Mar 30, 2014

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Cover Designs (Help Me Choose!)



After a year of recipe testing, manuscript writing, editing, photo shoots, and everything else that goes into writing a cookbook (and let me tell ya, there is a lot!), I'm SO excited to share three cover designs that (fingers-crossed!) I hope you like as much as I do. But I need your help—I can't decide which one I like best, so I thought it would be fun to let YOU decide!



The design team at Clarkson Potter worked really hard to come up with a cover that would stand out on the shelves. We narrowed it down to three, all photographed by the very talented Penny De Los Santos.

The three recipes pictured on these covers are:

A) Cheesy Baked Penne with Eggplant
B) Buttermilk Oven "Fried" Chicken
C) Kiss My (Shrimp and) Grits

Please help me choose by telling me which you like best: A, B or C in your comments (please don't email me)!

And if you haven't already done so, be sure to sign up for The Skinnytaste Cookbook newsletter. That way you’ll be the first to receive recipes, special offers, and lots more about the book!

Comments are now closed,... Thanks for all your helpful input.

3,733 comments :

  1. It's a tough choice, but I think I'd go for B (although C is the one I would cook for myself).

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  2. I like C the best but I think people will be more drawn to A or B in terms of what people like to eat. B is nice, clean and simple. Everyone loves fried chicken!

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  3. C! It's the cleanest! Or maybe that's just the Southerner in me loving the shrimp and grits

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  4. B is the one because it doesn't look skinny! Carole

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  5. A - not everyone is a meat / fish fan!

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  6. In my opinion B looks skimpy. C is the most appealing to me.

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  7. I think C is the most appealing because it looks more clean and appetizing than the other 2. In A, I'm not a fan of the messy look from the pasta residue in the pan, and B lacks color I would like to see- one of the things I love about your recipes is that the variety of veg/other ingredients makes the meals look so colorful and nutritious!

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    1. Agreed- C is the best visually. And I don't even like seafood, but that is the one that would attract me most.

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    2. Agree C for same reasons as above

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  8. I like #2. Fried chicken is one of LAST things I would expect to see in a low calorie cookbook and would make me pick up the book over others

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  9. Definitely C. "A" looks messy - like a leftover container. It's not very appealing. "B" has unusual composition - the chicken drumsticks are just floating in space, so although they look tasty they don't appear to be connected to a meal. "C" is the best choice to me because it has good composition, good balance, and looks very tasty.

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  10. C! C! C! Lol

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  11. They are all great, but A is the best!! I can't wait for the cookbook to come out.

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  13. How exciting Gi!!!
    I think I would go for A (although I am a fish lover) because it might draw more people in…who doesn't love a light pasta dish??? Lots of luck!!

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  14. I don't like the name placement on cover A--it is harder to read the name of the book. Cover B is easiest to read the title, but I don't love the chicken as a sample of what you make. I like the food on cover C the best--but you want the title and subtitle to stand out.

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  15. C! It's like all your other recipes that have restaurant quality presentations and taste but then you break them down into a few simple steps and voila! Not only is it healthier, bigger in flavor but also super simple!

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  16. C for sure!!

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  17. Tough choice... they all look great! I'm going with A!

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  18. B was the first one that caught my eye and it looks like a meal that isn't diet friendly, but is. If that makes sense. The other two look like healthy meals and that can be a turnoff to some people. Fried chicken isn't supposed to be healthy so it intrigues me.

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  19. B, although they all look fantastic!

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  20. C. It's both clean and interesting

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  21. Not A, not as appetizing. The others spark more of an interest. Congrats!

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  22. A - it looks like you - your brand

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  23. Definitely A. B just looks strange w/ the bits of chicken coating everywhere, and the chicken just tossed about and not arranged on a plate. C just doesn't look appetizing (not a fan of grits). A looks really good, and I like that it isn't perfect (bit of burnt cheese or whatever on the pan handle) makes me think that these recipes were tested by a "real" person and not someone w/ an army of helpers to measure out perfect amounts of every ingredient etc.

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  24. A would be my first choice because you don't expect something so gooey and cheesy to be considered "skinny" but the dish does look messy so C it is.

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  25. Definitely C. I like the cleaner look instead of the "messiness" of the sauce and crumbs in the other two pictures.

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  26. B definitely :) I love the idea of something traditionally "fattening" being made in a healthy way :)

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  27. A - can't wait to buy this!

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  28. B or C, but personally I like C more :)

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  29. C has my vote

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  30. Either A or B. If I saw I cookbook with either of those pictures (pasta and fried chicken! yum) that is named for low cal/lowfat I would grab it in a second! Congrats! I love your recipes!

