Fernanda Penfold


Seeing Then, Looking Now


Seeing Then, Looking Now addresses the importance of reflecting on the past to understanding the present. It is a three-part project through which I examined my political, social and personal histories as a way of exploring how design can be used to build structures that help us form connections.

My background as a Venezuelan-American informed Twin Tendencies, a political zine that shows similarities amid apparent differences, making the case that although their politics differ, Trump and Chavez are similar in their use of populist means to attain autocratic ends.

Research into Latin American women writers culminated in Polyglot Books, a concept for a publishing house specializing in texts in translation for which I designed a series of book jackets and a logo. My treatment of the cover of Here’s to You, Jesusa! underscores the prominent themes of femininity and marginality, with silhouetting serving as a metaphor for women’s lack of visibility. The logo, a play on the recurrence of the letter O in Polyglot Books, refers to punctuation symbols and their role in structuring language.

A meditation on the loss of memory, Forgetting applies techniques that in film conventionally signify endings to old family photos. Borrowing these methods from film allowed me to give visual form to a mental process, and to convey the passage of time in a static medium. My treatment of the cover uses fragmented letterforms to address the related phenomenon of estrangement, when a familiar thing is no longer recognized as such.