Sifnian Dialect Glossary – Book Cover Design

Graphic Design, Illustration
This book is a comprehensive dictionary of more than 20,000 entries of a dialect spoken in a Greek island of the Cyclades, called Sifnos. They were collected, studied and analyzed over many years through painstaking research and an endless number of interviews of many elderly people who spoke it and were able and willing to help salvage this linguistic treasure, before they themselves perished. The author of the book was a charismatic teacher and scholar, and an emblematic member of the local society.

In designing its cover, I endeavoured to depart from the formalized rules that are all too common when working on a book cover or sleeve, and focused instead on radiating the serenity and modesty of the author. The lettering of the book title was inspired by his handwriting in the countless notes he accumulated for many years before the book even started to be authored.

I then added a drawing that is like a visual anthem to the Aegean sea. It depicts the twin mountainous contour of the island as it materializes when you approach Sifnos by boat, combined with the sea’s deep blue and the yellow of the dazzling sun. Together, the two main elements are reminiscent of a pair of lips, as if about to recite any one of the innumerable words to be found in the book.

And yes, this work of mine is a tribute to the author, who happened to be my late father.