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Dictionary Stories by Jez Burrows

Contributed by Matthijs Sluiter on Apr 16th, 2018. Artwork published in
April 2018
Dictionary Stories by Jez Burrows 1
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.

See also: Dictionary Stories website (2016)

Book cover, website, promotional imagery and video for Dictionary Stories: Short Fictions and Other Findings, a collection of very short stories composed entirely of example sentences from the dictionary.

From web developer’s Cactuslab website:

In 2015, designer and illustrator Jez Burrows published a zine of stories constructed entirely from example sentences found in the dictionary. His charming, witty narratives struck a chord, and an accompanying Tumblr link was shared far and wide by everyone and their cool aunts. A year on, Jez asked us to create a dedicated home for his project that would allow it to grow beyond a blog. The site is now live, complete with new wordmark by Dan Cassaro and the entire back-catalogue of stories.

From Tumblr to newsletters, instagram, and videos (below) to the final book itself, the whole project of Dictionary Stories, seems as much a fun exploration into the possibilities of publishing and pre-publishing in any medium possible, as it is an exploration of the possibilities of storytelling with lexicographers’ example phrases.

From a to z, every detail of the parts that make up the project is meticulously arranged to fit a black-yellow-white colour palette and strict set of typographic rules. All type is set in Kris Sowersby’s Tiempos and Tiempos Display, assisted by Hoefler&Co’s Whitney on the website. For a project with such a leading role for typography, it may not come as a surprise that author Jez Burrows is also a designer/illustrator.

Oddly, apart from showing some process pictures of his illustrations for the book, Burrows does not credit or mention 'typography’ or 'designer’ in any page, post or imprint of the Dictionary Stories so far.

The book was published by Harper Perennial in USA april 2018, and in Europe / rest of the world in may 2018.

Dictionary Stories by Jez Burrows 2
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.
Dictionary Stories by Jez Burrows 3
Source: License: All Rights Reserved.


  • Tiempos
  • Whitney




Artwork location

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