Un-Spoken

EXPERIMENTAL TYPOGRAPHY : BOOK DESIGN

ABOUT THIS PROJECT
The Internet, in many ways, has altered how people interact with each other. We are allowed to be more honest with our thoughts behind the computer screen than in face-to-face situations. We can avoid all consequences and confrontations for the things we say by hiding behind the screen. 
        This project uses social media as a tool to collect honest anonymous stories from people regarding something he or she would never say face-to-face to someone else (whether it be a coworker, an ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, a parent, a relative, or someone he or she met on the street). This project explores the transformation of words from an online environment to printed media through the use of analog typography in three books featuring the topics of love, friendship and family. It is the hope that viewers will relate to some of the responses and that they can appreciate the project on an emotional level, in addition to the books as designed objects.

YEAR CREATED
2014

TYPEFACE USED
Adobe Garamond

DATA COLLECTION & INITIAL SKETCHES
I used SurveyMonkey as a platform to create my survey and collect responses from anonymous users. I knew that I needed to get as many responses as possible, so I posted the survey on all of my social medias, as well as asking others to help me spread the words. After about two weeks, I received about 200+ responses. Of course, more than half were troll answers, for which I was not entirely surprised. Fortunately, I did end up getting some really strong and interesting content to work with. I then narrowed the responses down to 30 and started sketching out ideas for each one of them. 

THE RELATIONSHIP BOOK : SELECTED RESPONSES

From : Female, 22, Student, New York, NY                    To : Ex-boyfriend
ReponseYou were emotionally and verbally abusive and you manipulated me and took two years away from me. I hope that someone braver than me is able to tell you that you are selfish and cruel and that you never deserved my time or my love. And I hope you end up alone for what you did.

FromFemale, 18, Student, Baltimore, MD                    ToEx-boyfriend
Reponse
You need to grow up and get your shit together. You’re living your life in a way that you think makes you an adult, but it isn’t the way that will let you ever actually accomplish anything. Life isn’t about jokes or drunken antics; don’t think that you’re mature if you disagree.

FromFemale, 22, Theatre Tech, Greenbelt, MD                    To : Boyfriend
Reponse
Your childishness attitude and approach to life pisses me off. You say I’m the center of your world but your actions say otherwise. I’m tired of putting you before me. It hurts me more and more each time. You do this shit then beat yourself up over it later when you’ve finally realized you’ve been dumb and then want my pity or my forgiveness like that. I’m about to reach my limit.

FromFemale, 21, Student, Baltimore, MD                    To : Boyfriend
Reponse
I think one reason I am so clingy to you is that I am insecure about myself. While you seem to have your ambitions figured out, I feel as if I have no true passion for anything in my life. You don’t understand the thoughts in my head. I would like to be less clingy, but honestly I need to get through this phase of depression and soul-searching that I have been struggling through.

FromFemale, 21, Student, Baltimore, MD                    To : Boyfriend
Reponse
I love you deeply, but the depth of it scares me because no matter what in some way you will be gone from my life. One of us will maybe out grow the other or more morbidly the other dies. But my greatest fear is that our relationship will hold me back from what I want to experience in life or really that you will hold me back from where I would like to go and achieve. I never want that to happen, yet I want you always to be in my life, near me, ever present. I just feel like keeping you in my life might stop me from wanting to pursue a new path in life because you won’t come with me to experience it.

THE FRIENDSHIP BOOK : SELECTED RESPONSES

FromFemale, 22, Student, Baltimore, MD                    To : Friend
Reponse
I changed, maybe not necessarily for the better, but you and all the others had gone a different direction. I was happy to leave and move away, not that I did not like you as a person, but that we did not see on the same perspective, did not value the same things anymore, and I found fresh breathing room when I left.

FromFemale, 21, Student, Baltimore, MD                    To : Close Friend
Reponse
You are in my quiet thoughts and late-night tumbles. We’re good friends and I’d love for us to stay that way. But sometimes, just sometimes, I hope for more. I wish we were more than friends ... I feel safe with you, I feel loved with you, I am myself with you and I love it! I don’t wanna mess up the friendship we have—but sometimes ... at times ... I wish we were more than friends.

