HIMITSU issue 1 & issue 2

BOOK DESIGN

A series of book design, “HIMITSU” including 2 issues. Issue 1 is about US who are ugly, and issuue 2 is about THOSE who are beautiful.

This is a project about people’s untold secrets. I gathered over 100 responses from more than 10 countries from online anonymous questioners. Based on those answers, I then created and edited 30 stories.
Issue 1 goes from the point of subjective “US”, while issue 2 is what we see from others, hence reflects who we are. The tone is different for the two issues. Visually, I separate it by different materials, papers, photos and packagings. Overall, issue 1 can be described as “deep, hollow, unseen” while issue 2 is “clear, light, displayed”. I used French fold for both issues to cover each secret with a photograph. This is a protection, a mimic and a camouflage. Readers must uncover this layer to reach the hidden secrets.
For issue 1, I made a plaster mould that hides the entire book inside. I designed the packaging as a sheet that is cold, hard but fragile. It does not allow people to read it, which corresponds with the natural instinct that we want to hide what is ugly about ourselves deep inside. While the process of uncovering the book will be violent, strong and cruel. Readers mush smash the plaster into pieces, destroy it, make it not complete anymore to get to see the black core inside.
For issue 2, which is also a part I decided to add during the process as I see the potential of the project being put into a series, I made a clear acrylic case to showcase the book. This issue is about the beauty we see in others; we admire, we love, we adore such people. Hence, I would like the packing to be transparent and beautiful as well, as if it is an object being exhibited. I added curves and layers to the case to make the structure more elegant.

I was trying to focus on experimentation and innovation when creating this whole project. I was thinking of book design and editorial design as not part of a commercial practice, but something has a strong artistic expression. The whole process going from brainstorming, gathering answers, designing layouts and production is such a precious experience that I believe both myself and my readers can feel and learn things from this project.