Fin Tams-Gray

Digital Interaction Design BSc (Hons)

The Book of [ ] is an accessible & collaborative zine-making kit inspired by communication aids, that aims to provide an expressive and creative outlet for all.


Portrait of Fin Tams-Gray

The Book of [blank] is designed for my close friend and mentor, Ru. 

It is a simple & accessible kit which provides a framework for creating zines as an artistic form of communication. 

The kit is hand made using bespoke techniques such as acetone & screen printing, and cut,  perforated and formed card. The visual design is inspired by punk culture and aims to communicate through subtle mistakes to the zine’s author that accidents happen and are an essential part of the creative process.

The function of the kit, and the zines, is inspired by communication passports - these are documents created for individuals often with disabilities which affect their communication. They contain useful information about the individual’s preferences, needs and dislikes. They are chronically unused due to many reasons, and are almost always made by a family member or carer, but written from the individual’s perspective.

The Book of [blank] aims to turn this on its head; the author of the zine executes the creative decisions and the Editor, who can be anyone from a carer to a friend, gives them the assistance they need. 

These zines exhibit a rich and valuable insight into someone’s life and how they’d choose to be viewed. They provide the opportunity to create a unique and exciting reflective publication which the author can feel ownership and in control of, and can be used to advocate for themselves.

The MKIII Prototype

This gallery shows images from the MKIII prototype - an early iteration of the Book of [blank] created to collect feedback from professionals, communicate the function and spirit of the project to DJCAD technicians and supervisors, and for user testing.

A sheet of paper with black icons stamped into it sits in the centre of the image. An orange card and a 'planning sheet' are placed on top of the paper, and a hand with a pen can be seen starting to illustrate a zine.

The final prototype. Visual prompts printed on the zine template inspire the author, and the orange 'ident card' can be used to communicate the importance of the zine to the reader.

MKII user testing

Giving prototypes to people to observe their responses and thoughts was a key source of inspiration for this project. These images show different people engaging with prototypes and creating their own zines.

The Book of blank kit is laid out on a table, and a young lad can be seen interacting with it.

Ru, my friend and mentor, using the final MKIII prototype to make a zine.

A small booklet sits on a wooden table, with a polaroid on the front page captioned 'things i like'. the book sits next to an orange card, and a glass of water.

The finished zine and ident card - this one focused on things that Ru likes.

A cardboard box with an orange strip, and BOOK OF and an orange square printed on the front.

The box's graphic design. The kit is designed to be incomplete; the Author must write their name in the orange box to 'complete' the design.

Disability is a core focus of my project. If you're inspired to support a charity which advocates and works for disabled people, I'd recommend donating to Downs Syndrome Scotland.