espresso for coffee. Wolf Appliances for stoves.  Vitamix for blenders. These are all examples of brands that are just as much lifestyle brands as they are kitchen appliance companies.

When I received a Vitamix as a very generous gift, I immediately imagined all of the recipes I could make (if only I had the time).To my surprise, Vitamix included a beautiful 50-page recipe book with instructions, ingredient lists, and mouth-watering food photography. Not only was this book instructional, but it also tapped into my hungry imagination.

As a creative, I loved the beauty behind the food. As someone who has put together hundreds (if not, thousands) of creative scopes, I wondered what the process was behind creating the recipe book. It obviously was an important brand asset, so Vitamix must have put energy into sourcing the right talent.

For a book like that to come together, they’d need  Copywriters,  Photographers, Food Stylists, Graphic Designers, and a Creative Director. What is creative direction?

This is all educated speculation, but here’s my breakdown of how you’d scope this project for Vitamix. I also created a scope of work here that you can clone, customize, and share with any client.

Let’s assume Vitamix starts by looking for a small freelance studio…

If Vitamix hired an out-of-house team, they’d probably be best suited looking for a small studio to handle this project instead of one-off freelancers looking for freelance gigs — in our case, we’re going to assume they want to hire a small freelance studio.

The Pitch Process...

When each freelance studio is pitching Vitamix, they’d likely have one freelancer leading the charge. For the purposes of this article, let’s assume you’d have a creative director (CD, for short) as the lead. The creative director would then assemble a team of their favorite copywriter, food stylist, producer, photographer, and a graphic designer before putting together a creative pitch and sending it off to the Vitamix team for them to review.

Included in this deck, they’d also want to provide expectations, scope details, and budget estimates. Tip: In the deck, include a bookable scope of work attached to the end, so they know exactly what they’d get and the cost breakdown.

Here’s a rough outline of what to scope:

Time/Length of Project: 4-6 weeks

Full Team: Creative Director, Copywriter, Food Stylist, Photographer/Photo Editor, Producer, Production Assistant, Graphic Designer


  • Creative Discovery/Research (~2-4 days)
  • Concept Development (~ 1 week)
  • Copywriting (~1.5 weeks)
  • Pre-Production (~3-5 days)
  • Shoot Day (1 day)
  • Photo Editing of Selects (~3-5 days)
  • Print Design (~2 weeks)
  • Final QC & Book Printing/Production ( ~ 1 week)


  • 1 x Creative Concept Deck
  • 1 x Copy Outline
  • 1 x Final InDesign Project File (30-50 page layout)

Budget: $35,250

  • $2,500 (food stylist @~3 days of work)
  • $10,500 (Creative Direction @~10 days of work)
  • $4,500 (Copywriting @5-6 days of work)
  • $5,000 (Photographer + Editing @1 day shoot + editing + participation in discovery)
  • $500 (Shoot Day Production Assistant)
  • $2,250 (Producer )
  • $5,000 (Graphic Designer)
  • $5,000 - $6,000 (Studio/Props/Equipment)
  • Initial Deposit: $20,500 (Covers ~50% of Creative Team + Production Assistant + Upfront Production Costs)


  • “We’ll start the project with a deep dive into the goals for this new cookbook. Once we’ve done more research and discovery, the creative director, copywriter, & designer will put together creative concepts/mocks and an outline of content, names, & headnotes, . We’ll present to your team for review/approval.
  • With your approval of direction/layout/and outline, our team will begin on copywriting for the content of the book while creative director, producer, photographer, & food stylist prepare for the shoot day.  On the shoot day, the whole team will be there to supervise, including the creative director.
  • We’ll then edit and color correct all of the selected shots & get your approval on each
  • Meanwhile, the creative director and/or the graphic designer will be working on the layout, bringing in the approved copy + photography when ready.
  • We’ll present digital versions of the layouts for your team to review & provide feedback on. We’ll do 3-4 rounds of revisions before finalizing the layout and preparing for your chosen printer.

Potential Add-Ons + Up-sells

  • Printing Vendor Research ($1K+)
  • Custom Illustrations ($5K+)
  • Short Videos to accompany the recipe book ($10K+)

Some basic Expectations

  • Client will be present on the shoot-day
  • Client will be responsible for any extra licenses or fees outside of this scope of work
  • All feedback should be collected from stakeholders in one document

You win the project, because you’re awesome. Now what?

You win the project. Now, if you haven’t already, it’s time to send them a final scope of work and initial quote/invoice.

Try this statement of work template out using Coworkly. They’ll review your team’s proposed scope for the Recipe Book project, book your dates based on your designated project length and availability calendar, and confirm by paying the initial deposit.

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