Half-dream, half-reality, Maria Fischer’s stitched book


Born in 1985 near Munich, Germany, Maria Fischer is a young and talented graphic designer. She studied Communication Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Augsburg, from which she graduated in 2010. Since then, she has been working for the well-known graphic design agency Rose Pistola in Munich, and seems to like it!

When I came across her website, some of her work caught my attention in particular:

I fell in love with her final-year project. When asked to come up with a piece that evoked thoughts of dreams, Fischer came up with her amazing “Traumgedanken” book.


Her “Traumgedanken” (meaning “thoughts of dreams”) book is a 76-page collection of literary, philosophical, psychological and scientific insights into dreams.

According to the artist: To ease the access to the elusive topic, the book is designed as a model of a dream about dreaming. Analogue to a dream, where pieces of reality are assembled to build a story, it brings different text excerpts together. They are connected by threads, which tie in with certain key words. The threads visualise the confusion and fragility of dreams”.

And it works! I mean, when you look at these pages with their delicate and pale-coloured threads connected to the 3D effect, it creates such a hypnagogic atmosphere that you feel you are being transported to the hazy world of sleep. Am I the only one floating?

If you ever have the chance to check out this masterpiece, you’ll find yourself face to face with some illustrations created out of thread. These geometric figures are, in fact, abstract images referring to the creation of a dream. 



 And, just to push the metaphor a bit further, Fischer has literally stitched excerpts from the book into some of the pages. Not legible because the text is under a folded page, this “chaos” alludes to mystery and dream interpretation. She may or may not have hidden her most desired dream inside, but one thing is for sure: Maria Fischer creates aspirations!



Even though there is no thread involved in this project, I’ll make a brief aside to draw your attention to Fischer’s Artlink project that she put together while studying in Belfast. No stitching, but an inspiring use of lines and dots that are worth a look!


 Why did you decide to use thread in this project? Were you asked to use particular materials, or was it your choice to create something from the book?

I was looking for an appropriate way to express the characteristics of dreams such as confusion and fragility. Somehow, one morning just after waking up I had the idea of working with threads.

I’m guessing you are quite a good sewer, where did you learn?

Actually I do not really know how to sew clothes or something like that. But when I was young, my mother taught me how to attach buttons by hand. So I started with this very basic skills and tried out everything I needed for this project step by step.

Is this book 100% hand-made or did you use a sewing machine at some point?

It’s totally hand-made. But sometimes I was wishing to have a machine to ease the process.

Stitching a book is such an achievement! What was the most delicate part?

The whole process of stitching required lots of attention because one mistake could have ruined the whole work. But in particular, the geometric shapes were the most delicate pages because I had to sew very carefully to make sure the paper would not bend under the thread’s tension.

I’ve seen some websites online presenting your book as more of an analogue to the web (with hyperlinks) than dreams. Is it something you had thought of when creating the book?

I only thought of this aspect in terms of creating some kind of navigation by key words, but in fact, this system is quite similar to hyperlinks on websites. We could even regard the internet as a gigantic brain where contents are connected sometimes more and sometimes less meaningful, just like in our dreams.

What’s your favourite dream theory from the book?

I do not really have one favorite theory but I like the idea of dreams as a separate world of experiences, adventures and inspiration.

Do you have any projects planned that involve thread?

Currently not, but we’ll see…

How did you know you wanted to be a graphic designer? What do you like the most about the profession?

The decision for studying Graphic Design came along with my passion for lettering, typography and drawing. The best things in my job are 1. The insights you get into different topics and 2. Creating something interesting and beautiful.

What do you do in your free time?

Really nothing special: Go out into the nature, sleep as much as possible, draw, do sports, meet friends for cooking, wine and beer…

Who are your favourite artists? What are your aspirations?

David ShirgleyErwin WurmNigel Peake, and Andreas Gefeller.

What did you enjoy the most while living in Belfast?

The inspiring atmosphere at university and the wonderful people I’ve met there.

I’m obliged to ask… Do you remember your dreams?

Yes, sometimes. And I’m happy if I do so. But during the time when I was working on my book about dreams it was much more because I tried to pay a lot of attention to my dreams.


I highly recommend you keep an eye on Fischer’s work! Her website is such a visual treat!

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