Verde Indagine
A book by artist Thomas Berra illustrating a painting inventory of trees, plants, grass, and leaves.
thomas berra verde indagine
Verde Indagine
Book, 23.5×16.5 cm
176 pages

Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
griglia modulare
The multi-modular grid that was designed for the book.

2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
A painting inventory

Designed on the occasion of the homonymous exhibition organised by gallery Placentia Arte, Verde Indagine (A Green Survey) is a book illustrating a painting inventory of leaves, plants, grass, and trees made by artist Thomas Berra.

The artist made a survey in all respects by searching, travelling, and studying the theme of vegetation for more than one year, focusing on vagrant plants in particular.
thomas berra verde indagine cactus
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
Green

Designing the book was a real challenge because of its contents: nearly 200 images that are all similar, all green, all portraying vegetation details, without a single line of text.

However, the difference between plants and leaves portrayed by the artist allowed to make a distinction by typology between the various images.

The classification of images simplified the editorial process and gave the possibility to divide the books in chapters, which are deliberately not indicated but evident anyway while browsing through the pages.
thomas berra verde indagine
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
 A deep, impenetrable green.
A journey in a layered maze
in which we end up being lost,
but fascinated.
 A deep, impenetrable green. A journey in a layered maze in which we end up being lost, but fascinated.
The layout grid

The development of a modular grid characterised by multiple textures allowed to produce richly articulated pages, also providing rhythmic consistency to the layout and also rationalising the entire design process.

Furthermore, the grid allowed to keep unchanged the original proportions of the paintings, thus both respecting the work of the artist and also the needs of the readers, which are mostly art collectors and art dealers.
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
The layout of images

The architecture of the grid allowed to orchestrate images according to rhythmic relationships, thus enhancing images both individually and as part of an ensemble.

In such a way, pages stand out for both their beauty, elegance, and variety of the layout.

All the images are classified by a number that is related to the captions published at the end of the book. This solution permitted to avoid using page numbers.
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
Ph. © Nicola-Matteo Munari
thomas berra verde indagine
An alternative solution for the cover, showing a magnified and recoloured detail of a painting.

2017 © Nicola-Matteo Munari
The cover

The book cover enhances the quality of Berra’s work by blowing-up a detail of a painting that, through enlargement, finds a new expressive strength.

The book received numerous appreciations distinguishing itself for both the strength of images and the restrained elegance of the composition.

The collaboration with Berra was repeated in two other publications, the artist’s book Franco e Renata, edited by Fondazione Pastificio Cerere of Rome, and the exhibition catalogue The Old Tailor of Toledo by UNA art gallery.

Client
Placentia Arte, Piacenza

Supervisor
Michele Cristella

Design
Nicola-Matteo Munari

Collaborator
Greta Bussandri

Year
2017