2019 Sydney Design Awards

spaces, objects, visual, graphic, digital & experience design, design champion, best studio & best start-up, plus over 40 specialist categories

accelerate transformation, celebrate courage, growing demand for design

Weddings, Butterflies & the Sweetest Dreams

Image Credit : Creative Director – Kate Dennis, Photographer – Petrina Tinslay, Stylist – David Morgan, Book Photography - Mark Lobo



Project Overview

Weddings, Butterflies & the Sweetest Dreams is neither a cookbook nor a wedding planner but, rather, a celebration of love, weddings and wedding cakes in an inspirational journey around the globe.

We were mindful that this should be a book not only for those planning a wedding, but also to anyone interested in design in a broader sense. It was important to us that it not only highlighted Bonnae’s exquisite cakes, but also encapsulated her personality, interests and inspirations.

To do so, we paired her cakes with sourced images of couture shows, architecture, landscape, textiles, design and international art, as well as design sketches and supplied photographs of weddings of her friends around the world.

The book draws together a wide range of cultural references and, in a design sense, connects a broad selection of seemingly unrelated material in a cohesive way.

Project Commissioner


Project Creator

This Is Ikon


Bonnae Gokson commissioned This Is Ikon to design Weddings, Butterflies & the Sweetest Dreams, several other creatives were involved in this unique collaboration:

Bonnae Gokson - Commissioner
Kate Dennis (This Is Ikon) - Creative Director
Petrina Tinslay - Photographer
Food stylist - David Morgan
Editor - Leta Keens

This Is Ikon is a small Sydney design studio where big things happen. Our talent, solid strategy and clever creative combine to deliver exceptional results. Our award-winning work includes brand management, visual identity, print and packaging, digital media and web development for a range of local and international clients.


Project Brief

The client brief was to conceptualise a visual feast of a coffee-table book for Hong Kong restaurant and style icon, Bonnae Gokson, who owns a restaurant, cake shop and cafes in Hong Kong, and is well known for her imaginative approach to cake design.

In Weddings, butterflies & the sweetest dreams, Bonnae wanted to showcase her unique take on love, weddings and wedding cakes; both as a general interest book and as a resource for building up her international profile and wedding cake business.

As a follow-up to her award-winning Butterflies and All Things Sweet, which we created for her in 2013, this book was briefed to have similar aesthetic and production values, however showcasing weddings and romance in many forms.

Project Innovation/Need

The uniqueness about this book is, that it is in a category of its own – it features cakes but is not a cookbook; it’s about weddings, but would appeal to anyone interested in design. It draws together a wide range of cultural references and, in a design sense, connects a broad selection of seemingly unrelated material in a cohesive way.

Given the exquisite nature of Bonnae’s cakes, it was vital that the book be a beautiful object in its own right – physically, this has been achieved partly through laser cut endpapers, the use of foil and fabric on the cover, and a grosgrain marker ribbon.

Additionally we were environmentally conscious in the production of the book, printed on a wood-free FSC paper, and published by Goff Books, a company committed to minimising the overall carbon footprint of its publications. With all the commissioned photography, we were careful to use local props and food items, and use Bonnae’s own jewellery and other belongings, therefore reducing carbon miles as much as possible.

Bonnae values Australian talent for our fresh approach, use of colour and international outlook and knowledge and in bringing together a truely innovative Australian team, a brand new approach to wedding based books was achieved. Interestingly enough the book was challenging to categorise, as it spoke to so many genres.

Design Challenge

Handling the supplied and sourced imagery in the book was one of the trickier things to get right. To anchor the visual narrative and impose some sense of structure, we commissioned a suite of still-life imagery that allowed the book to flow in a completely seamless, truly creative and sublime way.

The newly commissioned seasonal still-life photography captured the sensuality of a wedding table, a perfect moment in a couple’s life, and, while utterly contemporary, are redolent of still-life paintings by the Dutch Masters.

Another challenge was the need to source couture images that would feel contemporary yet not date within the lifespan of the book – this was not a simple matter, given the very nature of fashion. There were certain cultural sensitivities, too, that we had to address, given this book would be sold internationally, with expected high sales in Asia.



Following the 2018 launch of Weddings, Butterflies & the Sweetest Dreams, hosted by Vera Wang in New York at her flagship bridal boutique on Madison Avenue, the engagement and editorial reviews around the book have been outstanding...

"This couture-focused book by style icon Bonnae Gokson gives your bride-to-be a glimpse inside the lavish real weddings happening all around the world. This global perspective might just inform her own as she plans.” --Martha Stewart Weddings

Her book spins the tales of perfect weddings across the globe, presented in style and perfection as only she can. For lovers of fashion, weddings, haute cuisine, pastry, stunning imagery and for lovers of love.... treat yourself to a coffee table romance novel...." --Japan Vogue

“The beautiful assemblage has been more than two years in the making, each image painstakingly considered, with many sourced from high-profile photographers, to accompany her carefully imagined and crafted cakes. ‘The book is not just for brides-to-be but for anyone who appreciates beauty, artistry and love in all its forms,’ Bonnae says.” --Hong Kong Tatler

"This couture-oriented publication will inspire brides-to-be, wedding professionals, and everyone interested in the intersection of fashion, beauty and design. The book will take readers on an emotional, multicultural journey of real weddings around the world, feeding their imagination through exquisite imagery, creative brilliance and a celebration of love in all its forms." --Haute Living

This award celebrates creative and innovative design in the traditional or digital visual representation of ideas and messages. Consideration given to clarity of communication and the matching of information style to audience.
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