Mark Making and the Graphic Narrative, Fall 2014
Created with the support and mentorship of Benjamin Critton


Given the design brief to create a printed exploration of forms, content, imagery, and text, Marianna Mezhibovskaya started by reminiscing on a favorite book of hers as a child- the massive Webster’s Dictionary her mom and her used to press flowers in. 

Wanting to revisit that experience, Marianna played with the idea of creating a book with an incredibly heavy book cover and very few pages hiding underneath it in order to trick onlookers into thinking the book was nothing but a brick. Next she began to wonder what kinds of content might compliment such a heavy book cover and even provide surprise and delight to the few who were curious enough about this object to turn it over. With an added suggestion to further explore projects she was currently working on in grad school, Marianna decided to focus on something everyone in grad school is working on- STRESS.

Pressed is a collection of perfect bound signatures that highlight the many ways in which Marianna and her classmates deal with stress. The book starts with a short survey consisting of questions such as “How would you describe your level of stress in the last two months?”, “What helps you calm down if/when you feel overwhelmed?”, etc. The rest of the book is a collection of responses to the questions alongside portraits. These portraits were an effort to manifest the weight and pressure of grad school into printed form. Marianna achieved this expression by pressing all of her classmates’ beautiful faces onto a scanner bed.

Marianna used steel plates as the front and back cover. Once the book was bound between these plates, Marianna felt that same delightful surprise from the contrast between the insignificant visual weight of the book and the effort it took to actually open it!