toufic beyhum shares ‘the book about nothing’, a personal design and illustration project that he completed for his two sons. it all began when his children, bilal and laith — aged 8 and 6 at the time — decided to make him a book. ‘what I expected was the usual humorous scribbles… what I wasn’t expecting was something quite so profound and so hilarious,’ says beyhum, who is based between the UK and namibia. ‘yet while I loved the words and concepts, the creative director in me had to admit that the illustrations were sloppy and rushed — even by their standards!’.

toufic beyhum book
the new book (right), pictured alongside the original (left)



toufic beyhum had a brainwave: he approached ten professional illustrators from around the world to give their own unique take on each page. beyhum trawled the internet and put together a wish list of artists he wanted to contribute. ‘this was a self-funded project, so I had to approach the illustrators cap in hand and ask for the job to be done at their minimum rates,’ he explains. ‘luckily, the artists loved the idea and happily worked within my budget.’

toufic beyhum book
illustration by ben giles (UK)



beyhum gave no brief to the illustrators, and simply asked them to approach the project with complete freedom. ‘to say that I was blown away by their skill, creativity, and enthusiasm is an understatement,’ beyhum continues. ‘whereas the illustrations in the book about nothing were created by professionals, I kept bilal and laith’s original handwriting throughout so as not to lose the essence of what was written all those years ago’.

toufic beyhum book
illustration by jungho lee (korea)



‘the book about nothing’ was two years in the making, and has recently been published as a limited edition publication in namibia. the ten illustrators featured are: tyrone le roux-atterbury, ben giles, kyle platts, jungho lee, chrigel farner, tishk barzanji, joey rex, linn fritz, petrus amuthenu, and nanna prieler.

toufic beyhum book
illustration by tyrone le roux-atterbury (south africa)

toufic beyhum book
illustration by kyle platts (UK)

toufic beyhum book
illustration by chrigel farner (germany)

the book about nothing 7
illustration by tishk barzanji (kurdistan/UK)

the book about nothing 8
illustration by joey rex (USA)

the book about nothing 9
illustration by linn fritz (sweden)

the book about nothing 10
illustration by petrus amuthenu (namibia)

the book about nothing 11
illustration by nanna prieler (austria)

the book about nothing 12
part of the original drawings



project info:


name: the book about nothing
designer: written by laith beyhum & bilal beyhum / project by toufic beyhum
illustrations: tyrone le roux-atterbury
, ben giles, kyle platts, jungho lee, chrigel farner, tishk barzanji, joey rex, linn fritz, petrus amuthenu, and nanna prieler


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: nina azzarello | designboom