Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Spreads

• Date added

4 April 2024

A love letter to Singapore, Pink Chilli in a Bowl (“Pink Chilli”) is a personal archive of forgotten places and time-honoured buildings, many rapidly fading amidst the backdrop of a city built on unrelenting change. Neither a tourist guide nor a work of historical records, the book documents and weaves connections on the essence of a nation through the lens of food, history, and place.

Singapore-based branding and design agency Practice Theory collaborated closely with authors Manuel and Isabelle Der Hagopian to craft the book's content architecture and design.


Manuel Der Hagopian

Isabelle Der Hagopian



Practice Theory

Creative Director

Randy Yeo Ziqian

Creative Producer

Georgina Tan

Content Architecture

The book invites readers on a multi-sensory journey through Singapore's culinary and cultural landscape, composed of four distinct alternating elements—Constellations, Stars, Essays, and Archive. They also unveil hidden links between seemingly disparate and diverse spaces that showcase the lesser-known humanistic side of an automated nation.

Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Book
Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Cover close-up
Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Spread close-up
Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Book
Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Book

“Reflecting on Isabelle and Manuel’s immediate connection with the work and my team’s approach and how they look at typography, layout and service designs, our use of Modernism also worked as a singular language that resonated with Isabelle and Manuel. Our design process extends beyond mere layout; when everything comes together, the book almost gets elevated to an artefact of sorts, emphasising the quality that showcases its preciousness.”

Randy Yeo

Design Director, Practice Theory

Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Book

The dichotomy of opposing impulses governs the book’s content and page flow. As the book unfolds, the visual interplay amidst light, paper, and space transverse between its strong typography and structured layout. Readers may now envision themselves as flâneurs, similarly navigating through the abundance of pages at their own pace.

This tension is further reflected in its grid-based design juxtaposed with varying paper stocks. Translucent paper dispersed throughout the book enhances the play with folds and light shining through and mimics the effect of a well-loved journal layered with writings with its unique reverse printing. Subtle lines demarcate the grid, forming tangible “stars” interconnecting throughout the layout.

Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Flip through video
Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Spread
Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Spread
Pink Chilli in a Bowl: Spread close-up

Practice Theory

Practice Theory is a branding and design agency founded in 2015. They are a diverse group of designers, strategists, art directors, and creative producers with offices in Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City. Across capabilities that encompass branding and strategy, digital experiences, printed matter, and moving images, their work is guided by the belief that design can instigate meaningful change and shape culture in enduring ways.

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