The book’s space interviews: Ibidem 001 001 002 001 002 001

18 nov The book’s space interviews: Ibidem

Book: Ibidem
Photographs: Giovanni Del Brenna
Book design: Heijdens Karwei
Editor: Self-Published
Date of publishing: July 2014
N° of copies: 800
Dimensions: 17×23 cm
Binding: Swiss Binding
Paper: Fedrigoni X-Per


Which are the 5 indispensable pictures for this book?

Photographer: There is not really any indispensable picture in this book. The idea of the book is to create a city out of 10 existing ones. It is the edit and sequencing that makes the difference and not the single pictures. But there are 5 pictures that, good or not, made me understand were I wanted to go about this project.

What is the framed structure of this book?

BD: The basic structure of the book is the choice of a novel size book that shows all the photographs in a double truck presentation.
The reason to choose for a novel size book rather then a big coffee table size is to emphasize the narrative, all images are connected.
On the other hand most photographs are cityscapes and need a minimum size to communicate well therefor the decision to present them as double trucks.

How did you choose your book designer?

P: I had the chance of meeting three great Dutch designers. All of the three told me they would be glad to work with me on the book design. It was very hard to choose as I was sure all of the three would have made a great book. I think at the end I chose Teun because I thought I’ll have the better learning experience (very important for me as it is my first book) and the design of the books he had done would have fitted better to my way of thinking about my project.

What was your approach to get into the photographic project?

BD: Studying the photographs, making several edits and compilations and talking a lot with Giovanni Del Brenna, the photographer, about the idea of a universal city and the concept of ‘citta ideale’. Googling images of ‘citta ideale’ and playing with that idea eventually let to the design of the cover and eventually the title: Ibidem.

How did you develop the work on the book?

P: I presented my project to Teun with an advanced dummy. Once we agreed that Teun would have done the book design I sent him a huge selection of photographs in jpg. We then met in Amsterdam for a full day in his studio to talk about the project, about the photographs I had edited in and out, about what I would have liked the book to tell and what were my ideas and aspirations about it. Teun at that time did some examples of possible designs, of a possible way to go about it. After that we communicated very often by mail or skype. Teun would send me some dummies he printed out himself and some possible cover designs. We’ll discuss about it. I’ll show the dummies to trusted persons. I’ll gather feed-backs. I’ll call back Teun after having filtered all that. He’ll give me back ideas and proposals…. It was all in all a full year of work. After that I searched for a publisher and as I couldn’t find one I decided to self-publish the book. At that point I called Teun about some last retouching on the design and we finally went on press.


Which narrative slant did you choose for this book and why?

BD: The idea of Ibidem is that the reader is walking through an actual (non existing) city that is made out of photographs of many cities.
The reason to show fragments of previous photos and following photos on the sides of the page is to create a stop motion effect, this to emphasize moving and walking.

What’s the difference between the book and the photographic project slant?

P: I do not feel that there is a difference between the two. Since the beginning of my project my idea was to shoot different cities and mix them up to create only one to show how these cities are becoming more and more alike. When we go there I always had the feeling of being at home, but always knowing that I wasn’t home. Teun found the way to make the idea more readable and effective.


How did you choose the materials and the kind of printing?

BD: The cover of the book is a very minimal design printed on linen cloth. The abstract design doesn’t make it immediately clear what the book is about and will therefor arouse curiosity. The linen cover also has references to a personal diary: the story is a very personal one. The binding is a so called Swiss binding. The book block is not attached to the cover but has an ‘open spine’ and therefor will open really flat which is ideal for a double truck presentation of photographs. The paper is Fedrigoni X-Per, a very light coated paper. It has the basic feeling of uncoated paper that will make a book very tangible but will print the image more saturated then average uncoated paper which was very important for Giovanni’s photographs. The printing for the content is offset, printed at Van Gorcum in The Netherlands. The color management was done by Colour & Books who are experts in knowledge of paper and printing. The printing on the Linen cover was done in screen printing.

You can also find all the interview archive on 3/3 blog: