About the project

Alan and Amanda Altman

Husband-and-wife design team Alan and Amanda Altman interpreted the word “mamihlapinatapai,” which is as difficult to define as it is to pronounce. Though it has no direct translation into English, it is a “ghost whisper” from the dying Yaghan language of the Tierra del Fuego.


February’s FUEL 18: LINGO word “mamihlapinatapai” is defined as a look shared by two people who each wish the other would initiate something both are reluctant to begin. A dot pattern reveals a tight closeup of eyes peering at you from within the design as your own eyes are reflected in the shiny silver finish.

Cohber's Craft

Cohber worked closely with the FUEL creative team to select papers and print production methods to best showcase the creative. February’s FUEL 18: LINGO page features a posterized graphic of a penetrating pair of eyes. Mohawk Chromolux Magic Chrome’s silver finish creates a shiny surface that reflects the eyes of the viewer as it helps to translate the untranslatable. Cohber’s KM-1 Digital UV Ink-Jet Press delivers a deep, rich black heightening the interpretation.

Principals/Partners A3 Design

Freelance designer and FUEL creative team members Diane Fitzgerald Harris @dfhdesign and Michele Randall @michele.randall created unique typography inspired by each of the words in our FUEL 18: LINGO calendar. The typography for February’s word “mamihlapinatapai” draws you into its gaze with a hypnotic spiraling effect.

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