Decorum Zine

Decorum Zine - student project

Updated work:

Going with black and white and square format for now.


Decorum Zine - image 1 - student project

Inside page

Decorum Zine - image 2 - student project


I found a really amazing book at a flea market two years ago and I always thought it could make for a really interesting design project…maybe lettering or a blog. With this class, I really want to commit to this project and finally see it through!

The book is called Decorum, A Treatsie on Etiquette & Dress was published in 1883. Chapter titles include “Conversation,” “Dinner Parties and Balls,” “Etiquette of Public Places,” “Letter Writing,” “Courtship and Marriage,” and even “Washington Etiquette.” And if you are not aware, Washington Etiquette describes how one should behave when dining with or socializing with the United States President.

To give you a taste of what this book is like, here is one interesting little nugget that all women can enjoy:

“A lady walks quietly through the streets, seeing and hearing nothing that she ought not to see and hear, recognizing acquaintances with a courteous bow and friends with words of greeting. She is always unobtrusive. She never talks loudly or laughs boisterously, or does anything to attract the attention of the passers by. She simply goes about her business in her own quiet, lady-like way, and by her preoccupation is secure from all the annoyance to which a person of less perfect breeding might be subjected.”

Decorum Zine - image 3 - student project

Here is my diagram to show my interests. I already knew I wanted this project to focus on the content from the Decorum book. I'm a graphic designer and an assistant professor of graphic design. I also love pop culture, and I love typography and have been working on improving my lettering skills.

Decorum Zine - image 4 - student project

As I think about how this project will manifest, I think a zine is a really cool format to work in. I've always had a facination with them. I have some Kate Bingaman Burt zines and one of them is a zine about how to make zines...perfect! The cool thing is, she has a class here on skill share and I think I will incorporate skills from several skill share classes to make this project. 

I also have been watching the videos from James Victore's Radical Type class and I might use some type experiments from that in my Decorum zine. Here are some things I've worked on so far, and I'll post more as I update.

Decorum Zine - image 5 - student project

I really want to work with the text from the Decorum book and pair that with pop culture references. I think the juxtaposition of 19th century rules in today's culture makes for interesting content for viewers to think about. I was probably a little too inspired by Barbara Kruger here, and might switch the type to something hand written. 

Decorum Zine - image 6 - student project

Decorum Zine - image 7 - student project

Sherry Saunders Freyermuth

Designer | Educator | Writer