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Side Dish: Coffee

Side Dish is a series of mini-monographs dedicated to the topic of food and how the history of everyday foodstuffs can reflect the fragments of history. Each publication is dedicated to a specific dish or ingredient, whose historical path — its origin, how it came to be, the methods of cooking, etc. — is traced and visualized with typography and images.


Volume 1 of Side Dish examines the French colonial influences on the Vietnamese cuisine, with the first issue focusing on the historical route through which coffee had established its current significance in the Vietnamese cuisine. From a drink with Islamic religious meanings to a highly sought-after commodity of colonial practice, coffee’s history reflects multiple political, social, and cultural shifts that have happened during the journey from its original birthplace in Ethiopia to its current cultural significance in Vietnam.

September, 2019 – May, 2020

✺ Graduation Project

✺ Print publication


Click to view research and design process


Size: 6.8 × 11 in.

Saddle-stitch binding with staples

Cover: yellow cover-weight newsprint

Inside: Canson 30lb newsprint



Roslindale Deck — designed by David Jonathan Ross.

Garamond Premier Pro — designed by Robert Slimbach.

Halyard Micro — designed by Joshua Darden.


The publication is to be printed on the Risograph printer with fluorescent orange ink, with the images and black text inkjet-printed in CMYK.


I would like to thank my instructors — Katherine Gillieson, Jon Hannan, and Gabe Wong, for all the helpful support and advice during my concept development and design process. Thank you, Doan Truong, for helping me proofread and edit the Vietnamese translation of the text. A big shout out to all my studio friends for all the thoughtful feedback as well as the brainless banter! And most importantly, I’d like to thank my parents for giving me this opportunity for higher learning, and especially for going on fieldwork and taking all the documentary photos of Vietnamese food for me, while I am in Canada!

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