About the project

YA'ABURNEE

This sad, beautiful Arabic word literally translates to “you bury me.” It’s the hope to die before a loved one because without that person, it would be impossible to live.

Heather Layton

What inspired you to create what you did?
The concept of “you bury me” Is simultaneously romantic and tragic, which is my favorite kind of beauty. I wanted to capture the intimacy between two people in the later years of their lives. Traditional love stories are almost exclusively reserved for younger people trying to find love.

What can you tell us about your process?
I wanted to think past illustrating the English translation of the word and try to access the relationship itself. I wanted to find the space where morbidity, joy, and gratitude overlapped. This is where the man’s mustache and the woman’s flowers came in. I wanted the characters to be filled with humor, vitality and a sense of personal style. Watercolor seemed like the best medium as it is particularly transparent, with more absence than presence. I wanted to capture the ephemeral.

Cohber's Craft

We wanted to convey translucence of soft watercolor brushstrokes on the printed page. We selected 105# Cover Neenah Esse Textures in a Pearlized White to give the page a subtle sheen. And our Digital UV Inkjet Press brought the magic to convey every fine detail.

Senior Lecturer
heatherlayton.com

Freelance designers 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 typograpghy for May’s word “ya’aburnee” tumbles and falls, arching downwards to settle in a pile.