original chapbook: raw

Print, Branding, Creative Writing, Photography

In my high school senior year creative writing class, we had the simple assignment of collecting some of our work into a chapbook. Traditionally, chapbooks are more similar to zines, created cheaply on regular paper. Excited for the project and the chance to take something on where I could have the freedom to make my own rules and design in ways I never had before, I produced a 30-page book with completely original writing, photography, and design.

You can view the entire chapbook here.

theme development

Looking at some of my writing from that year, I developed the theme called "Raw." I defined this as embracing and exposing those flaws, emotions, and secrets that we typically try to hide.

I wanted my design to reflect this idea of being open by being bold, bright and colorful. I took a lot of inspiration from pop art, leading to funky illustrations and comic-like textures

design process

My approach to each individual piece was to find one main image or visual that, to me, went well with the writing or augmented it. For a piece called Ibuprofen, the jump to a pill bottle is natural. For others, the connection wasn't so clear. In those cases, it became about creating a visual tone that matched the literary one.

photos as illustration

Photography has never been my passion, but with my specific vision in mind, I reached for my Canon Rebel t5 and requested various friends to model for me. However, photorealism wasn't my goal. Instead, I used the photos as a base to design and illustrate off of, using Photoshop filters and Illustrator to create the unnatural, wavering, edgy cartoon vibe that I imagined.