Dickens’s Great Expectations (2012)

First page of charles Dickens’s Great Expectations redesigned. Published on the occasion of the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth, as part of the Page 1: Great Expectations project.

“In its Wikipedia entry, Google Translate is described as ‘a free statistical machine translation service provided by Google Inc. to translate a section of text, document or webpage, into another language’. During the last century, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations was translated from English to Hebrew, my mother tongue, in a number of editions. I selected a 1955 translation (by K Katsenelson) and using Google Translate converted it back into its ‘original’ English.

The result is not only aesthetically and typographically poor, it is also totally incorrect, turning the classic text into an unreadable, clumsy one. In undertaking this, I hope to question the relationships between major international languages (such as English) and ‘provincial’ ones (such as Hebrew); between aesthetics of printed matter and aesthetics of the screen; between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ typography; between ‘originality’ and ‘imitation’ – and between man and machine.”

Copyright © 2012 by Oded Ezer

Concept and design: Oded Ezer
Client: GraphicDesign&, UK
Photo: Richard H. Smith