Friday, March 16th, 2012

Type, Lit, and Cake

Photo: Sara Allen,

I have a deep and abiding love of fonts, letters, and literature. Whether a clean mainstream font like Century Gothic, or an ornate hand-painted Japanese Kanji, the shapes of letters numbers and ampersands in their various fonts is an art form. I love text in my paintings too. Maybe it’s the English major in me, or maybe it’s my mid-century modern appreciation of clean form. I’m not sure. But fonts, typography, and their role in literature has always held a compelling magnetism for me.

I don’t participate in many photo shoots these days, but when Event Planner Kristeen LaBrot and Photographer Sara Allen called me to talk about making cakes for a typography shoot, I didn’t take much convincing.

Photo: Sara Allen,

A monogram was the immediate, obvious treatment for the cakes, as they’re always in fashion, but I like to take something that’s a standard and spin it somehow. Reinvent it. Innovate. Why be just like everyone else, right? Sometimes it means going bigger, sometimes smaller, sometimes beyond the predictable space a wedding cake typically occupies.

Now maybe nine cakes is a lot for anyone to take on, but it was the only design that satisfied all my requirements: Typography, all edible, and something I hadn’t seen before. I came up with the bride and groom’s names, Anne and Adam, after learning one of my favorite actresses, Anne Hathaway, was recently engaged (congrats, Annie!). Plus their names were short — I really didn’t want to do this treatment for “Elizabeth & Remington.” WHEW — that cake table would have fed about 500.

This cake set feeds about 150 people and was featured on and includes the full set of photos including gorgeous florals by Gilly Flowers, a paper dress by couture dress designer Beane and Co., and gorgeous hair and makeup by Susie Chhuor.

The sugar flowers on the cake include bright versions of poppies, peonies, sweet peas, sugar ranunculus, and various buds and hydrangea. Here are closeups of the clusters on the first “A” cake and the final “M” cake:

Photo: Sara Allen,

The ampersand cake was also displayed in our booth at the recent Cream Event at the Book Bindery in Culver City. Thank you to Erin J. Saldana for this lovely shot taken in the booth, alongside our plates of the North Beach Torte set out for the masses:


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