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The books of Katsumi Komagata

The books of Katsumi Komagata
Client

“Our” version of the book that collects Katsumi Komagata’s entire production, from his first works to 2018.


Activities

This edition of Katsumi Komagata’s “book of books”, published in 2018 by Lazy Dog Press, comes to life after six years from the first edition published in Paris, France by Les Trois Ourses.

If compared with the original edition designed by Jean Widmer and Jocelyne Fracheboud, this new one features updated content to include the books published between 2013 and 2018, and a somewhat different form. We revised and updated the graphic organization, with a larger format that gives more space to page layout, images of book covers and original photos, all taken by Daisuke Ohki, including those of new books.

All book covers are in scale 1:2. This allowed us to show the real size of books and appreciate their proportions in connection with Katsumi Komagata’s entire production, which is extremely varied in terms of shape and size.

We adopted the same layout and classification criteria as the original version. And for this dual-language edition, the original body texts in French are translated into Italian and English. The preface is complemented by words written in 1994 by Bruno Munari for the exhibition 1,2,3… Komagata, which was also curated by Les Trois Ourses.

We wanted the cover to have a very minimal design. We only included the author’s name and the publisher, while all other information is on the back cover.

“While designing the book cover, with the ginkgo-leaf punch, I remembered one of Komagata’s lessons: ‘When you design a book, you need to be careful and waste as little paper as possible, because paper is precious.’ So I used the cutout leaf to create a small card as a promotional element.” Francesco Ceccarelli (Art Director, Bunker)

As regards typography, we chose Neue Haas Unica by Toshi Omagari, a sans serif font that honours Komagata’s clean shapes and illustrations without being too stiff.

From a more technical point of view, choosing the right type of paper played a key role in celebrating the research on materials and textures that has always characterised Komagata’s works. So we chose Munken Lynks 130g from Arctic Paper for book’s interior, and two different colours from Colorplan for the cover and dust-jacket, Forest 350 g and Citrine 135 g, respectively.

The book I libri di Katsumi Komagata was presented at the Esprit Nouveau pavilion at Bologna trade exhibition centre during the 2019 edition of Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Katsumi Komagata and Elisabeth Lortic from Les Trois Ourses also joined us.