Laura Blackham

MA Graphic Design and Typography

Laura is an illustrator and graphic designer hailing from California, USA.

For her Master’s Project, Laura chose to design and illustrate a modern-day illuminated manuscript in a digital format.

Her purpose for this project was to explore what defines an illuminated manuscript from an illustrated one, to learn more about the history and technique of this ancient art form, and to see how it could be blended with the styles and culture of the modern world. She purposefully chose a text of non-European, modern origin, centering the manuscript around a story told by a man her brother met in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil about his encounter with a lobisomem, or werewolf. As such, she did a great deal of research into the Afro-Brazilian art community of the story’s original location, Bahia, and took her cues from there.

To her view, an important part of the “modern” aspect of this project was acknowledging that our world is not a collection of strictly monolith cultures, which is reflected in our art and our writing. Thus, she did her best to demonstrate a blend of Indigenous Brazilian, African, European and modern Brazilian cultures in the lettering and ornamentation of this manuscript.