Designing the UI/UX for a sleek yet traditional website that provides seven unique recipes each week.
The initial concept of Plates was inspired by what Unsplash used to be — a select few photos uploaded each week of the highest quality. As Unsplash grew in popularity (and quality) the new photos added became more frequent, ultimately becoming what it is today; the go-to for designers like myself who are looking for some high quality, royalty free images to use in their designs.
Following in that same vein, Plates provides a few recipes per week across set categories for people, anybody, to cook. There’s also an added emphasis on nutrition to demonstrate how recipes aren’t just randomly selected, but carefully curated to ensure they’re optimally healthy.
I’m really interested in healthy food & meal prep so I often scroll through Instagram liking pictures of the amazing food that the rest of the world captures. But what was super interesting to me was how good food looked when it’s presented on a plate. Why is that so beautiful to the eye? Is it because it’s encompassed in a circle? Is it the unity of colours and shapes working in harmony to create an “offering” of sorts? Perhaps it taps into our ancestry when food was much harder to come by, so having it “offered” to us is a privilege deep within our subconscious. I wanted to design something that paid homage to this concept, so Plates was born.
While designing the Plates website I wanted this to explore how the visual impact of circles combined with the clever composition of a plate of food can be one of the most aesthetically pleasing sights to the human eye. We have always found contoured lines far more eye-catching than straight, angular lines and it’s never really understood why this is a preference.
There are a variety of possibilities such as it’s dominant presence within nature driving it’s meaning within culture, specifically money, art, architecture and religion. If we look at the psychology of how food is presented to us it’s not just about what’s on the plate, it’s about how the plate is presented to us. Food can be it’s own expression, from the colour, texture & shape of food, to the composition & visual hierarchy; in many ways, a plate can become it’s own art-form.
I wanted to reflect the concept of Plates within the typography; user created, carefully curated & beautifully displayed. Both typefaces help represent the origin of each recipe in that it comes from an individual who’s created it themselves — it’s completely original with it’s own heritage.
Kaushan Script was used primarily for the recipe title because it’s organic enough to feel hand-written, yet sleek enough to avoid falling into the hipster/ shabby chic type of vibe that’s so popular. Recipes essentially have their own heritage and to compliment the traditional vibe I found Bitter — a traditional serif typeface that has sleek lines and curves on it’s harsher angles. Bitter consists of three weights: regular, bold & italic versions — perfect for the indecisive designer!
I decided to keep colour to a minimum and really just have one dark and one light colour that ran throughout each page, whilst the two brighter colours I used are primarily for decorative(orange) or affirmative (green) purposes.