The brief from the ISTD was to create a new, large-format layout for the book Invisible Cities, designed to bring new meaning to the work.
About Invisible Cities
Invisible Cities is not a traditionally structured book; it is a collection of tales Marco Polo is telling Kublai Khan about the cities he has seen on his travels.
The tales are organised in themes: "Cities and Memory", "Cities and the Dead", "Thin Cities", etc, but the tales in each theme are not grouped together, instead they are interspersed throughout the narrative. When I first read the book, I wondered what the connection was across each theme.
The final point to understand about Invisible Cities is all tales are (spoiler alert) really about Venice. And Polo said: “Every time I describe a city I am saying something about Venice.”
I created a flag book – each tale is on its own panel, attached to an accordion spine. The reader can turn pages and read the book in the traditional order, or they can pull the accordion wide and see all the tales grouped by theme. Fully extending the book also reveals a map of Venice, built up from fragments on each panel.
The video below shows the book being "read".