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High School Student Gives Vietnam's History Textbooks a Sleek Makeover

This bold makeover project of Vietnam’s history textbooks might make you wish you were in school once again.

It’s no secret that Vietnam’s humanities syllabus leaves much to be desired compared to its math and science-related counterparts. Subjects like history, geography and civics have long been the bane of high school students, who deem the fields uninteresting and hard to follow, which is far from the truth.

Nonetheless, every year during university entrance exam season, this lack of interest shows: subject group C — which consists of literature, history and geography — remains one of the least-popular choices among prospective graduates. Students tend to opt for combinations that are deemed “practical,” such as those including English and mathematics.

For at least one high school student, this reality presented the perfect opportunity for him to flex his creative muscles. Danh Phuong recently made a splash in the local cybersphere for his sterling attempt to redesign Vietnam’s high school history textbooks. Phuong’s design is largely cosmetic; the content of the syllabus remains unchanged, but the creative teen is confident that making textbooks more attractive could revive interest in the subjects.

“As a high school student, I relate strongly to the need of having a new and refined textbook that can evoke a connection between students and the academic discipline that has been presumed boring for generations,” he writes on the project’s Behance page.

Phuong’s project, titled “New History,” seeks to maximize the amount of visual content while making the textual components easier on the eyes. His versions of the textbook are in A4 format (21 cm x 29.7 cm), significantly larger than the existing 14 cm x 27 cm version. The color scheme uses muted pastel tones, replacing the previously dark one. More photos are also added to the content to make the lessons more interesting to learners.

“New History” is merely a personal creative project for the teen to practice his Adobe InDesign and Photoshop skills, according to iDesign. However, it shows Phuong’s keen eye for details and aesthetic sensibility. Of course, there is still room for improvement, such as awkward spacing and kerning, but some new features like a historical timeline at the bottom of the page are great additions to the books.

Have a closer look at Danh Phuong’s “New History” project below:

[Images via Behance user Danh Phuong]

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