The Enchanting Music of Sign Language


Design, Creative Direction & Bookbinding

        February 2019


Mohawk Superfine, 6x8in.


Christine Sun Kim at TED Fellows Retreat 2015


Rachel Silverberg

    AIGA St. Louis Design Show 24



An editorial version of Christine Sun Kim’s TED Talk at the Fellows Retreat 2015, ‘The Enchanting Music of Sign Language.’ As a deaf artist and musician, she talks about how her passions align with her disability, specifically through the American Sign Language (ASL). 


The visual identity seeks to empower her unique voice and organic movements and interactions that Sun Kim uses throughout her talk. The lines that the reader sees in certain pages imitate her sign language, along with the detailed hand illustrations. To showcase her active engagement with the audience, the book also includes the audience’s reactions as well. For example, Sun Kim asks the audience to follow her sign language, while explaining how subtle changes in movement can change an entire meaning of a sign. The project is an editorial book designed with the transcript of her translator, put together by a wire-edge binding style.

The elegant and flowing elements are also reflected in the typefaces, especially in the main heading texts—it is contrasted by more legible serif subheading and body text. Because the speech itself was mostly visual and engaging, the book is limited in its color palette, only using Imperial Red and white to keep the reader focused and unwavering.

Illustrations are incorporated to show the signs themselves, and to really have the readers experience the speech as though they are watching Sun Kim present.

The unique binding of the book, the ‘wire-edge binding,’ is one of the project’s main highlights. It is eye-catching and allows the reader to enjoy the book with a completely open spread, while taking in all the illustrations and interactive components. 
Click through to see full book.︎︎︎

© 2021 Jenny SeoYoon Kim