A handbound publication exploring the intricacies of an Internet culture phenomenon we all love (to hate)

Memes of 2018*

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Memes of 2018* No Captions Necessary is a publication that arose out of my curiosity of memes as they are both widespread and yet have origins that are so opaque. Thus, this is an attempt to bring clarity to memes through an exploration of each one's origin, spread, and variations in a uniquely hand-bound reading experience.

Book Design, Bookbinding

Advisor
Jayme Yen

Timeframe
2018, Fall

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Overview of book's jacket

The pre-publication publication

Before jumping into the publication itself, I compiled potential resources into a visual journal. This contained snippets of academic readings regarding the cultural impact of memes, explorations of visual treatments, as well as memes that I personally found entertaining.

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I still have quite the weakness for bongo cat.

A swatch book of memes

With most of the research now out of the way, I began to consider what form I wanted my publication to take. After several rounds of exploration, I arrived at an unlikely outcome.

The publication's construction is largely inspired by swatch books. I've always enjoyed how structural and navigable this form tends to be—they often contain a simple tabbing system, an index of sorts, and are spiral bound making it easy to find exactly what you need. These features made perfect sense for an educational book on memes.

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The front cover

With the structural elements now settled, I then focused on adding back in some of the visual chaos memes exude. This took shape through several elements, but the various typographic treatments and loose grid system did most of the heavy lifting.

The final publication brings together chaotic pieces of our modern Internet culture into a cohesive and approachable reading experience.

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Sample spreads—meme layout is meme-y.

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Page details

Closing

Creating a publication—from inception to being able to hold it in your hand—was perhaps the most challenging yet rewarding experience of my design education. I appreciate how I was able to take everything I've learned thus far and mold it into one cohesive package.