»Comparing apples
and oranges is my
daily bread.«

Juli Gudehus

Genesis

Here you see the biblical creation story – translated into a contemporary adaptation of the Egyptian hieroglyphic, that I developed, consisting of pictograms, symbols, logos, and many others signs of our time. 

This student project, paraphrasing the commencement of our world, marks the beginning of my professional orientation. 

At the end of the semester it disappeared into a drawer. At the beginning of the next however Ulrich Stockan editor at the renowned German newspaper ZEIT, asking whether they might print my »Genesis«? I was flabbergasted! My professor, Roland Henß, had sent it to them without my knowledge. The full-page publication came on New Year’s Eve and resulted in a great many reader’s letters. Lots of readers asked whether they could have the page as a poster? Good idea! Soon after the ZEIT produced the posters, a publisher asked to issue my »creation« as a book. Over the years other book editions followed (see below), some of them combining several languages at once. My »Genesis« was and is shown at national and international exhibitions, and was published in newspapers, magazines, reference books, and school books.

These reactions encouraged me to stick to the creative path I had just chosen. Initially I earned money with classic commissioned work, but peu à peu my self-propelled work became another professional mainstay. Language and the topic of »beginning« stay on my mind, as does the topic of »ending«. Many later works were developed out of my extant collections.

No graven images or likenesses

Most Christians however, don’t take this commandment too seriously. Before the launch of compulsory education, there were pictorial representation of biblical scenes in churches, for those who could not read. Today people read less and less, but learn to understand myriads of pictorial symbols. Be they traffic signs, icons, or logos. I was tempted to represent longer messages (a story) using a lot of short messages (pictograms).

Would you like me to translate something for you into my Icon Esperanto as well? Feel free to drop me a line!

smart and hilarious

Stefan Sagmeister, »area – 100 of the World’s Best Young Graphic Designers«

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