The Trust Issues
︎ CCA Senior Thesis
2019
︎ 4 months

Trust is fundamental to human relationships, but often perceived as too uncomfortable, risky, or emotional to unpack and discuss. In response, The Trust Issues is a publication that seeks to tackle who we trust, why we trust them, and what happens when we don’t trust them anymore.

Each issue aims to pair trust alongside other abstract concepts, and crowdsourced content ensures that everyone has the opportunity to voice their trust issues. This first issue sees trust through the lens of love, telling the stories of regular people like you and me who have had trust issues with their family, childhood friends, or a significant other.







The form and style of the issue is inspired by its concept.
The process of opening up a discussion about trust is metaphorically compared to the medical and surgical processes. In both cases, the process is often approached out of necessity, unpleasant to experience, and sometimes yields results for which we are unprepared.








Each section is separated by a tabbed manila-colored sheet.
This design simulates the look and feel of a file folder, an old format of information storage that often appears in doctors’ offices. Each “folder” contains one story. The cues and connotations we often associate with file folders in hospitals and clinics—privacy, intimacy, importance—are carried over to the magazine through this format.








The design serves to respect to the authors and their content.
To demonstrate care and appreciation in return to the authors who so kindly offered to share some of their most intimate and heart-wrenching stories, black bars are sometimes used to either “redact” sensitive content or highlight important passages. Longer form essays feature large type as section openers, while shorter interviews provide opportunity for the type and image to play and intersect. Each section also has its own color, acting as an element of individual differentiation within a system of other unified elements.







Hand-bound with love in San Francisco.
As a pilot issue, this magazine was hand-bound by me over the course of many grueling hours in my school’s graphic design studio. I learned so much about the mechanics of perfect bound books through this process; ask me about what I would have done differently!



Mark