer at Chronicle Books. “Nik shot so much gorgeous imagery for The Flavor Equation, that we had plenty to work with. There are many levels of approval before a cover can go to print, and from presentations early on, we realized that the hook would be to use a photo that nodded to science and cooking. We ran the gamut. Almost 100 variations! Not surprisingly, the limes were one of the first photos we tried (sometimes when ya know, ya know). Nik’s macro abstract images are one of the most unique features of the book and the limes in particular have such colorful personality. They are friendly, not intimating, top-notch positive energy. They really echo the concept of the book.

We wanted an elegant title solution that wouldn’t distract from the photo. We landed on a lockup with an authoritative feel – left aligned, no-frills typography, within a white band. It gestures to an encyclopedia, but paired with the bright and graphic photo, it doesn’t feel too academic. The contrast works.

Nik’s first book was a wonderful framework to build from. Here too, you’ll find more beautiful photographs and other elements carried over (like a typeface ironically called Tribute), but we’ve gone full-throttle including illustrations too. The finished package will be refreshing. You’ll want to sit down and experience the book as an object, as well as to cook from it!”

Learn more about The Flavor Equation

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