Story of the month

Grandma Marie cooks

Cookbook by NDU graduate Franziska Heiß provides recipes and stories from the Sarntal Valley

Portrait photo Franziska and her grandma cHeiss
Book Grandma Marie cooks cHeiss

Graphic & Information Designer and NDU graduate Franziska Heiß has lovingly collected stories and recipes from her grandma Marie. Originally planned as a graduation project at the New Design University (NDU) St. Pölten, the book was so well received that it has now been published by Edition Raetia in South Tyrol.


Grandma, i hon hungry
For her practical bachelor's thesis in the NDU course "Graphic & Information Design", Franziska Heiß collected the best recipes from the Sarntal Valley together with her grandma Marie. The result is a varied cookbook with quick, traditional recipes without frills, beautiful atmospheric photos and nostalgic dishes. "My grandma knew how to prepare just about anything with only flour, potatoes, eggs, milk and a handful of chives," Franziska says. The recipes in the book are described as uncomplicatedly as possible. Almost every recipe is illustrated with a corresponding photo. Sometimes the food is the focus, but sometimes the eye is also drawn to the people eating the food. With photos of the South Tyrolean landscape and the people in traditional costumes, the author also wanted to convey the attitude to life.

Exciting combination: old recipes in a new design
As an information designer, she focused primarily on making the content easy to read when designing the layout. She created an exciting combination of tradition and modernity with the typography of the recipe names: "They are written as they are pronounced in the Sarner dialect. The intentionally false word separation is meant to help break through our learned grasp of writing and to consciously live and perceive the recipe name." The author has created visual nostalgia with double-page pictures. Mostly men were in front of the camera here; this is to counteract the cliché that "cooking is only something for women".

Digital and print beauties
In 2017, Franziska Heiß successfully completed the bachelor's degree programme "Graphic & Information Design" at the NDU. Her path then led her to the web agency "i-kiu" in Vienna, where she creatively supported clients such as Caritas, Hilfswerk and Cargo Partner as a Concept-UX designer. A year ago, the talented designer returned to her home region of South Tyrol, where she noticed an upward and very positive development in the design scene. In 2021, she founded the creative subsidiary "i-kiu design" of the Viennese web agency "i-kiu" together with Clemens Eichberger.

Creative forge NDU
Even as a child, Franziska knew that she wanted to pursue a creative profession and this has not changed to this day. Her profession as a designer is still her great passion. She learned her skills at the New Design University. Together with three former fellow students, Franziska founded the annual FYI Conference for Information Design, the first information design conference in Austria, and works there as an organiser and project manager.


Photos: Franziska Heiß, unsplash/Myriam Zilles