Fluorescent Brilliance: Hyowon Kwon’s “Glow Book”

GraphisMay 30, 2024

Hyowon Kwon, a talented student from the School of Visual Arts, has not only won a coveted Platinum award in the New Talent Awards 2024 but has also created a valuable educational resource. Her project “Glow Book” is an illuminating book that explores fluorescence, celebrating its natural origins and myriad applications in science and art. Hyowon’s work combines vivid imagery and informative text to reveal the beauty and significance of fluorescent colors and inspires us all to think outside the box.

By: Hyowon Kwon, Freelance Graphic Designer 

Introduction to You and Your Work 

Glow Book is a book about fluorescence, which has become commonplace in our daily lives. Although it may appear artificial, it is a concept derived from nature. Not only has fluorescence contributed to the advancement of science and technology, but it has also catalyzed the emergence of art and science.  

The book’s primary purpose is to celebrate the value and power of color and introduce the core logic of fluorescence. Each image featured in this book serves to illustrate the typical applications of fluorescent colors and represents distinct chapters, ranging from “Fluorescence and Luminosity” to “Dark in the Glow - Light Plants” and “Bioart.” Through vivid images and informative text, readers are granted comprehensive insight into the fundamental principles of fluorescence. To show the variety of usages of fluorescent colors in a broad color spectrum, the editorial system is defined based on each usage of fluorescent, which will be coded in RGB. RGB is the color model where red, green, and blue primary light colors are combined to reproduce a broad array of colors.  

Inspiration 

Before starting this project, I watched a documentary on deep-sea creatures. I learned that the fluorescent substances we encounter in various places in our daily lives come from jellyfish with green proteins. Naturally, we think of fluorescent substances as artificially made, and we may think they have different origins from natural colors that we commonly take for granted. However, it’s a fact that these fluorescent substances also come from nature, and this documentary discusses how these substances can be used in a broader range. This process covers a wide range of arts and bio-art that utilize fluorescent substances and introduce fluorescent substances that can be extracted from minerals. By celebrating fluorescent substances and encouraging their future to be used in a broader range, this documentary aims to promote their potential. 

Creative Strategy 

The book’s primary purpose was to celebrate the fluorescent substances and the bright future of the usage and power of colors. Therefore, I collected the color code information for each image on each page and created a unique systematic layout for the book. Unifying the layout emphasizes the color system and celebrates the importance of colors in the book. Since the book is highly concentrated on a specific subject matter, I knew that the audience would be interested in the inspiration and subject matter and excited to start the creative journey of where the subject came from and how it’s being used, as these aspects are covered in each chapter of the book. 

Challenges and Solutions 

I put the most effort into idealization to connect audiences to the profound scientific world, bringing attention from readers even though the book discusses scientific information. Therefore, I tried to make readers empathize. For example, by introducing commonly known topics such as the use of fluorescent substances in everyday life, like luminescent tests and passport checks, I aimed to cover issues that are not too far from readers and to connect them with related images and art fields, showing that they can be expanded in various ways and visually conveying messages to readers. Additionally, there is no random element in the book. By arranging elements that match the theme through color codes of images without intentional manipulation by the designer, I have supported the primary message more powerfully. 

Personal Reflection

It is an incredible honor and validation of the hard work and dedication I put into the work. This recognition means so much to me as it solidifies my reputation as a talented and skilled designer in the eyes of my peers and the industry. I will use this award as motivation to continue challenging myself and pushing my creativity’s limits in my future projects. This award has given me the confidence to trust my instincts and continue pursuing my passion for design with unwavering dedication and enthusiasm.  

Advice to Fellow Creatives

Be bold, and always refer back to the research if you encounter difficulties creating creative, visually appealing elements. Also, always think of the best way to convey the core message visually through the work first! 

Conclusion

I would love to concentrate on the research and idea development process to create an iconic and fresh new visual outcome through deeper research. Also, having small to big elements conveying the same messages through different visual outcomes will make my approach to design work unexpected, different, and fresh.


Hyowon Kwon is a graphic designer based in New York City. With an academic background from the School of Visual Art, she specializes in strong visual storytelling and image creation rooted in research. She employs a robust visual system to evoke a visceral response to her designs and directly engage with the audience. Her diverse interests in science, photography, history, and fine art, combined with her early experiences in Seoul, South Korea, enable her to draw inspiration from various sources and approach her work creatively. 

Social: Instagram, LinkedIn


Discover other New Talent 2024 winners here.

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