Henna Typography

Experimental Typography, Editorial Design, 2017

For this project, in order to express the power and intimacy that certain words hold over us, I initiated a one-on-one experience using henna and typography. I held personal conversations with people and requested for a word that held a special meaning to their existence. I then free-styled a henna pattern using the letters of that particular word on their hand and documented the experience. I gathered this data and bound them into a book where each spread contains both the actual image of the candidates hand, and a blown up version of the henna design.

Books are very personal objects in my opinion providing an intimate experience to its reader; be it from the physicality of having to hold the book close in order to read or the ability to feel the grain of the paper. Hence, I created a Japanese bound book containing spreads of the Henna conversations I documented previously.

I chose Japanese binding because it creates a hand-made effect and its lines contrasted yet complemented the organic henna pattern next to it. I printed said pattern in Spot UV to give it texture which mimics the textured element of henna as well. As this is a very personal book initiative, I used red and black, two colours I personally gravitate towards. 

I chose the colours and oriented each pattern specifically to bring out the emotion I felt was to be brought out by the participants’ chosen word. Readers are also given a glimpse of the intimate conversation that took place between the participant and I with a quote accompanying each spread.