Nutrisystem has a members section that allows users to add weight loss recipes to the section. Unfortunately, not every user would upload a photo of their food and even if they did the images weren’t of the best quality. Often the team would try and find a piece of stock photography that was close to what the recipe was trying to make, on occasion this was impossible. So for those images a placeholder was needed. I was asked to do some illustrations of several different categories that the recipes fell into.
Nurisystem categorizes it’s recipes the same way it dose it’s weight loss plan. Food is divided up into breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert/snacks. I did a series of sketches for each category, trying to give three options for each. Although I was pushing for illustrations of bunches of ingredients that could be used to make each meal, the design team decided on final cooked foods.
I tried to keep the meals as healthy as possible, while still making them recognizable as breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. The most straightforward way to communicate breakfast really is sunny side up eggs. In fact Breakfast had one of my favorite illustrations with the cup of coffee. I really wish I could have featured it more. In trying to stay consistent I also tried to keep the same, or similar color palettes. For each of the categories the dishes, all round, sat on some sort of blue background.
Along with the picture that went along with the meal category I also had to create a series of thumbnails to go along with the image. It was mostly just figuring out what to keep so the image could still be recognizable while scaling down to something almost a sixteenth the original’s size.
In the end the images were given a high opacity white overlay with the words “Image Not Available” so it was apparent that the illustration wasn’t for that recipe specifically, but instead just a placeholder. It was important not to take away from the rest of the page.