This Valley designer made covers for the self-help books he wishes were real

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 12:29pm
Updated: Monday, October 10, 2022 - 1:51pm

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safwat saleem and his imagined book cover
Deanna Dent, Safwat Saleem
Safwat Saleem and his art for an imagined self-help book, "Fitting In: How To Deal With Being The Only Person of Color In Any Situation.”

Safwat Saleem is a graphic designer, visual artist and self-described “professional immigrant.” His work typically focuses on the sense of belonging and, like many of us, he found himself getting awfully introspective during the pandemic. So he decided to get help — by conjuring up titles and covers for the self-help books he’d like to read. An example: “Fitting In: How To Deal With Being the Only Person of Color in Any Situation.”

Now he’s inviting others to suggest their own self-help titles.

The Show spoke with him to learn more about what he'd like to see come from the project.

Saleem’s exhibition, “The Self-Help Library,” will be on display at the Tempe Public Library in March. And he’s planning on expanding this in the future. So if you want to submit your title for a self-help book you wish you had read, head to

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