My classmates and I were tasked with interpreting a typeface in whatever way we chose. The typeface Sabon represents a shift in perspective for its designer, Jan Tschichold, who shifted from a modernist to classical style throughout his career.
Inspired by this theme of change in beliefs over time, my partner Evita and I decided to interview our friends and classmates about how their perspective on their own cultures have changed over time. We asked about their families and past experiences, and asked each person to share about what food most reminds them of home.
Food is an integral part of people's connections to family and culture.
We decided to illustrate food products that are important to each person to highlight the beauty and sentimentality of these cultural icons. We chose to do hand illustrations to highlight the intimate nature of our subject material.
People of color around me have experienced racism in both intentional and unintentional ways, which contribute to lasting trauma.
I was shocked to discover that a Korean classmate is often called Chinese while being catcalled, and that an Indian classmate is always singled out for extra security measures at the airport. Growing up in Asian American enclaves, I have been personally blessed with facing minimal discrimination, and it was painful but important for me to realize that this experience is not the norm for people of color.
These conversations were filled with laughter, lament, gratitude, and nostalgia. We learned about the foods they ate growing up, microaggressions they have experienced, and the complex relationships each of them have with their family members and how that has shaped them as people. We made the decision to keep the profanity to preserve the raw, honest, and emotional nature of these conversations.
Final Product Photo
We printed physical copies and gave them to our participants as thank-you gifts.
Evita and I worked closely together on concept development, conducting the interviews, and creating illustrations.
While I was working on this project, I was also taking an Asian American Studies class that examined the history of Chinese Americans throughout United States history. What I learned in this project reflected what I had learned in that class - that racism is deeply interwoven in the everyday lives of people of color. There is so much beauty in diversity of cultures that needs to be acknowledged.
I also learned that I really love to do publication design. Using a lot of negative space gave our illustrations and images so much more power, and I was really proud of how much we were able to say with so little.