Despite the notorious abstraction of the illustrations, they come from the simplification of the concept of each city. I also defined a set of rules (a visual system) in order to help organizing everything – all the illustrations share a common grid (16x16). The cities are divided into 11 categories and I defined a unique color palette, with three different colors, for each one of them. Black/white are common colors among all of them.
In this table you can see a list of all the cities and the category they belong to. It also shows the organization by chapter – which forms a symmetrical chessboard pattern. Kublai Khan was a keen chess player as noted by Italo Calvino in Invisible Cities. Chess is an important metaphor and it is noticeable even in the book's organization, and I wanted it to be present in my project as well.
Part I: The Poster
The final form for this project is the poster below, where the illustrations of cities appear in the same order as in the original book. It is a way to present the content of the story in a different form. In the bottom there is a caption with the names of each chapter/city, in the same order.
Part II: The Book
The following book is a supplement to the poster, as explanation/documentation for the project. It has all the illustrations, one by one, and the concept behind them. The cover design was inspired by the table shown before with the chapter organization forming a chessboard pattern.
The book contains a textual explanation regarding the idea behind each theme, and the cities that belong to them. Here, the cities are organized differently – instead of being divided by chapters, they are divided by theme, which in my opinion helps the reader to understand the connection between them.
If you're interested in finding out more about the project, you can see it below.
Would you like to own an art print of the poster? I'm selling them through Curioos.