Fall 2018

Candide or Optimism

Redesigning an interactive system for Voltaire's 1759 novel

Goal + Concept /

Redesign Voltaire's satire novel, Candide or Optimism, for young adult readers in various media forms so they can learn about enlightenment period philosophies.

For this assignment, I chose to recreate Volataire’s Candide ou L’optimisme, a 17th century satirical tragecomedy critisizing the enlightenment era philosophies. The story follows Candide, a young boy, who is displaced from his edenic paradise when he’s caught kissing the daughter of the baron whose castle he lives in. After being forced into the real world, he faces countless absurd and painful situations that puts his idolized mentor’s optimistic ideology that this world “is the best of all possible worlds” to the test.


Designing a 3 part system of an older novel:
1. Book cover & spreads
2. Responsive website
3. Experimental design

My Roles

Visual Design


After Effects


Nov-Dec 2018

Three Visual Forms


Book & Poster Redesign

My concept behind the cover is inspired by surrealism, where Candide is digging (cultivating his garden, as that’s a key scene at the end of the novel) out of his own head which represents him essentially “throwing out” his pre-existing ideologies as his personal philosophies change along his journey. From the front of the over, the reader can’t tell what he’s digging out of, but if the cover is opened fully, the complete image is revealed.


Responsive Website

The website was designed with the book design in mind but with a more interactive aspect to it. It includes parallax scrolling, sticky elements, hover for footnotes and surprise image animations using HTML, CSS and Jquery.


Experimental Design

For the third part of the project, I decided to present the book in an alternative way, through an animation. The animation below can be represented as a trailer for the novel and features a few key parts of the first chapter of the novel without spoiling too much content.