Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2013

The Nguyen Cookbook
My Nguyen

The Nguyen Family Cookbook is a collection of recipes that I learned while watching my nanny and my mom cook. The book shows what my family, originally from Northern Vietnam and currently living in the South, typically eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There are also quotes from members of my family on why they like particular dishes. The book expresses what Vietnamese homecooked food means to me. It is aimed towards those who value tradition and homemade food. The recipes are simple and direct, aimed towards an American audience who has some experience in cooking and is interested in Vietnamese food. The book is in the style of a coffee table book which includes my photographs of the food I cooked and bold typographic treatments. To give the book more personality, I added playful illustrations of my family members. There is a saying in Vietnam that if you keep your house clean, you will have a comfortable living space; if you keep the dishes clean you will enjoy the food more. My mom only buys white dishes because she said they look neat and clean. All of this inspired me to take a clean style for the photography, typography, and also the layout of the book. The cursive typography chosen for the book is inspired by cursive handwriting that students learn when learning to write in Vietnamese school. Although the book is about traditional Vietnamese cuisine, each family has its own take on the food, based on recipes learned and passed down through generations. The recipes are not only unique to my family, but also to the area of Vietnamese cookbooks in English. The value of traditional flavor is not compromised in favor of a ‘fusion’ style to win over Western audiences. I think that this more authentic approach will ultimately attract more readers and, hopefully, increase awareness of true Vietnamese flavor.

Jonathan Abbo

Nick Abreu

Silao AJ Afano

Amel Afzal

Jeongkyun Ahn

Frederico Afrange de Andrade

Cynthia Bacall

Piper Black

Shravika Bothra

Zipporah Burman

John Bussiere

Noelle Campbell

Susana Castro

Nate Cepis

Yi-Shan Chang

Lisa Seoyeon Cho

Paul Jay Choe

Sara Chou

Saiq'a S. Chowdhury

Iee Deun Eden Chung

Caitlin Clingman

Evon Coleman

Rachel Cutler

James Czyz

Mae Decena

Stephanie De Jesús

Jonathan De La Rosa

Carlos De León

Kristie DeLouise

Dawa Dolma

Erica Efstratoudakis

Alexis Dawn Ely

Beril Esin

Sofia Falcon

Francisco Flores

Erik Freer

Ying Joyce Fu

Carina Giacomelli

Ermioni Giakou

Isabel Castillo Guijarro

Alex Hack

Shaobo Han

Paulina Ho

Lauren Hodges

Jenny Holt

Vicky Huang

Jess Hutchison

Joanna Izzo

Hasita Kamlesh

Elizabeth Kenney

SoJung Kim

Jihae Kim

Michelle H. Kim

MJ Minjung Kwon

Alleson Lai

Alfred Lam

Yejin Lee

Michael Leng

Christina Lu

Chris Lunney

Maketa Mabane

Amanda Maduri

Sara Maier

Tara Mann

Jenn Martins

Caroline Mathews

Andrew McCausland

Anna McKendrick

Bryan Meador

Melanie Mencarelli

Julio Montás

Jenni Mällinen

Burak Nehbit

My Nguyen

Jacqueline Oh

Melisa Ozkan

Boram Park

Caroline Partridge

Xing Hai Piao

Brenna Pladsen

Stephanie Porzio

Rocco Rada

Jay Ramirez

Joelle Riffle

Elizabeth Rodriguez

Yvonne Romano

Juan Carlos Santos Andrade

Ariel Scala-Perykasz

Shelly Seroussi

Betty Shang

Leslie Shapiro

Jennifer Haesoo Shim

Jeemin Shim

Amos Shin

Ben Shotwell

Robyn Silev

Nika Simovich

Axel Hammarskiöld Spendrup

Lesley Sakinah Steele

Naomi Sundberg

Britt Tapsall

Sabina Telagis

Daniel Bogre Udell

Azalea Vaseghi

Will Warner

Courtney Wells

Belinda Whiteman

Bryce Williams

Anita Wong

Chu-yi Wu

Giselle Nari Wynn

Katherine Yaksich

Kyungwon Yang

Emily Zhong

Michael Zoppo