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Utah Valley University Department of Art & Design and The Culinary Arts Institute Nab Three Independent Publish

Utah Valley University Department of Art & Design and The Culinary Arts Institute Nab Three Independent Publish

Two books created by The Department of Art & Design at Utah Valley University (UVU) have been selected to receive Independent Publisher Book Awards, an international book awards competition for independent publishers with more than 2,000 publishers and 4,000-5,000 titles submitted for consideration.

J’Adore nabbed Gold Medals not only in the “Cookbooks – General,” but also for “Cover Design – Oversized,” while Grimm Gestalt won a Bronze Medal in the “Coffee Table Books” category.

J’Adore was a collaboration between UVU’s Culinary Arts Institute and The Department of Art & Design of UVU’s School of the Arts. Many Graphic Design and Photography students and faculty contributed to the final book.

The photography component of this cookbook was principally created in two classes. The first class was taught by John Rees who worked with Chef Todd to create the shots of the plated food that fill the pages of this cookbook. The second class was taught by Trent Bates and focused on creating images that could be used by the design team to supplement the plated dishes. Images were selected on a competitive basis with over 2,000 photographs being submitted for consideration.

The graphic design team consisted of a class of sixteen students and was taught by Gareth Fry. The students worked to find styles and fonts that they felt best reflected the culinary tradition inherent in the recipes. Several design options were created and then presented to Chef Todd where he selected the overall design that was created by Sierra Lawrence. Her design is what was used to create the style guide for this book. Another student, Kirill Solomein, created the initial design that was used for the front cover. The design students contributed heavily to the final design. 

Grimm Gestalt was a collaboration of graphic design, photography, painting/drawing/printmaking, illustration and sculpture/ceramics with both student and faculty contributors. This book is the fifth publication from the UVU Department of Art & Design, with all proceeds from book sales directly funding the publication of future engaged learning experiences for the department. 

For this project, printmakers, painters, illustrators, sculptors, and photographers were tasked with creating work inspired by the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. Art historians researched and wrote about the Brothers Grimm. Within each of these artistic genres the variety in approach was as stark and diverse as the stories themselves. Imagery ranged from playful to disturbing and from literal to poetic. The artists involved were encouraged to explore and play to each of their own strengths and creative processes. 

The graphic design team was then charged with taking a varied collection of stories and curating a diversified collection from over 2,500 pieces of art and combining them into a new, cohesive whole. The designers created six unique styles that were intermittently repeated. Individual stories were imbued with unique personalities. Each one has a distinctive flair in color, typeface, and feel. No story is preceded or followed by the same style. The fonts range from classical to bizarre much like the stories themselves.

These projects and resulting books are not intended to be just an educational exercise. These are unique engaged learning opportunities that put students on equal footing with their soon-to-be professional counterparts. The books compete with professional publications. All the books are submitted to several competitions. Every book has received recognition in state, regional and national competitions from organizations such as Independent Publishers Book Awards, PPI PrintROCKS!, DesignArts Utah, AIGA 100, and PRINT magazine. 

The full list of this year’s winners can be found here: and  The Art & Design books here: