In my design classes, most people do not interact with books for their body copy. In truth, I have not read, in full, a single book that any of my classmates have designed. Instead, I pay attention to the cover, layout, typography, and imagery. I don’t think this is bad. It’s just a different experience. Because of this, books transform into powerful, loaded objects.

This version of The Little Match Girl, was created from this realization with the desire to push users into noticing it as both a book, an object, and an experience. Instead of being read as a traditional book, this version is bound in match-book size and typeset like poetry. The pages are then coated in heat-sensitive black ink, such that the words can only be read once illuminated by match light.

The experience of this book, parallels its written content, forcing readers to continually light matches, just as the little match girl does. The end of the story comes with the extinguishing of light in the exhibition room, the death of match girl, and the “dimming” of the pages back to black. Once the lights come back on, there is a faint burnt smell in the air and a pile of matches at ones feet.


AroWiggins Maine M1 - 80lb Text, Flame Retardant

Thermochromic pain - Black to Clear 170°F

4” matches
Match striking paper
Flame retardant thread


Digital printer
Kettle stitch binding

Experiental Exhibit of The Little Match Girl 

Book Production