The brief was to design a small children’s book that introduces them to new words. Select three words and illustrate their meaning by using only the letterforms contained in the word. The book is to have one spread for each of the three words.
Sketchbook, first image: Initial ideation, brainstorming around different themes and ways of illustrating the words.
Sketchbook, second image: After selecting the words, sketches of how each could be illustrated in a tactile way. I wanted to not simply illustrate each word, but also develop a design that readers could engage and interact with.
Thinking about the sound grass makes as the wind blows through it, I added extra esses to the vertical strips of grass hiding the main word. A reader would have to effectively “run their fingers through the grass” to find the word.
A woven basket made out of the syllables in picnic, and a lid that opens for readers to “unpack” the word.
The construction of this book highlights how my engineering background informs my practice as a graphic designer.
I designed a cover bound at top and bottom, with openings at the left and right sides. The spine is a removable piece of card that slots into these openings – allowing it to be taken out, and the book laid completely flat, as shown below.
It could also be put in at the other side, re-binding the book and revealing the other side of the pages to tell a different story.

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