In 1966 artist Tom Phillips set himself a task: to find a second-hand book for threepence and alter every page by painting, collage and cut-up techniques to create an entirely new version. He found his threepenny novel in a junkshop on Peckham Rye, South London. This was an 1892 Victorian obscurity titled A Human Document by W.H Mallock and he titled his altered book A Humument. The first version of all 367 treated pages was published in 1973 since when there have been four revised editions. A Humument is now one of the best known and loved of all 20th Century artist’s books and is regarded as a seminal classic of postmodern art.


Create a HUMUMENT using a text of your choice.

Using painting, collage, drawing, and cut-up techniques you will create an entirely new written and visual document that will encompass the tenants of design and explore the variety of ways we see, hear, speak, touch, and understand the world. Your humument will be a record of the principles and elements that you have learned in this Learning Community.


  1. Find/buy a book for no more than $1.
  2. At the end of each ENG and COMD project, alter at least one page in your book using the principles, vocabulary or elements covered in the project.
  3. Post your work to the class blog:
    • Post title: Humument #1
    • Category: Humument
    • Tags:  (vocabulary terms used to describe the concepts covered in the project.)
  4. Present your book at the end of course as part of the class research poster.

NOTE: We will apply for an exhibition in the Library display case (4th floor, just outside the Library entrance.)

In Progress:

View Humument work in progress here.

Print this page Download PDF