It is a common belief that we should not judge a book by its cover, but actually the way it looks on the shelf influences readers’ perception and their choice of taking it home with them. This concept led to our research to create the visual identity and the editorial graphic design project for Il Margine. The coordinated image of Il Margine began like many stories: a blank page yet to be written. We will tell you about it.
Il Margine as a focal meeting point
Il Margine, the publishing brand of Erickson, debuted in May 2021 with two series dedicated to essays and fiction, with a very powerful identity. In the months leading up to the launch, we concentrated on finding a cohesive image, defining a stylistic line with common points and individual variations.
Our editorial graphic design project therefore started from the first entry in any branding encyclopaedia: the logo. We designed a logotype with two different typefaces: a serif ‘L’ and a sans-serif ‘M’. This was a deliberate choice that reflects the aim of Il Margine to present itself as a meeting point between contrasting ideas without one prevailing over the other.
Some ideas grow on trees
The two series get their names from ancient varieties of apple: Pinova, chosen for classic, modern and contemporary essays and fiction; and Annurca, selected for paperbacks focused on pamphlets, discussions and dialogues.
This division inspired us to create the book design, establishing a colour palette of 21 shades suggested by these apples. We studied a correlation between colours and emotions in order to meet the request of Il Margine for a warm, profound and authoritative yet not technical communicative tone, accessible to an educated but non-professional readership on the specific topic.
The colour white is the main protagonist of the cover design for Il Margine. It was an attempt to make a turnaround in an industry that has been proposing vibrant covers in bright colours in recent years. In this case, white creates space, becomes space and gives space to the themes proposed by Il Margine.
The cover of the Pinova essays consists of three rectangular sections: a central white one with the title and author; one at the top enclosing a close-up of a work of art, photograph or illustration; and lastly a rectangular colour block below that continues on the spine and back of the book.
The appearance of the Pinova novels is similar to that of the essays, but their image occupies all the space of the cover and the rectangular white concept is maintained by means of an attractive narrow border.
«At Bunker, we have found the rarest and most necessary thing here: a fellow traveller who knows when to listen and when to be listened to, who can create and propose smart beauty to support the bold idea at the heart of the project The outcome is a visual identity full of meaning and focus, so similar to the publisher we want to be that it almost becomes the same thing.»
«Il Margine is a publisher that reaches out to everyone, but does not publish just anything. It focuses on ideas, always. It searches around the edges for what is valuable, new, unseen, and makes it central to the discourse.
It was necessary for its visual identity to do the same. We imagined it as essential and centred on what matters: the ideas that the book lets you grasp and the authors who created them.»
In the Annurca paperbacks, there are only two rectangular sections: the background image occupies the entire section underneath the central rectangular section, which, instead of white, is in the colour block of the book.
The iconographic choice on the cover is the result of a close dialogue with the contents of the book. The research involved ranges from the many extensive web archives to works by contemporary artists. In order to group several publications by one author into a single imagery, works similar in theme and style were selected. Hence, the covers of texts by Zygmunt Bauman always feature illustrations of animals, whereas those by Edgar Morin have black and white photos.
The editorial graphic design project for Il Margine was so detailed that we went to a bookshop and browsed the shelves looking for the works in the Pinova and Annurca series, the outcome of a meticulous rebranding project.
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