For my graduate thesis I created a 228 page photobook from the photographs and interviews of 72 people on the street. I self-published through Blurb.com and then modified it with a tee-shirt cover and 14 die-cut pages pasted into the book. The graphic design throughout the book varies depending on the individual being interviewed.
View all participants at the Individuali-Tee Wordpress site.
I hypothesized that because a tee-shirt is a mode of personal expression that the wearer is consciously expressing something, deep and personal. I believed that wearing a specific typeface allowed a person to possess an image of their self that is directly related to the message expressed by the typeface, and therefore convey that message to the viewers around.
My thinking is if a designer uses a specific typeface to enhance the message of a design, might it be true also that a person will use a specific typeface—on a tee-shirt—to convey a specific aspect of their own personality. I needed to find out what people thought, not what I thought. Therefore, I needed to ask the people directly.
For two weeks at the end of the summer, I took 3 questions and went to 8 New York City locations with my camera and a digital voice recorder and asked people if they would be part of my thesis survey. After asking about 200 people, I ended with 72 participants who agreed to the terms I set forth.
These questions allowed me to make broad-stroke deconstruction of the types of people within the study and to see if there were patterns in how they viewed typefaces or in how they verbally expressed themselves.
What I ultimately found was that people tended to express how they viewed themselves in a similar manner as how they describe the typefaces they were wearing. The thesis book contains the results of that survey.
I had the logo silkscreened onto a tee-shirt which I then had re-sewn for the book jacket.
Detail of sewing
The diecut page at the beginning of each of the 14 chapters shows the specific people who are within that category when the Diecut Keycard is inserted, as seen below.
I designed the spreads utilizing a grid system based on the 6x12 matrix of the Diecut Keycard, which guides the systematic conformity throughout the entire book while allowing layout variations.
While the graphics I designed for each individuals tee-shirt somehow relates to the tee-shirt itself, I also made multiple page spreads to add spontaneity and respite to the flow of the book.
Some of the tee-shirts had typefaces which had contemporary or historical significance and were augmented with a typeface-profile. For example: the "Mind the Gap" tee-shirt (below) has Johnston's Underground typeface. The following spread contained a spread detailing the typeface.
Seen here is the Johnston Underground profile which shows the typeface and explains about it.
Because Gill Sans may be confused with Johnston's Underground, there is a comparison between distinctive letters of each typeface.
Each Typeface Profile is set apart from the rest of the book through different old paper backgrounds and the texturized B&W photographs of the type's designer.