‘Enigma’ is a design response to the International Society of Typographic Designers 2015 Student Assessment brief, ‘The Rhetoric of Ekphrasis’. The brief required a typographic solution that interprets how an ekphrasis, a written commentary of a piece of art, enhances the meaning of a painting.
Enigma is a proposed exhibition book exploring Walter Pater’s famous ekphrasis of Leonardo da Vinci’s, ‘Mona Lisa’. Pater’s words see beyond her sheer physical beauty, delving into her social significance to women as a symbol of feminism—the persona of the ‘Modern Woman’. Her mercurial and ever-shifting nature became the central idea that is visually expressed through the abstraction of three typefaces from different eras. The book presents the history of the Modern Woman, interspersing Pater’s ekphrasis between key moments of feminism to emphasise the Mona Lisa’s significance to the changing perceptions of women.
Kevin Lam is a Melbourne communication designer who aims to cut through the clutter of an information-saturated society. At school, Kevin satisfied his love of logic through subjects in maths and science, design subjects fulfilling his intellectual curiosity and interest in problem solving. Kevin spent 2014 as a junior designer at Davidson Branding, revealing the power of branding as a communication tool that connects people to products and organisations. Kevin holds an honours degree in communication design from Swinburne University of Technology.