I Made This For You

Gift giving has always been around and is an important part of human interaction; we give gifts to strengthen bonds, show appreciation and to commemorate an occasion. Gifts can show you know, understand and respect a person’s interests and your relationship, with them, but if done incorrectly, it can cause the opposite effect. Good relationships are formed through communication and gifts are both a way of showing those levels of understanding, and in themselves a means of communication.

The Industrial Revolution (from the 18th to the 19th century) cost many craft workers their jobs and soon goods were only being produced by machines. Machines allowed goods to be produced with limited skill and labor and at a much larger scale than craft workers. Since objects were being produced at such a large scale they began to lose their sentimental and meaningful properties, no longer were they one of a kind objects made by one individual for another.

An object given as a gift can tell a lot about how the giver perceives the receiver and their level of emotional involvement. The gift becomes a tangible measure of expression of feeling towards other people. Consumer objects given as gifts transfer ideologies from the consumer world and may be a false representation of the receiver, since the object was not intended for one individual, but a number of individuals within a category.

By creating a personalized book as a gift, I am able to design and build a book solely meant for that individual. The form of the book will represent my interpretation of his or her personality. It will reflect my understanding of the recipients character and interests through the intended purpose of the book, as well as the look, and feel of it, as manifested in the design, materials, and methods used in its creation. The content is centered on objects that connect me with the receiver, object with stories and memories.

These books are an exploration of how an artifact, using the expressive potential of the art and craft of graphic design, can be shaped entirely around and directed towards a single individual, through using the innately human practice of gift giving as a means of communicating and reinforcing a connection, as well as being a communication of my understanding of the personality and nature of the receiver.