HIMITSU issue 1 & issue 2
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.