The cover of a cookbook titled "Huellas y Sabores de Mujeres en la Cordillera," designed by Mike Walsh, highlighting digital publishing projects in Villarrica, Chile.

Chilean Culture Book Design

Print and electronic design for the book Huellas y sabores de mujeres en la cordillera.

I was contracted by Geraldine Ovalle and Natalia Barría, two winners of the Regional Fondart in 2014, to provide the design for their book, Huellas y sabores de mujeres en la cordillera. The idea was for this particular book to be the first of three volumes, each of which would cover a different sector of the Araucanía Region of Chile: Mountains, Valley and Sea. They were looking for a modern and attractive design.

Instead of a more traditional table of contents, I opted for a more minimalist style, placing the chapters in large type, with the names of the sections – if any – below each chapter. The illustration of the tree is an araucaria – a highly symbolic tree of the region. This helped to highlight the book and draw attention to the interested reader, separating it from other publications and projects have placed the design as a secondary interest, the investigation being the primary focus.

Open book view of Table of Contents.
Open book showing two pages of chef profiles.

Although the book mainly consists of research, there are also several pages of photos. The biography section has a photo of each participant with a review noting how they came to be part of the gastronomic world, and the names of the corresponding businesses and/or products. Also, each participant has a photo page that highlights the business and product.

Open book showing two pages of photos with black background.

Open book showing chapter title and image on left and text on right.
Technical Details

  • The measurements of the printed book are: 200mm x 200mm.

  • It was designed in Adobe InDesign and Photoshop.
  • The book contains 68 pages, including: front and back covers, introductions by the authors, an illustrated index of the participants, and a photo page dedicated to each participant, showing their businesses and products.
  • The book uses a mostly green color palette, specifically using a dark green (#2d342d) and a lighter variation (#d7daa1). A darker charcoal background (#2c2d28) was also used for the photo pages.
  • The fonts used in this project are: Oswald (Cover and Table of Contents), PT Sans (Biographies), PT Serif (book text), y Vladimir Script (italics on biographies and photo pages). The main lettering font – PT Serif – is in 10pt size, with 13.5pt line spacing.
  • The book Huellas y Sabores de Mujeres en la Cordillera was sent to print at the end of October 2014 with a first run of 250 copies.

After the release of the book I developed an e-book to increase the publicity and visibility of the project.