What Is Your Name is a book dedicated to international students studying abroad to share experiences of self-identification in a foreign country and to embrace the diversity of cultures. The book showcases different insights and stories of international students through colourful pages, and their strong attitudes toward their unique identities through bold typography.
Honourable Mention for The Workhouse Award for Book Design
– 2019 RGB Student Awards
January - April,
As an international student, I’ve gone through a series of integration, self-identity crisis, and cultural recognition. In my five years of studying and staying in Canada, I have met people from so many different cultures. Some of them stayed with their original names, some of them gave themselves new names, and some of them switched back to their original names after using English names for a few years. This book explores stories about how international students perceive self-identities with their names in a foreign country.
I first interviewed some international students at York University to get the primary source for this project. I was able to get a variety of insights from the students, which had impacted my design decisions later on.
Based on the information I gathered from the interviews, I have experimented several variations of style and layout to tell the stories of what names meant for international students. These are some of the versions that I experimented and I kept reflecting on them and pushing myself to go further.
Eventually I decided to use a bold typographic style and pop colours to emphasize the attitudes of the students viewing their identities and the variety of cultures and opinions. As readers flip through the book, they will be attracted to the bold statements and the colourful pages, and therefore want to find out more of the stories.
This video is a collective of highlights from the actual interviews I did with my participants. I have asked them questions about the meaning of their names, what they prefer to be called in Canada (names in their own languages vs. English names), and how they feel about the names they choose to use in Canada.
What Is Your Name being read by students at York International's event
© Jasmine Zhang 2021