FromFemale, 21, Student, Baltimore, MD                    To : Best Girlfriend
Reponse
I know you think I’m a strong person capable of making it through my struggles, but I really needed you and you weren’t there. Sometimes I feel like you’re only there when you need me, but not when I need you. And sometimes I feel like I’m just one of the many interchangeable people in your life that you can thrive off of.

FromFemale, 22, Lab Tech, Baltimore, MD                     ToAcquaintance
ReponseYou amaze me with your confidence and certainty with what you want in life. Go out west to finish your education, return home to start a career, take time to enjoy the outdoors—all the while armed with self-assurance that you will excel at what you do. I thought I had plans, too, but they started falling apart two weeks after we met, and I have never been so confused.

FromFemale, 23, Student                     To : Friend
Reponse
Through our shared interests in music, we become very close over the past few months. Maybe it’s the emotional aspects of music that has enabled us to transcend the boundaries of verbal communication such that I feel like we have come to know each other very intimately even though I don’t even know a simple fact like whether you have siblings or not. This feeling has become so strong that now the only thing that fuels my motivation to get out of bed in the morning is playing music with you and other musicians in our group. Sometimes the lines between friendship and love get blurred, and I wish these days would never end. But there’s an end to everything.

THE FAMILY BOOK : SELECTED RESPONSES

From : Male, 26, Grad Student, Towson, MD                    To : Mother
Reponse
It hurts me that I cannot be completely honest with you. You know that I am gay, yet you pretend like I’m not. The other month, you even mentioned something about my future wife. You know that’s not going to happen. And it hurts me that you were sneaky like that to bring that up. It hurts me because I feel like I’m being denied in some way or that I’m doing something bad. That I’m bad. Even though everything I do is to make you proud. It’s like I can do so much with my life but me being gay ruins it all for you, so you just ignore the fact that I’m gay. It also hurts me that you hate it cause I feel like I’m doing something to hurt you. And that feeling also hurts me too because I don’t feel that I’m at fault. I’m tired of doing this all by myself and not really having you to talk to about some of the most intimate portions of my life, and I feel that it prevents me from growing as a person and growing in my intimate relationships because I dread the day that I would have to bring my boyfriend or fiancé home and all the chaos it would cause. There’s way too much to put into this box.

FromFemale, 22, Student, San Francisco, CA                    To : Father
Reponse
You are the sickest scumbag bastard I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. I truly, sincerely, wish I can completely cut off all ties with you, but I can’t, because I’d be living on the streets if it weren’t for you. So there goes my dilemma. You are a twisted, disgusting asshole, have the worst narcissistic personality imaginable, and treat your wife and daughter like absolute shit. But you still care about me - in your own sick, twisted, communistic way. So even if I formally end all ties with you, I would feel heartbroken inside. I would still miss you, despite everything. I would still care about you, despite all the hell you have put me through. I would still love you. Because you raised and fed me; because you made sure I got the best education I could; because you are the main reason I am able to get everything I have in life today. For that, I am blessed. For that, I am in endless agony. For I cannot just simply, passionately, hate you.

From : Male, 22, Chemist, Greensboro, NC                    To : Brother
Reponse
I STILL haven’t forgiven you for being my first bully, or for continuing to be my only bully.

FromFemale, 20, Student, Winter Springs, FL                    To : Sister
Reponse
You’re truly the best sister ever, in more ways than one; and I wish that I could express it better but unfortunately I can’t and I always feel like I let you down because of that.

FromMale, 21, Student, Baltimore, MD                    To : Sister
Reponse
My thoughts of you are two sides of the same coin. You set the bar as my oldest sibling and created such high expectations that our parents have always held us to, and it has made growing up difficult for me. But at the same time, you are my role model and inspiration: not only academically, but also socially and romantically. You’re the most successful person I know in my life, and yet you have amazing friends who care about you, a loving and awesome husband, and two wonderful children.