My senior project for the graphic design program at St. Edward's University was to create a book. The process of deciding what to make was long and tedious, but my decision was ultimately based on personal interest. I created a book because I've always had an interest in working in publishing; I thought designing a book seemed very exciting. I also have a fondness of reading. One of my favorite memories of my childhood was staying up late reading Harry Potter (by the way, I have the entire collection in hardback besides Sorcerer's Stone). So, I knew what I wanted to make, but what is the theme and content?
I am half Chinese. My mother is full-blooded Chinese while my father is Irish and German. Growing up, I never knew much about my Chinese heritage. My Chinese grandmother lived with my family since I was five years old, but she never pushed a lot of her old traditions onto me. The older I've become, the more curious I became about my Chinese heritage. This curiosity led to my senior project. I created a game book geared towards children with Chinese New Year traditions spread throughout. I chose to focus on traditions for Chinese New Year since it is a culturally recognized holiday over many countries. The game book allows the reader to decide how their story ends. There are three different story arcs with 13 different endings. You can find out your destiny and read the book here. The beginning of the book includes a brief history of Chinese New Year, and at the end of the book includes a how-to Chinese paper cut design.
For the book design, I utilized traditional Chinese paper cut art. I made 12 paper cut designs that were of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. These were separate pages inserted into the book. The paper cut design was also printed on to the pages. The book was printed on French Paper Speckletone and perfect bound. A total of four books were created, but only one has the papercutouts inside. The one with the paper cutouts was bound using the Japanese stab binding method.