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  31. My food choice would be B, but the crumbs make it look messy, which turns me off a little. C is a great picture, but the food is different and a little weird and I probably wouldn't make it.

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  32. B ...it's just a little different than most cookbook covers.

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  33. I'm a vegetarian, so I like A.

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  34. A - looks like a dish most people would enjoy and it piques their interest that it's low on calories.

    Where can I sign up for the Cookbook newsletter?
    Thank you for your amazing recipes!

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  35. C for sure, it has a nice clean look

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  36. A.

    (I don't think our comments are going to help lol)

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  37. I pick A. Mainly because I am Italian and love anything with Pasta. However all three are appealing to my eye.

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  38. They are all great but when pushed to pick, A or C. That comes from someone who has over 500 cookbooks by the way. When it all comes down to it, it is how many great recipes on the inside are there? If the owner is constantly going to that book, you got a winner, regardless of the cover! ;-)

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  39. I vote B - it looks the most visually appealing, even though I love all the covers!

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  40. A. you have many other beautiful dishes to choose from, but out of these three I say A.

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  41. Either A or C! Great job Gina!! :)

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  42. A is my first choice. I think it looks like an easy and complete meal. Plus having some missing shows that it is really tasty and people couldn't wait to dive in.

    C is my next choice as again it shows a complete/healthy meal.

    B I understand wanting to show a normally fattening dish made healthy, but this is not a complete meal - no vegetables, no side dish, etc. It wouldn't entice me to buy the book.

    I love your recipes though and find it EXTREMELY helpful to stay on track and lose weight with your website and I can't wait for the cookbook!!

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  43. B. The 'fried' food looks fantastic; also easier to read the title on the white background.

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  44. Gina.. you can take or leave these comments but I am a Creative Director. I like the concepts of A and B but I think they would make better covers if the photos were "cleaner." (Because these aren't the types of dishes you would normally see "skinny." And that would draw people in). However, in A & B there are too many crumbs, splotches of sauce, etc. They look a bit messy. I'm not sure if you had a professional shoot those..but the way you normally style and shoot your dishes is more appealing. I would go back into your archives and choose something from there. The general page layouts are really good though... Just need to switch out the shots.

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    1. I agree. That is what I immediately thought. Given the choice of these 3 though, 3 looks the cleanest ,

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  45. NO question "C"! However, I would think about having some printed with B and C due to the fact that you will interest different types of people with both. C will include the A people.

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  46. I'm torn between A and C … I am SO excited for your book to come out!!! When can we start preordering it?!?

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  47. I like C, but it was tough. Any would one would make a great cover, but I love sea food and C would just draw me into purchasing that book.

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  48. I would pick B. It is simple, you can clearly see the name of the book. Who doesn't love chicken? I will be one of the first to buy this book. Love your recipes!

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  49. A. C is my second choice. I don't really like B at all.

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  50. I think A, mostly because I don't like seafood so cover C turns me off, and cover B looks too sparse... like something is missing. Too much white space.

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  51. I have been making and sharing quite a few recipes from this site. They always taste great. My favorite cover is A. The title SkinnyTaste stands out the best against the gray and the meal looks delicious. I will purchase this cookbook!

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  52. I would suggest C. It's the cleanest looking. Also, if I was shopping around for a healthy cookbook, my eye would not naturally gravitate to the first two as being "healthy". I would likely skip over the first 2 without even reading the title. Congrats on the cookbook!

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  53. I would choose "C", the picture looks cleaner

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  54. B. It's not too busy and gives a good indication of what you're all about as a cook: making people's favorite recipes healthy and flavorful.

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  55. A or C, B is lacking colour in my opinion. personally, i like A best as the title and dish don't steal eachothers spotlight. i think the recipe in C is a bit to different to appeal to a lot of people. So excited for the book!:)

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  56. Personally A is my favorite but all three are nice.

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  57. I think B or C. Personally, I think the "gooey pan of cheesy pasta" dish is a little cliche and overdone for cookbook covers. I like B if you're going for the minimalist look and C for the luscious look. I'd also be most likely to cook B and C (but I'm from the south and maybe that slants my opinion). But honestly I think fried chicken and shrimp and grits are thought of as "never good for you" foods.

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  58. C- the food looks awesome and the pic is a bit more elegant for the cover.

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  59. I like A or C. I think B looks like you're trying to hard to modify high-fat recipes, instead of just making really good food.

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  60. C, but I want the recipe for all of them!

