We had been fantasizing for some time about the possibility of starting a collection of literary books when the editorial designer Jaime Narváez showed us his work, which was practically completed. Naturally, it was a temptation that we could not afford to miss to launch the collection Letras de Terranova with an exercise on Don Quixote.
After many months, probably too many, struggling not only with the book’s design, but also with the whole concept of the collection (which in the end would be as simple as: let each book be as we think it should be), we decided to create a classic paperback, a direct reference to David Carson’s Great Ideas. We wanted to be as discreet and respectful as possible toward what is ultimately important, which is the innards designed by Narvaez himself. So we wrapped the project up by using a format that
mixed a sober and classic layout in the cover, prologue and epilogue, with a drastic and purist colour treatment, keeping a reference to the formal part of the printing which is reflected by the use of CMYK as the leitmotiv of the book.
Beyond the conceptual and formal work, of evident exceptionality (of a book-as-object) which exists within a scarce national tradition, what interests us about Variaciones lies in its literary and intellectual power, which does not include a single word of the author.
Jaime Narvàez is a learned and brilliant book designer, and he manages to carry out a convincing theoretical and critical exercise in his work, on the designer’s practice, on his responsibilities, his risks and his constant need to experiment, to try and to make mistakes.