Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Art and Art History

First Advisor

Tyler Barnes

Second Advisor

Joshua Brinlee

Third Advisor

Nancy Maria Balach

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

Ipseity is a multi-edition coffee-table style book that integrates digital and print design and incorporates handmade elements and processes such as die-cuts, letterpress printing, gold foiling, hand-sewn bindings, and embroidery. Its design is rooted in minimalism, yet the handmade aspects, eye-catching color palette, and bold illustrations make reading Ipseity a visual and tactile experience. The design utilizes typography and flat-color illustrations in a consistent layout, with a strong emphasis on the handmade elements and craftsmanship throughout the book. It is not only a publication to read and ponder, but it is an artful object with a physical presence to be visually appreciated and analyzed.

Ipseity’s content examines young adults’ relationship with their own concepts of identity and the things that might influence who we are, such as; faith, relationships, sense of place, others’ perceptions of us, our families, goals, and experiences. It is the exploration of defining selfhood in the midst of beginning adulthood. This collective experience is expressed through the eyes of many of my peers, who were gracious enough to contribute personal reflections on their own experiences with defining their identity in the form of creative writings and poetry.

At the end of the book, I have provided a way for viewers to contribute to the project and to invite conversation about personal identity among my audience. There is a QR code, a type of barcode that can be scanned with a smartphone camera, that links to a website where viewers can answer questions about what has influenced their own identity and the different ways in which they define themselves. Through the visual and tactile experience of viewing this book that explores identity, I hope to inspire self-reflection and contemplation in each person that views my work. I want the design of this book to speak louder than the words within it so that the viewer is not only able to connect to the content, but to the project as a whole as it engages and provokes their senses. Through the book’s relatable content and tangible, handmade elements, I hope to create a welcoming, interactive, and collaborative experience that encourages exploration of the things that make us who we are.

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