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  61. B or C- Skinny fried chicken, I'm in, and shrimp and grits is one of my favorite meals. I don't like eggplant so I might pass on a book with cover A

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  62. B, it looks like something the average person could make.

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  63. They all look delish but my favorite is definitely A. Can't wait for the cookbook to come out!

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  64. All 3 are beautiful and would make a great cover. I personally choose C, because shrimp and grits is one my absolute fave dishes, so I was immediately drawn to it.

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  65. I like B. It just "pops" on the page, and looks like something I'd be surprised was skinny. Also, I think if the picture is too complicated/fancy people will believe that they won't be able to easily recreate the dish. Congrats on getting closer to the finish line! Amy M :)

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  66. To me, the colours are all boring and very similar. I much prefer the photos on your website as they are the ones that really suck me in to trying your recipes! If I had to choose, I would choose B as like many others, I don't associate fried anything to skinny taste. Congrats on the cookbook, I'm ready to order!

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  67. I'm a fan of both A and C because the images fill up the page and the background is better, but I'm leaning more toward C because of the messy dish in picture A.

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  68. They all look great! A and C are my favorite covers. But having to pick just one I would choose C.

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  69. I like them all but B is what caught my eye first.

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  70. I think cover B, tasty oven baked chicken, best showcases the theme of your cookbook "skinnytaste", Thank you for all of your time and energy formulating the great healthy recipes...I look forward to your cookbook.

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  71. I think C best represents the "brand" for people who aren't familiar with it yet!

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  72. ' B ", if the chicken drums would be on a plate or something different other then parchment. I was going to say C for visual, but B makes more sense as far as that you can make chicken drums less calories. Could you combine the visual from C with the food from B?

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  73. B stood out most to me because of it's simplicity!

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  74. I like the look of B the best. But C looks most delicious. :)

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  75. This is a tough one. C looks the best, but we don't have grits in my country so I wouldn't really know what to make of it! B is the second best, but A isn't very nice- it's so generic and not very appealing even though I'm sure the dish tastes great.

    Don't get me wrong, I am going to buy your cookbook no matter what but I'm trying to see it from the point of view of someone who doesn't know your website!

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  76. C, though it would look better in a more colorful bowl.

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  77. You can't go wrong with either A or C. Both of those are extremely appealing to me. However, if I had to choose, I'd probably run with C.

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  78. A, 2nd choice would be C

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  79. A - who doesn't love Italian food!!

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  80. I love them all but I feel like B is the one that most shows off how you can recreate something typically very high in fat and calories into something healthy! I love your recipes.....thank you!

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  81. B. Nice simple colours and the red font really pops against the other colours in the photo.

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  82. A - cheesy and skinny!!!! Yum

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  83. I would say A. It is more attractive to the eye. Fried chicken and "Skinny Taste" wouldn't work for me and like others said about C, not everyone is attracted to shrimp.

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  84. Definitely "C".. its classy and has a modern look to it . In a book store or online, "C " would catch my attention first.

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  85. C! It has the best balance between the photo and the type, plus it looks delicious!

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  86. C. I prefer a cleaner more organized look.

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  87. C! I want to dive head first into that bowl of shrimp and grits!

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  88. I definitely like A. It looks like a dish that could normally be high calorie, but it's not. And with part of it missing, it looks like it was quite delicious and can be shared with the whole family.

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  89. Either B or C. I don't love A, looks too busy for me. B really shows that you can get taste and stay skinny with traditionally non-skinny foods. C is beautiful in it's composition.

    Just not A ... doesn't do it for me.

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  90. C! It would catch my eye on a store shelf!

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  91. B. A looks like somebody barfed, although I really love the blue barnboard look of the background. C has shrimp on it. I hate shrimp. I would never buy any cookbook with seafood on the cover.

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  93. A! Love the "it was so good we had to dig in before the camera came out" statement! And the dish looks delicious

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  94. From a visual design standpoint, A and C are stronger. However neither dish is one I would chose to eat. B is the only food I would actually eat but the design is lacking appeal.

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  95. C looks the best! Sophisticated and delicious.

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  96. Most definitely c! I think it looks the most fresh and interesting. I'm so excited for this book!!

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  97. Picture -A- 100% love it
    and more importantly so excited for the cookbook!!!

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  98. A or C, but I am leaning toward C.

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  99. 'C) Kiss My (Shrimp and) Grits' for sure.

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  100. A!! C is nice too!

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  101. B. The red font pops. Although, C is the one I want to cook just by looking at a picture of it. As others have said, A. (although I'm sure it's delicious) looks sloppy for a cover photo.

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  102. C. It's pretty, and I always say we eat through our eyes first

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