Friends, Peace and Sanctuary Book


Swarthmore College's Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary brought together book artists and members of Philadelphia’s Iraqi and Syrian refugee communities to create artists’ books that amplify personal narratives of displacement, immigration, and sanctuary. Working in partnership with the immigrant and refugee service organization Nationalities Service Center, Swarthmore invited groups of refugees to work with three book artists and participate in multi-day workshops designed to provide access to new creative tools, and to explore various aspects of visual storytelling, artistic expression, and craft.

GDLOFT created a catalog that documents the process and progress of the project and the artistic work. The book structure attempts to reflect issues of displacement and immigration by melding two books (stories) into one. The book(s) shares a common cover while housing two book blocks. Translated in both English and Arabic languages, the design attempts to express the experience of finding commonalities and differences akin to the refugee experience through design and layout.


Silver in Book Design 2020

Created by:

Design Director

allan espiritu

Design Company



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Swarthmore College

Design Team

Matt Higgins, Designer Kevin Kernan, Project Manager

Video (direct link)

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Individual Credits

Art Director/ Designer: allan espiritu, GDLOFT
Designer: Matt Higgins, GDLOFT
Project Manager: Kevin Kernan, GDLOFT