‘instituto figueiredo ferraz: the dulce and joão carlos de figueiredo ferraz collection’ is a 250-item catalogue we designed for this major art collection, located in the countryside town of riberão preto, são paulo state. the book was organized by the institute and published by bamboo.
our first contact with the project was when we received the pictures of the works to be included, without any further information or general organizational guidelines. we read about the collection and listened to the institute’s curators and what really caught our attention was something cauê alves had to say about the exhibition ‘beyond form: plane, material, space and time’.
cauê spoke about the emphasis placed on the material and the fracturing of the plane, and he used the white works as an example, showing the conceptual progression between them.
from that point on, we assumed that any organization of the works would be a sample, an adumbration, and so we proposed a graphic layout based on color. however, putting the idea into practice proved a lot harder than we had imagined.
to ascertain the ‘average’ color of each work, we transformed each image into a single pixel and arranged them in order of saturation and luminosity.
the idea was that the book would be a single color line, but it soon became apparent that the rationale would only become discernible if we separated the high-saturation works (more vivid colors) from the low (whites, greys and blacks).
so, on the low saturation line, the works were arranged by order of luminosity, from white to black. on the saturated color line, the criteria was hue, the property of light that distinguishes red from blue or green, and so on.
in line with what cauê alves had said, the cover is a series of whites in different materials: white cloth with text in bas-relief and greaseproof paper dustjacket with white silkscreen print.
the first flyleaf is a gradient that corresponds to the first section of works—those progressing from white to black.
There is a small visual prologue in the book with photos of the works in-situ, but without any explanation or context.
next, the contents page presents the book’s structure: texts on the institute’s premises, the collection, the educational department, etc., and the works themselves, divided into the two main blocks.
to distinguish between the portuguese and english versions we used the same color, with the portuguese in bolder type.
this is a typical opening: an introductory text by the author, with the portuguese in one column and the english in the other
on all subsequent pages, the portuguese was kept on one page and the english on the other.
this option meant we could keep the portuguese text largely on even-numbered pages, and the english on odd-numbered pages. neutral information (page numbers) followed the font of the language used on that page.
the empty spaces created by the pictures and footnotes were used to balance out the text in both languages, so that they ended at pretty much the same place.
here is the opening of the low–saturation block, with a bar indicating the progression to be followed on the coming pages, from lighter to darker.
the gradient from white to black is a repetition of the first flyleaf, on which the institute’s logo followed precisely the same dégradé.
on the next page, the images that are closest to white.
here, at the end of this block, the works tending toward black.
Here we have the opening of the high-saturation works, with a bar indicating the matrix-based organization. Running from red through purple, blue and green, down to yellow and orange.
this opening sequence corresponds to the second flyleaf, at the end of the book.
a page of the blues.
one on the yellows.
the last spread, with works in red.
as the book does not feature the entire collection, but only a succinct selection, it ends on a full list of the institute’s works, in alphabetical order, followed by technical credits.
Here is the final flyleaf, with the logo in a gradient of hues.
the book comes with a dvd of films from the institute’s collection, which slots into a pair of horizontal cuts in the dustjacket—this was an invention of ours, and it worked very well.