This simply very well-made exhibition catalogue pushes the envelope, but just stays the right side of too audacious. Although we did not unanimously fall for all of the form choices – such as the rigid text columns – nevertheless the images fit comfortably between the texts in their own, not excessively forced, grid. Presenting historical material in this way is inherently risky, but here these extra layers provide the required added frisson. In this respect, an institution such as the Catharijneconvent museum has clearly stuck its neck out. The designers have likewise not chosen the safe path, but – thanks to the strength of the material – neither have they overplayed their hand.
The typographically semi-transparent caesura pages with word clouds lend a nice contrast and result in an attractive book block.
The decision not to place any explicit image on the exterior of the book proves extremely successful here, as the resulting cover is extremely attractive and layered, both in terms of content and graphically. The die cut (which is maybe just a little on the large side) highlights the bright, contrasting colour and typography of the interior against the otherwise sober black of the cover. Another nice touch is that, in the English-language catalogue, the cover colours have simply been switched.