Book Design


This book and the projects and research surrounding it define the space of the deep as a space which is just beyond human limit, where one can go, but cannot stay, and which becomes accessible but for only as long as you can hold your breath.


I began freediving as a way to approach an inaccessible space that not only was physically beyond my limit, but was beyond any type of experience I could imagine, beyond any place I could imagine. I could not picture the vastness, the nothingness, the weight of it, or the scale of it in relation to myself. It was all an abstract language. This space (the deep) seemed to me to be representative of something that is totally unknown, its power existing in its inaccessibility, in its un-know-ability.  


The design of this book relates my own experience in researching and learning how to freedive. The layout and imagery emphasize a sensation of over/under, light/dark, and spacial disorientation. Typographic elements emphasize these sensations through use of uncomfortable type setting and disorienting inconsistencies from one page to the next.


The text emphasizes the psychological/physiological elements of diving that are not apparent on the surface. Thus in reading the book and navigating the type, the reader experiences a heightened awareness of breath and of depth and fear.


In addition to the book, I created a physical installation in the style of a research wall for the Graduate Thesis Exhibition in the Rhode Island Convention Center. It detailed the research emphasizing breath, the unknown, the space of the deep, and the physiological state changes of the body during a dive. The installation included video, printed media, wood-block prints, sound elements, photographs, excerpts of text, interviews, notes and footnotes.

Felicia LeRoy