Weekend Culture: Scanwiches


What is it about the sandwich?  The convenience?  The size? The mayo?  If pressed, I’d eat one every day.  And while peanut butter and jelly are fine, I much prefer mozzarella, tomato and basil.   This weekend’s focus?  The art of the sandwich.

Why you ask?  Well, for starters sandwiches are delicious.  Check out Katz’s Delicatessen if you don’t believe us.  But that of course isn’t the real reason.  It’s almost winter break.  Student engagement and interest is at an all time low, unless of course there’s a chance for snow days.  Combat those pre-holiday doldrums with high interest lessons that teach argument, digital citizenship and even a bit of humor.


John Chonko, a graphic designer in New York City, turns sandwiches into art via his blog and coffee table book.  The images are breathtaking and mouthwatering.  Have students peruse his blog and examine a series of “scanwiches.”

You’ll want to look at some of his best work so be sure to include the Dagwood.  You might also have students examine the “Fanwich” contest from this year as well. Consider even having them do a much paired down image analysis specifically highlighting color and structure/organization.  Remember these are sandwiches so not all the same rules will apply.

A background video on Chonko is also invaluable.  Have students view the video and then construct response to the questions below.

  1. Chonko mentions that the day-to-day aspects of his job could be “dull and monotonous.”  What do his scanwiches argue about things that ordinary and everyday?
  2. Is the sandwich a humble “food?”  AND/OR Is the sandwich worthy of being elevated?
  3. What makes Chonko’s scanned sandwiches more like artistic renderings and less like boring old lunch?
  4. What would “scanwiches” capture the interest of the public?  What argument can be made about the effect of these images via blog and book?

One comment

  1. [...] of bit of sanity during this difficult stretch until winter break.  Today’s sandwiches move from the art of Scanwiches to sandwiches as both dare and [...]

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