Floriography, or the Language of Flowers, is the art of communicating (usually secret) messages or feelings through flowers. Used since the Ancient Greece, Floriography became very popular during the Victorian Era. It has also been very popular with painters and poets. Shakespeare had a particular fondness for this art, and there is probably no better example of it than Hamlet and its tragic character Ophelia.
This fanzine includes a full dictionary based on the Kate Greenway book as well as practical examples of floriography, from paintings to poems. My main goal was to update this language by exploring the editorial, keeping in mind the duality and secrecy associated with it.
In this passage of Shakespeare's Hamlet, Ophelia, in a fit of madness, offers flowers to several characters.
Seemingly innocent, these gifts actually enclose Ophelia's real feelings for them. I decided to follow Shakespeare's idea and not disclose everything in the beginning, opting for simply showing Ophelia's speech at first and its true meaning afterwards.
Again, in this speech of Gertrudes describing Ophelia's death, I maintained the aura of mistery by hiding the real meaning of Gertrudes' words, forcing a more curious reader to rip the page to find out. I also included Millais' famous painting of this tragic scene and linked the flowers to their respective meanings.
I also did many flower illustrations in watercolours, which were featured in the cover and in several spreads.
Prof. José Bártolo