Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2016–17

Karina Tristandy
Bhinneka

For my thesis project, I decided to focus on my roots; that is, where I came from, and about the language and culture I’ve grown up with. I wanted to create something that can reveal the history of Indonesia through the more simplistic language of graphic design, whilst also hinting the darker and often forgotten past behind the colonization and erasure of our traditional cultural identity during that time period. Titled “bhinneka,” which means “diversity” from the Indonesian motto “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” translated to “Unity in Diversity,” my project aims to illustrate the coming together of all of the different parts of culture to form the identity of Indonesia today.

The concept was to create a dynamic typeface that can adhere to the language systems used throughout history in Indonesia, (Sanskrit, Phonetic alphabet, Chinese), simplifying them and restricting them to basic geometric shapes such as circles and lines. By reusing these few shapes or parts of them whilst also maintaining the weight to form monoline typefaces, unity is achieved through a very simple way.

I am also creating a dynamic motion graphic sequence animating the creation and destruction of these forms of languages that emphasize the brutality of this period where language and culture is erased and replaced but also leaving parts of them behind and restructuring them. In essence, I would like my project to capture the subtlety of language changes throughout the history of my country, whilst also being quite frank about how it happened.


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The Mundane
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The Female Gaze
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Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2016–17