Kate & Will(iam Faulkner): Designing a Thesis

My best friend Kate recently finished her 100+ page thesis on William Faulkner’s work. She’s been working on this masterpiece all year, so we thought it deserved some accompanying illustrations and a decent font. We collaborated on the ideas behind the design and illustrations, trying to come up with something that was true to her thesis.

Her thesis focuses on unstable time in narrative, so we decided to center the illustrations around a melting pocket watch. It’s a little bit vector-Dali.

Instead of a single title page I created three pages so that I could show a progression. The watch starts with just a little drip and the title of the thesis.

IMG_6062You can just barely make out the second page – a repeating pattern of the subtitle.

IMG_6063Next up is Kate’s name page, centered on a much more drippy watch.


Each chapter focused on a different Faulkner book or short story, so I created a little illustrated icon for each one. First up was “A Rose For Emily,” featuring a half orderly/half chaotic rose.

IMG_6075Next, a classic Antebellum mansion for Absalom, Absalom!

IMG_6076And after many failed attempts at a bear head, a couple of paw prints for “The Bear I’ve been told the missing toes on one foot are essential to the story.

IMG_6081Finally, I created a super melty/drippy/trippy watch for the last page. Obviously.

IMG_6082I’m considering making a little gif of the melting pocket watch image… because why not?




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