Most Improved Design (Electronic)

New format and nouvelle cuisine: Sizzle cooks up a designer’s dream

The quarterly magazine of the American Culinary Federation not long ago moved from print to digital. Then it completed its transition with a delectable redesign.

Fresh faces, fresh food, fresh look.

The recipe for success was embodied in these key ingredients, which is why the aptly named Sizzle garnered top honors for Most Improved Design for online publications in Ragan’s Employee Communications Awards for 2011.

The online magazine of the American Culinary Federation caters to its membership of professional chefs—20,000 members in more than 210 chapters nationwide. Sizzle is a quarterly publication targeting culinary and baking/pastry students in technical high schools and colleges. It features articles about the latest culinary trends, career paths, step-by-step demonstrations, recipes, and interviews with leading chefs in the industry.

To that end, it needs not just food “glamour” shots, but photos that accurately convey the process of food preparation and presentation. Moreover, the magazine must package the images—including graphic elements that help tell a given story—in a way that appeals to an audience with a collectively elevated aesthetic sense. Sizzle most certainly does so.

Not that Sizzle doesn’t have its share of Saveur and Bon Appetit caliber photography. The lusciousness of the featured dishes jumps off the screen in a way that would delight aspiring chefs and their appetent clientele alike.

Sizzle made the jump from print to an electronic version not long before it undertook a carefully planned and calibrated redesign. It conducted research into which features gained traction with readers, and which fell short of its increasingly lofty standards of relevance, as well as visual appeal.

The resulting publication speaks for itself. It’s engaging and enticing, cohesive and contemporary.

To view the winning work please click here.


View More Employee Communications Awards 2011 Winners.

Visit to learn more about awards opportunities.