Martin Eden

by Jack London
This is radical reimagining of the book Martin Eden through typography. The work was made in a style of an old manuscript written on a typewriter by a writer from the beginning of the 20th century. The content consists of experimental typography focusing on the difference of the main character's state in the beginning and in the end of the book.

This project was made for a design competition from ISTD, where designers were given 5 briefs to choose from. I chose one called Open|Close and accodring to it designer should create a radical reimagining of the book. I needed to pick first and the last chapter and redesign the layout which would be different from the traditional type of book. 
I read this book as a teenager and it was the first novel that caused me a storm of emotions. The work touches on the themes of social inequality, social hypocrisy and love. The main character from an uneducated sailor, in order to earn the love of a woman, becomes a popular writer. But at the peak of his career, he realizes that everything was meaningless and he is completely disappointed in this world.

First chapter
I tried to convey the transformation of the main character through the contrast of the layout design in the first and last chapter. In the first chapter, the layout is more even and clean.

And now it is worth to analyze more in detail some pages of the first chapter to show what was the intention of designing specific layouts.

Pages 5-6
After a moment of silence author describes Martin’s inner intense feelings that he felt when he saw the girl for the first time. And the whole paragraph where the text is all superimposed on each other shows how fast this thoughts went through Martin’s head. On the page 6 is written the same paragraph but in a readable way for a viewer.

Pages 7-10
Here is the phrase “won’t you sit down Mr. Eden” was said by the passion of the main character. It was the first phrase which he heard from her and it seemed like this first phrase couldn’t come out of his mind for some moments.

Last chapter 
Last chapter lacks a specific system and tries to convey the inner state of the hero much more radically.

Pages 22-23
Here Martin starts to feel himself lost, depressed tired.

Pages 30-34
Here main character feels himself sick. He finally lost his purpose in life and it physically affects his state. I wanted to show it with distorted text made in scanner.