Book design for Marie Silkeberg’s Damaskus, Atlantis

I would like to unveil more of my works from my professional life as a graphic designer.

I’ve been asked by David Rothenberg, a fellow musician and publisher of Terra Nova Press, to create a design for the book “Damaskus, Atlantis” by Marie Silkeberg.

There were two main goals to attain: first there were the images I had been provided, created from video stills and already processed by the author which were to be made conspicuously visible; secondly the whole design had to fit into the general way the Terra Nova Press books are designed. For the book cover it was the particular challenge to place the text onto the images, which are very rich in contrast. So, no matter where the text goes, it always will cross over very bright and very dark spots. We experimented a lot with various colors in order to have a coherent color palette, but still distinguishable from the background. Retouching and color grading had to be done very cautiously to keep the images in the way they were intended by Marie.

For the book pages the authors script provided not only plain text, but also already obligatory drafts of how the typesetting has to be. But yet there wasn’t any font chosen. The fontset obviously determines letter-spacing, though. Furthermore there was a request of having two types of opposing font families in the design. So, it wasn’t just done with trying out and changing the fonts, but to check if every page’s layout would still fit to guides of Marie’s script. The paper for the book pages was already specified, so the images had to be processed in a way that the print would come out with good contrast and colors on a paper that tends to strongly absorb the paint. In order to recreate the impression of the images as they have on screen, they had to be carefully intensified without exceeding the capabilities of the paper. I was able to fine-tune both the type setting and the image processing together with Marie Silkeberg personally when she came to Berlin. It helped me a lot to understand her ideas and intentions behind this, and to find appropriate technical solutions for her book.

Let me know if you’d like to work on a project of yours together.



The Book is available here:
https://www.terranovapress.com/books/damascus-atlantis-selected-poems



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