The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer (1877–1962) is one of the world’s most widely read cookbooks. The first edition shown here was self-published in 1931: Rombauer had 3,000 copies produced by A.C. Clayton, a local print shop in St. Louis that hadn’t printed any books before.
The book was illustrated by the author’s daughter Marion (1903–1976), who served as the art director at John Burroughs School at the time. After her marriage in 1932, she was named Marion Rombauer Becker. For the dust jacket, she made a papercut depicting Saint Martha of Bethany, the patron saint of cooking, slaying the dragon-like Tarasque. The design helped to sell around 2,000 copies in the first year. After the Rombauers found a publisher in 1936, The Joy of Cooking has been in print continuously, and has sold more than 20 million copies to this day.
The chromatic letterforms in black, blue and green are custom made, closely following Bifur (Deberny & Peignot, 1929), with overall bolder lines and a wider K than in the typeface. Bifur was designed by Cassandre. The French artist was born in 1901 in Kharkiv (Ха́рків), nowadays the second-largest city in Ukraine, and currently one of the sites of the terrible war.