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The new venture includes chapters on home, decor, recipes and crafts, beautifully illustrated by Paula Mills and David Alcock.

Louise Searle from Orca Publications explains, “We kept to the same style as the first book and David suggested a cleaner and more modern design throughout which fitted in with the theme of the house. The colours Jane and Myles have used in it reflected the colours we used for the seasons throughout. Then we layered up the imagery with illustrations and typography. ”

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Intrigued by this stunning book, we spoke to designer David Alcock to find out more about his own inspiration, techniques and typography

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Where did you gather the inspiration for your Surf Cafe Living illustrations?

Surf Café Living was the follow up book to The Surf Café Cookbook and the look and design, although different, had to flow in a similar style. I haven’t been to Shells Café but I do know Jane and Myles from when they lived in Newquay and had a good idea as to the feel and look they were after with the books.

I designed Carve Surfing Magazine, SurfGirl and surfing books for about 11 years and my design style can vary from really clean lines, plenty of white space and crisp typography to layers of photos multiplied, textures, scanned elements and hand drawn fonts. I’ve always had a love of typography. In hindsight, it was a great start studying art and design before computers were used. We had to hand draw type which gave me a real appreciation of the characters, curves, letter spaces etc.

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How did you select the colours and typography used?

When designing for the magazines, I’ll often layout five articles all with completely different looks and for some books, including Surf Café Living, I want it to feel loose with most if not all the pages looking different. They’re held together with the fonts, colour scheme and shared elements. It creates a journal feel to the book. The illustrations follow a similar look and approach to the first book with

I chose the colours for the book to represent the changing seasons, a fresh spring green, I threw in some pink for the summer to brighten and freshen things up, autumnal sienna, and a cool blue/sage for winter.

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Which illustrations within the book are your favourite and why?

My favourite illustrations in the book are actually Paula’s. Her winter illustration with the whale – I have children and would have it framed as a picture on their walls. It has a winter mood but is lifted with the white detail and fun elements. And the flower opposite the marshmallows – I think the colours, canvas texture and pen work are amazing.

A fascinating insight into this enticing lifestyle book, David Alcock and Paula Mills have perfectly illustrated the story told. As Louise Searle says, “I like to think the design process is like mixing all ingredients together and hopefully you make a beautiful cake in the process!”

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