the patua pinocchio
typography, book design, icon design
This was a book I designed while at Tara Books. I began the process for this re-interpretation of a classic story by referencing early editions of the book, and examples of childrens' publishing in the 19th/early 20th century. Patua refers to a tradition of scroll-painting, story telling and performance from West Bengal, India. Patua art is characterised by the use of bold outlines and iconic forms and characters. The artwork for The Patua Pinocchio was created by Swarna Chitrakar, an artist from the community who has been painting scrolls for over two decades.
Each chapter is preceded by a different, individual icon that I created from the original art. I have attempted to retain the immediacy, line quality and intricacy of the original, in the icons.
Typical Patua scrolls are encompassed by bold borders—sometimes floral and decorative, but often also incorporating elements from the narrative. Ornamental borders were drawn for The Patua Pinocchio taking inspiration from the recurring Patua motif of the flower and leaf, and used to complement the text; the design of the patterned endpapers was also based on these motifs. This references the use of typographic and printers ornaments in a formalized manner. For the cover, a more detailed, bespoke border was constructed using the Patua tradition of taking motifs from the narrative. Typography is manipulated in subtle ways to bring out details such the tone of a characters speech.
a village is a busy place
typography, interactive book design & conceptualization
I had a great time developing the concept for this interactive, accordion-style book while at Tara Books. A custom hand-written type was developed to match the vibrant illustration, which was produced by the artist Rohima Chitrakar in the Patua tradition.