Chips to Sushi - A Gesture Guide

  • Chips to Sushi
    Self Initiated Editorial project
  • For my first self initiated brief - i challanged myself to research how British tourists have been known to struggle with learning languages and culture in other countires than their own. I researched into how you can communicate without words and with gestures.

    After exploring many different cultures and languages (including fictional ones) i decided to make a Japanese gesture guide - just to make it more interesting because of how the language is infomous with how hard it is to learn. The brief required me to design the book while considering type, grid systems, layout, photography, book design and printing/binding processes.

    I looked at translation/language books that already exsist - and i discovered that the majority are glorified dictionaries without much imagery which isn’t ideal for visual, kinetic or audio learners. I decided to create a book which would show you the gesture (visual learning) the Japanese to say aloud when performing the gesture (audio and kinetic learning) - combining all these types of learning, i can create a book which will be not only make learning Japanese easier - but will also make it more engaging.

  • With these different types of learning, (visual, kinetic and audio) i wanted to create layers within each spread to communicate this. Firstly, i was thinking about type on these layers - however this caused problems when the tracing paper layer was inverted on the spread. So i decided to swap the two around - Images on the layers and type beneath, which worked alot better especially with the strong red colour beneath the black and white images throughout.

    One of the main themes i expressed throughout the guide is the transition from British to Japanese. I visually communicated this with the union jack slowly being filled with red. These pie chart flags are shown in the chapters signifying your progress in the book. At the beginning of the book you start with a full union jack, until the end of the guide when you have the Japanese flag - the rising sun.

    As well as this, each gesture also has a progress bar signifying to the learner that they are slowing becoming more Japanese! for instance, the reader at the beginning of the book may be more London than Tokyo - but by the end of the book, they are more Pokemon than Danger Mouse.

    The book is also traditionally sized (Hansi paper size, meaning ‘half size’) and is bound using Japanese binding skills. The guide is not the ideal size for learning while in Japan - which is why i have also designed an iPhone app to allow the learner to download a pocket sized version of the book when they purchase the original guide.