Art and design students create accessible recipe book for Provide Devon charity
Two students from Arts University Plymouth have worked with Plymouth-based Provide Devon, a charity that supplies food parcels and other essentials to people in crisis, to design and produce an accessible recipe booklet for the people that they support.
Using a combination of fresh produce and donated food from retailers, businesses and the local community, food parcels are distributed within hours to the charity’s referral agents. This project is part of the arts university’s Knowledge Exchange work, funded by Research England.
The booklet, designed by BA (Hons) Illustration student Hannah Harvey and BA (Hons) Graphic Communication student Liam Olczyk, features accessible recipes for users of the charity, utilising ingredients provided in the food parcels.
20-year-old Liam, who is in his second year of study, said, “I worked alongside Hannah to create a recipe book for individuals benefiting from the charity’s donations. We wanted to provide them with a homely and cosy recipe book that would look lovely in someone’s kitchen, while including accessible and easy recipes.”
Third-year student Hannah, who is based in Plymouth, said, “We visited the food bank a few times in order to see how they worked on a day to day basis. They wanted a recipe booklet, and we came up with the idea of including activities and games in the back of the booklet for kids, engaging them with cooking, or to work as a distraction while parents are cooking. All of the recipes are simple and feature ingredients that are sourced from the food bank. There are vegetarian recipes as well as some with ingredients you can swap out for dietary requirements such as halal. It was a really collaborative process with the volunteers and me and Liam. I produced the recipe illustrations and Liam pulled it all together.”
Liam added, “After getting to know the volunteers and their needs within the charity’s operation, I also created a brand guide for their social media; a how-to guide for creating their own Instagram and Twitter posts, as well as refreshing the design of their physical advertisement materials.”
“This was my first professional design job experience so I learned a lot about breaking out of my comfort zone as a design student and really centering the clients’ needs in my work.”
Hannah said, “It was really cool working alongside another creative. I’d not really done a lot of collaborative work, so it was quite freeing to draw the different elements and have someone else pull it together. We’d not met before the project but it worked out really well, a taste of what I can expect collaborating with other creatives in the future.”
Originally from Poland and based in South Wales before moving to Plymouth to study, Liam indicates that the pandemic affected his decision when it came to studying a creative degree. “I chose Graphic Communication at Arts University Plymouth because I was really looking to throw myself into the creative world after my experience studying my A-Levels during Covid. I want to be surrounded by creatives and I felt that Arts University Plymouth ticked a lot of boxes for me, especially as a specialist university.”
“My lecturers have been my biggest inspiration since starting my course. It’s so important to me to interact with and gain knowledge from people who have been on this path before me. Seeing them with very successful careers both in teaching and design is a great motivator for me. After I graduate, I would love to work locally in Plymouth. I think the creative community here is amazing and I definitely want to stay a part of that.”
Hannah and Liam with a volunteer from Provide Devon
21-year-old Hannah previously studied at Arts University Plymouth’s sixth form campus Palace Court, achieving a Distinction in a UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Graphics, Illustration and Game Arts in 2020.
Hannah said on why she chose Palace Court, “I didn't want to do traditional A-Levels. I always enjoyed doing art, but I felt A-Level Art was more focused on fine art and that was never what I did. I just wanted to pursue art as much as possible, and that’s what’s great about Palace Court, you’re not stuck doing one thing. I then chose Arts University Plymouth for my degree.”
“I’d really not seen any other university that appealed to me like Arts University Plymouth did. There’s so much freedom on the Illustration course. It was my grandmother who inspired me to create. She would draw a U shape and some simple facial features and I would draw the accessories and the hair. I’m so into illustration, there’s so many things I can do with it. I’m going to be so lost when my degree is over!”
Hannah and Liam’s project with Provide Devon was an Arts University Plymouth Knowledge Exchange placement supported by Research England’s Knowledge Exchange Funding for Smaller Providers.