Eat your words

Earlier in this module I had the idea to create some edible typography in the blog post shown below.

My rationale behind this was two fold. Firstly I wanted to get my hands dirty! My role as a designer is often behind a computer screen these days and I wanted to return somewhat to design as craft. Secondly I wanted to explore 3 Dimensional typography. I had originally planned to create and  3D print using a rubber material but time seemed to creep up on me and this meant I just didn’t have the opportunity to experiment or retain the necessary training in CAD software to make this happen. (Although this is still on my list of things to do in the future!). Baking some type fulfilled both my objectives so was a suitable alternative experiment. It also meant that I could use the idiom ‘eat your words’ then literally do it!

I wanted to use this particular idiom as a representation of how we feel when someone is caught in a lie. They are forced to figuratively eat their deceitful words and repent in order to receive our forgiveness and in that moment all trust is lost. Certainly not a sugar coated experience.

Firstly I set about hand rendering the typography. I had to ensure that the text would be legible and easily constructed using cookie dough but also decorative enough to look crafted and authentic. I conducted quite a lot of research into food based typography and came up with the following examples as reference.

Creating my own typography by hand was really enjoyable and I’ve loved this part of the process. The next step was to create a makeshift lightbox at my dining table and trace the letterforms off onto a sheet of paper which could be cut out as a template for the cookies.

Once I was happy with the letterforms (it took a number of attempts!) I then set them aside and rolled my sleeves up for a little baking! I downloaded a cookie dough recipe and gathered my ingredients. I am not the best in the Kitchen so at this stage I didn’t know if this would be a total disaster or not, but at least I would have fun trying!

Once the letters were cut to shape they were ready to go in the oven

Again I had no idea if this was going to work but 10 minutes later I was pleasantly surprised! I set up a scene on my kitchen worktop with the baking ingredients and some added sugar, utilising the reference images above as a benchmark for quality.

I then took several shots and cropped and edited slightly in Adobe Photoshop to get the following results.

Although I think the images above are great, I had it in my mind that the cookies should be on a wooden surface. I initially approached a friend with a wooden dining table but discovered a large wooden tray in my home that I though would make a suitable surface. The following image is one of many that I took to get the right angle and lighting and I am more than happy with the results. This took a lot of planning, preparation and hard work but the end result has been almost certainly worth it!

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 10.43.19 PM

The last stage in the process was to eat the cookies! I enlisted the help of my husband who kindly once again served as my model (for the hefty price of stuffing his face with biscuits!) and I took some images of him eating his words. I wanted him to look uncomfortable, as I mentioned previously the reality of this would not be a sugar coated experience and I wanted this to be communicated, even if in a slightly satirical manner.

I experimented with the HDR filter in Photoshop and the resulting image is everything I hoped it would be, although my husband perhaps would not agree!

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 10.42.39 PM


All images original creations by Lisa Winstanley 2016 unless otherwise stated below:

Fig 1.1 Analog Folk, (2015). Dark Chocolate. [image] Available at: [Accessed 6 Aug. 2016].

Fig 1.2 Clason, B. (n.d.). YAY [image] Available at: [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.3 Clason, B. (n.d.). hold what matters. [image] Available at: [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.4 Six N. Five, Pini, E. and Reisinger, A. (2014). Toasted. [image] Available at: [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.5 Unknown, (2013). Sweet Christmas. [image] Available at: [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Fig 1.6 Walsh, N. (2014). Melt. [image] Available at: [Accessed 31 Jul. 2016].

Eat your words

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