RACHEL WUI

Graphic Design



Book 3, 2020. Book. 8 × 6 in.
Barebones, 2020. GIF. Dimensions variable.
Nursery Rhyme, 2018. Poster. 24 × 18 in.

Illuminated manuscripts are handmade books that usually have a secular purpose. They are filled with detailed, colorful, illustrative designs, and each glance at a page evokes a sense of wonder and brings something new for the eyes to feast on. These books, however, are not just a vehicle for decorative and written text; they can also tell us what life was like during the creation of the book from the illustrations and comments scattered throughout the margins of the pages. The visual and written language of the illuminated manuscript can be broken into several categories:

  • Art related to text

  • Art for art’s sake

  • Unsettling images to grab attention (satirical, pop culture, jokes, upside-down world)

  • Memory aid (puns, wordplay)

  • Gloss (annotations, corrections, translations, commentary, complaints)

  • Meditative patterns

Through this thesis, I will be investigating how a graphic design language can transform the content of an illuminated manuscript into different forms. By exploring and creating new arrangements, this thesis will show that illuminated manuscripts are not only found in the past but can be found in new forms of interpretation.