This painstaking and highly wrought piece of research into synaesthetic perception has produced a magisterially printed graphic depiction of it. The book treats of a single specific aspect of the phenomenon, namely the perception of colour when viewing images. That is what the artist Anna Püschel herself experiences. The book is a personal quest in which the protagonist makes a comprehensive attempt to explain to ‘outsiders’ how she experiences this complex phenomenon of sensory perception. Even though she considers no examples of other forms of synaesthesia, this book transcends her own personal interest, aided by the fact that she herself planned her study down to the last detail.
The paper has been chosen with care and used to good effect: the picture pages have been excellently lithographed and printed on Olin Smooth, ensuring that areas of colour appear even and bright. This contrasts with the pale blue, semi-transparent and somehow greasy-feeling area of foil printing on the kraft-like (Muskat Brown) American dust jacket – but this does produce an agreeable graphic layeredness. Layers of Reality is the result of a beautiful synergy between photographer and designer in which research, photography and design reinforce each other.