Cuaderno del Prado

BOOK DESIGN. Art direction, layout and cover design

Publishing house: Nido de Ratones
Title: Cuaderno del Prado
Author: Ximena Maier, Illustración y textos
Editor: Paula Fernández de Bobadilla
Rustic and hardcover “Bicentenaria” editions

One afternoon I received an email from Paula Fernández Bobadilla and Ximena Maier, asking me to meet to talk about a new project: the new book by Nido de Ratones publishing house: a book of illustrations and texts by Ximena about her personal relationship with the museum. I, who do not delay to embark on any project with them, immediately said yes, turning this to be one of the projects that I have enjoyed the most throughout my career.

The overall book design is quite organic, there are pages where the text is aligned to the left, pages where it flows according to the illustrations and pages where it is a block of text, depending on the harmony in the visual game with the accompanying illustration.

There is a color code that we discovered during those days of analysis of the Prado walls (very different from the wallpaper with arabesque motifs that predominated almost 20 years ago). I don’t know for what reason, but people whisper in the rooms where Goya is exposed, where the walls are of a leaden gray, unlike the normal voice conversations heard in areas with beige walls.

To design the cover of the book we used the same color of the walls of the museum’s transit areas, for this I went to the museum with my Pantone® guide in hand to find the right color … difficult task given the differences in light and shades, that ended in an anecdotal comic situation, when people looked at me strangely because I was more interested in the colors of the walls than in the paintings.

We also chose an illustration that I loved, from the many illustrations that Ximena made for this project: an ink drawing of the eternal queue to enter the museum. At first I proposed it for the lining, but then, by Paula’s idea in consensus with Ximena, we agreed to use it for the cover. I loved the idea because that way we didn’t show anything from inside the museum until we were inside the book, trying to reproduce as faithfully as posible the wonderful experience of going to the museum.