Phase 4: Week 20

Change of direction

The primary function of the bundle is to extend on the research presented in the booklet, I wanted a visual direction of that could possibly echo that of incunables. It should be more withdrawn, and I needed to find out how. I talked to James Shaw about this and he responded that maybe I could photograph the letters or project them. Find a way to present the letters that did not require me to draw them.

After the feedback from James I considered that the visual direction should be more regulated for the components that extended the research and the challenging components should break that regulated state.

I printed all my sources, I made sure I was organised and kept track of every dimension I printed in, zoom value I photographed in. This way the work in the computer would be much easier. I brought the letters into the computer and established a template in photoshop that ensured all letters had a somewhat similar expression. This process of printing–>photographing–>edit the four different types took a while. The Subiaco needed to be done in full, but the others were kept to the letters that are discussed in the analysis.

Humanist script in Rule of St Augustine, ca 1490.

Leaf from Guillelmus Durandus’ Rationale divinorum officiorum.  

 Carolingian Minuscule in lectionary, ca 1000.

Leaf from Lucius Caecilius Firmianus’ Opera, 1465.

The letters got a dotted character, it looked printed and had a texture and feel to it that I really appreciated, and that finally felt appropriate for the visual direction I wanted for the project. I began this on Saturday because I could not let go of what James had suggested, and when I came to this visual conclusion. With the photographed letters, and brought them into the sketches I knew this was the right path. I was so relieved. Now I could finally begin to apply this on the rest of the components.

I wanted to see if this effect of the letters would work on the influences as well. I decided to look for images that could represent the influences. Since I had done most of that research previous week, finding images was fairly uncomplicated.

I applied the same method, I printed the image, photographed it, put it into the photoshop template. Seeing the images for the influences is what determined that this was the right path. They came out good, and when I put them in context, in the folder–they looked great.

This was more close to the ideas of the moodboard I had established earlier.

I determined some factors for the ‘established lens’, for the components that were supposed to serve as extensions of the research:

  • Everything greyscale on cream coloured paper.
  • Letters photographed, not outlined, but still with background / boxed in.
  • Images also ‘boxed in’
  • Long dense paragraphs
  • Typeface: Lapture. It has the same ‘background’ as the Subiaco, a Roman type with gothic influence.

I also determined some of the factors the ‘refracted lens’, the components that were supposed to challenge the existing research :

  • Everything purple, paper and images, since that is the only colour that does not ‘exist’, which speaks of an unruly character. It is also a colour that has been present in all my colour palettes, it is eye catching and makes a strong contrast.
  • No typography
  • Everything outlined, nothing boxed in.

Finally I established the common denominators both lenses:

  • Uncoated paper
  • The same photographed ‘dotted’ texture

Making a bridge

After finally having this release I realised that I needed something that could introduce the challenging components. Something that could serve as a bridge between the two lenses. I decided to use the small 100x160mm component to this. I had felt that using this component as a dictionary was a bit redundant, since I had written my analysis in way that you basically should not need it. Using this component for a more lively function seemed like a better option.

I quickly sketched out an idea on how the influences from the 260×260 format could meet responding influences. This is very near a binary opposite, but maybe that can be ok, since this is a bridge that will further refract the lens? These opposing influences will just suggest another possible. Another possible is possible, like Arturo Escobar says.

I picked a few influences from the 260×260 format that I wanted to contrast.

  • Humanism // Nature
  • Writing // Oral
  • Latin // Vernacular
  • Print // Paint
  • Renaissance/Man touches god // ??

I worked out a quick computer sketch, because I wanted to test out an idea about contrasting paper in the same format, but this was not at all what I was going for. I tried to look back at my list that I had made on the defining factors for each lens.

I tried to apply the photograph-dotted-visualisation on my ‘new’ concepts.

Paint in contrast to print

Here is the paint printed, and two other concepts: nature and oral. Those two are photographs.

When I saw the print test and how nicely it came out I decided to go for this idea and make out the rest of the contrasting concepts.

I wanted the vernacular to be Swedish, like a hidden shout out to myself in the middle of the project. The quote is from the book Aniara, it says “Jag drömde mig ett liv men glömde vara” the literal translation goes. “I dreamt myself a life but forgot to be” I think the official translations goes “I dreamt myself a life then lived a lie”. Which is not at all the tone? Anyway. One of my favorite quotes.

This is the the most abstract concept. These are open hands in contrast to the Creation of Adam painting. They may signify humility. This is also the second step movement in (Swedish but maybe also English) sign language for Book.

I decided to name this bridge: ‘Another possible is possible’ from Arturo Escobar’s (2020) Pluriversal Politics. One of my favorite books. The title should be contrasted too, this may further prompt the idea of this booklet. The front will be a ‘boxed in’ another possible–and it will be met by, on the back, a handwritten ‘is possible’. I had to hand write the ‘is possible’ and tried a few techniques before finding a good choice:

I did actually try with a typeface first (see left) but it was too close to the ‘established lens’. Too controlled.

The prototype with the typography. The form contrast is too sublime, needs to be stronger.

This is the final outcome of the cover:

It is so nice that the front and back cover is in dialoge, just like the rest of the component.


To be able to establish the visual direction really opened up the entire project. It is much easier to navigate how to solve things and to realise the ideas I have had for components. Some ideas have changed with this new realisation, since I can formulate things now with this visual language.


ESCOBAR, Arturo. 2020. Pluriversal Politics. Durham and London: Duke University Press.  

Carolingian Minuscule in lectionary, ca 1000. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Recto. Available at:

Humanist script in Rule of St Augustine, ca 1490. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, Rare Books and Manuscripts Collection. Verso. Available at:

Leaf from Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Opera, 1465. Princeton, Princeton University Library. Rare Books, Incunabula. Recto. Available at: