5 Cookbook Design Ideas for the Best Recipe Book

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Naomi Blue Published: February 16, 2023
5 Cookbook Design Ideas for the Best Recipe Book
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Are you looking to create a drool-worthy cookbook that your readers will love? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This article outlines 5 impressive cookbook design ideas you can use for your next recipe book.

Unfortunately, with a cookbook, it isn’t as easy as using a free menu maker to create your work. However, these ideas will hopefully inspire your design for the most delicious cookbook ever.

Cookbooks with 3D elements are also rising fast, and often guarantee your readers won’t be able to put down your new book. So, if you’re ready to create a mouth-watering recipe book that leaves your readers wanting more, join us on this voyage!

Minimalist Cookbook Design

minimalist cookbook design idea

If you want a sleek yet modern design for your cookbook, go for a minimalist look! It’s perfect for those who want a simple yet stylish aesthetic.

When creating a minimalist cookbook design, think of the essential elements: white space, a sans-serif font, images, and bold colors. 

Start by creating an easy-to-navigate page structure that eliminates clutter like sidebar menus and unnecessary text boxes. Feel free to use subtle animations to enhance the user experience.

Next, select a sans-serif font that complements your chosen color scheme and illustrations. Remember that less is more, so keep font sizes relatively consistent to ensure it’s not too distracting or overwhelming for the reader.

Then, inspire visual interest with bold colors and statement images; you can even experiment with negative space to draw the reader’s eye. 

If you find this a tad confusing, we suggest you get some inspiration from these free restaurant menu templates.

Classic Cookbook Design

Your readers deserve the classic cookbook treatment with high-quality images and appetizing descriptions as well. This design is perfect for a digital cookbook since you can incorporate many recipes in one book.

To do a classic cookbook design, start by designing your cover and creating a classic recipe page layout. Make sure each page has a consistent look and feel so your readers can easily find what they’re looking for.

Choose from different fonts and page elements to make your recipes stand out. And, of course, don’t forget to include mouth-watering photos of each dish — no classic cookbook is complete without them!

Finally, add a few unique touches that reflect your brand and make your recipes memorable. Perhaps you can include fun facts about the food ingredients used in each dish, or helpful advice on how to prepare them best.

Photo-Centric Cookbook Design

photocentric cookbook design idea

Now, we’re getting to the enjoyable part: photos! A photo-centric cookbook layout is perfect for recipe books. The idea here is to use images of your recipes as the focal point on each page.

Follow the tips below to create an aesthetically pleasing photo-centric cookbook:

1. Use Big, High-Quality Images

Make sure that your images are big enough so that they can be easily seen on screen. It’s best to use high-resolution images with good lighting so that the details of each dish are clearly outlined.

2. Write the Title and Instructions Under the Photos

Since you already have a beautiful photo front and center, you should place the recipe title and instructions underneath it in a smaller font size. This way, the focus remains on the image.

3. Include Only 1 Recipe per Page

You don’t want too many small items competing for attention on each page. In essence, make sure you include only one recipe and its corresponding image per page so nothing gets lost.

Story-teller Cookbook Design

As the name implies, this cookbook design lets your readers see the behind-the-scenes stories that make up your cooking journey. This design allows you to add captions, use photos, and tell stories about the recipes and ingredients included in the cookbook.

Here are actionable steps on how to bring this cookbook design alive:

  • Include stories about how different dishes were discovered or created.
  • Create a timeline of your recipe journey so far.
  • Use visual elements — like color, texture, and space — to bring out different aspects of your story.
  • Showcase interesting backgrounds to food ingredients you’ve used.
  • Write a brief intro for each recipe, so readers enjoy a bit of reading while they’re flipping through the pages.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to end your book with something special: it could be a funny anecdote or even a final thank-you note!

Illustrative Cookbook Design

woman holding recipe cookbook in kitchen

You’ll want to create something that stands out for illustrative cookbook designs. This can be a great way to capture your audience’s attention and make your recipe book a pleasure to read.

The following tips can help you come up with a great design.

1. Make Your Design Eye-Catching

Adding aesthetically-pleasing illustrations to each cookbook page can help bring the food alive. You can use drawings, photographs, or a combination of both — whatever you think best captures the flavors and feel of each dish.

Consider adding vibrant colors to bring the recipes to life. It’s an impressive way for readers to see what the finished dish looks like before they start cooking.

2. Use Meaningful Graphics

Graphics are also great for adding visual interest to your cookbook design. You could include illustrations that have cultural relevance or that help convey the emotion behind each recipe. Like for example, pictures of spices or herbs used in each dish.

Include exciting patterns and shapes throughout the book, too. These will help create a sense of cohesion between all the recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many recipes should be in a cookbook?

Generally, a cookbook can range from a few dozen to several hundred recipes. A standard cookbook can have around 100 to 150 recipes, while a comprehensive cookbook can have over 500 recipes.

Still, this depends on several factors, such as the size of the book, the target audience, and the purpose of the cookbook. You can also adjust the number of recipes based on the specific topic or cuisine that the cookbook covers.

What makes a cookbook unique?

Several factors make a cookbook stand out, such as:

  • the type of cuisine
  • cooking style
  • target audience; and
  • presentation of the recipes

Some cookbooks focus on a specific type of cuisine, such as Italian, Mexican, vegan, etc.; and feature traditional and contemporary recipes from that cuisine. Other cookbooks may focus on a specific cooking style, such as grilling, slow cooking, or baking, and provide recipes that showcase that style.

Ultimately, combining these factors, along with the personal touch and creativity of the author, can make a cookbook genuinely unique!

Do cookbooks have a table of contents?

Yes, cookbooks generally have a table of contents.

The table of contents is an essential navigational tool that allows readers to quickly find the recipes they’re looking for. It typically lists the chapters or sections of the cookbook, along with the page numbers, so the reader can quickly flip to the desired recipe.


And there you have it! 5 practical design ideas for your next cookbook. Then again, you can make this more fun by checking out these free restaurant menu templates for inspiration on how design truly works.

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Naomi Blue

Naomi is a writer, editor, and manga enthusiast. She has written for various websites, events, and ad commercials. She is also an avid fan of street food and food history. She’s currently in her Japanese and Indonesian food phase and is interested in exploring Vietnamese cuisine next.