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Nadja: André Breton


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Carla Cascales Alimbau

Carla Cascales Alimbau, Graphic designer, Editor and Art director.



The Private Space

For this edition of André Breton’s “Nadja”, Carla Cascales Alimbau sought to represent themes from the iconic French surrealist novel through design decisions. The main text is printed in Garamond, while footnotes are in Univers; an insert provides supplementary illustrations; and grey paper with an organic texture works to both sets the depressed mood and reference the organic love affair between narrator and main character. Overall, the design of this edition makes a worthy effort to answer the novel’s opening question: “Who I am?” 



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Production Time

10 days

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Project Description

Editorial design of the book Nadja written by the surrealist André Breton. Independent Edition.

The book is entirely printed on Fedrigoni paper: Sirio Pearl, and Arcoprint Milk. The design is based on the essence of the book. Nadja is an autobiographical love story between the author and a young woman in Paris in the 20s, the story is written in a surreal code, in a first reading is difficult to understand, to emphasize that the text is printed on gray (Garamond). Later, in the 60s, Breton, advised by friends and readers, included some footnotes that make the story more understandable, these notes are written in a bold typeface, the one used in the Paris subway at that time, (Univers) more modern and stronger than the text, to highlight the fact footnotes are what make the history comprehensible. The cover design follows the same concept. The city of Paris is the entire history scenario, some images of the city are printed on cotton paper and interspersed in the book, these are almost transparent and blend in the story.

Finally, the book includes an insert in gray paper with some illustrations of Nadja, who we later discover is a patient of the Vaucluse madhouse, that's why gray is present throughout the book, to emphasize the status of sadness and depression experienced by Nadja.

Production Lesson(s)

The challenge was to choose a good paper to represent the organic love story of the book and the emphasize the status of sadness and depression experienced by the main character.”

Post Author

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Duncan Robertson

Former intern at UnderConsideration LLC.

More: Online / On Twitter


Date Published

October 1, 2013


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