Alyson von Massow

I’m a lover of letters, a teller of stories, a connector of people, and a petter of dogs.

About

Through my work, I enjoy exploring hands-on techniques such as illustration and hand-lettering, and how they interact and intersect with digital techniques to create unique design that is tangible and human. What constantly bewilders and excites me about design is its ability to tell a story that can connect and speak to people on an emotional level.

Favourite or most effective re-brand you can think of?

I’m a big fan of Mountain Equipment Co-Op’s rebrand to the simple yet elegant MEC. The use of a condensed font makes the brand feel fast paced and active, while the vibrant green emanates the dynamic, outdoors-y lifestyle of their target audience.

What is your favourite typeface?

Avenir

Other than design, what creative fields interest you most?

Creative writing, painting/drawing, and music

If you could learn any new skill or talent, what would it be?

I would love to learn how to dance. I’m not a particularly graceful person (I may or may not have once been compared to a baby giraffe on ice) so the way that dancers are able to move and flow is truly foreign and awe-inspiring to me.

Design Interests

Typography
Environmental Design
Branding and Identity Design
Editorial and Book Design

Myers Atlantis

Introduction

We’ve all heard of the mystery of the lost city of Atlantis at some point in our lives. Whether it’s a reference in a song lyric, the popular Disney movie, or any number of cultural references, it is a story that has survived thousands of years and continues to fascinate people all over the world, to this day. Since I was a young girl, I’ve been simultaneously fascinated and mystified by the story of Atlantis. The thought that there could be ruins of a lost city somewhere deep beneath the waves of the ocean was one that made it’s way into many of my daydreams. Years later, when faced with the choice of what I would like to focus on for my year-long thesis project, I decided to indulge in my childhood imagination and learn more about the world that occupied my daydreams all those years ago. And so, I began research into the mystery of Atlantis. As I read through countless books and essays it became obvious how unclear the truth really was. It seemed there were a hundred different theories to explain Atlantis. Some believed that Atlantis was simply a fictional place that the great philosopher Plato mentioned in his dialogues. Others believe that Atlantis was once located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Though it was impossible to find the answer I had been looking for, these themes of uncertainty and mystery were key inspiration for the project I later created.

Research

As I conducted my research, it became evident to me that the most suitable form for this project to take was a book. This book, however, could not be a typical book, just as Atlantis was not a typical story. I wanted to reflect and represent the cryptic nature of the tale, and to create an experience with the pages of my book, giving the readers the opportunity to interact with the story more than just reading information off of pages. The narrative needed to captivate and entice the reader, rather than simply presenting them with the facts. This would allow the readers to come to their own conclusions on the mystery of Atlantis.

With that, the story Myers Atlantis began to unfold. The book follows the travels of a renowned historian and Yale University Professor, Dr. Dorothy Myers. Dorothy, or as her family and friends call her, Dot, had been fascinated with the mystery of Atlantis since she was a young girl, however throughout her years teaching and researching for Yale, she avoided to topic of Atlantis for fear of seeming crazy or irrational. Until now. Dr. Myers sets out on a journey to research and find the true location of Atlantis. She travels to the Mediterranean and North Africa, explaining her theories as she travels. While travelling, she communicates with her mother through postcards. As time passes, Myers begins to unravel and with her, so does the truth. This raises more and more questions instead of answers.

The Book

The design of the book required a meticulous balance between type and handwriting, ensuring that the book was both readable and legible, while remaining authentic. One of the biggest challenges while designing this book was to create a balance between tangible elements and body text. Too many envelopes or handwritten letters, and the book becomes tedious and challenging to read. Too few, and the element of mystery and discovery is lost. Myers Atlantis aims to strike the balance between both, creating a unique and enjoyable reader experience.

This book is a representation of history and storytelling, mystery and discovery, and is an exploration of the challenges of uncovering the truth amongst multiple perspectives, theories, and uncertainty.

See more of my work at the graduate showcase