The intuitive and intentional design of Letters: Lost Then Found took me on a visually authentic journey in which I felt truly immersed in the time, place, and emotions of Fred and Willie, two brothers with very different lives and responsibilities trying their best to keep the family ties intact while separated by war.
Through the ability to see, on each page, Fred’s optimistic, honest, and free-spirited handwriting contrasted by Willie’s controlled and careful typewritten words, the true nature of their younger and older brother relationship is revealed, all the while surrounded by the moments and monuments of each one’s life at the time.
The ticker-tape delivery of the more historical account of the war that runs along the bottom of each page adds a third important contrast, one that disconnects from the personal voices we hear in the letters and gives us the facts with the cold, detached voice of the radio news.
These aesthetic contrasts added a richness and layering to the story that drew me in deeply to the experience that Fred, Willie, and every person endured during that time in our history. Without the thoughtfulness of the design, this book could have easily been just another World War II account, but because of its beautiful and heartbreakingly real approach, it comes to life in a way no other book has.
Angela Dow, Professor of Graphic Design at Kendall College of Art & Design