“Essen ist des Volkes Himmelreich” as an expression first came out of the Han Dynasty (BC 122) “Historical Records: Li Sheng Lu Jia Biography”. So far it has been passed down for 1900 years and is not only the basis of Chinese culture, but also the most deeply rooted philosophical concept in the hearts of every Chinese citizen.
As the most elemental part of Chinese characters, pictographs have a deep historical and cultural background. The advantage of a pictograph is that it is an icon, conceptually seated between pictures and words. Even without a language education, a pictograph can be easily understood.
In my work “Essen ist des Volkes Himmelreich”, I fused these two oldest and most impactful Chinese cultural traditions. The project abandons recipes based on photos to describe food, instead applying graphic design as the main communicative tool. The Chinese characters are formed pictographically, so as to make them easier for a diverse people to understand. All the shapes are sourced from modern Chinese Type to visually bring them in line with the basic forms of the graphic elements themselves.
I have also adopted differing design approaches for recurring Chinese characters in the publication, so that even if the same characters appear in a recipe, the form displayed is different, also conforming to the context of the different dishes. This emphasizes that the same ingredients can be used to create very different dishes.