The client: 

MassArt has the largest free contemporary art space in New England. The Bakalar and Paine Galleries showcases work by artists and designers, both established and emerging.  This space is free to the public and a must see!!

The project:

MassArt asked us to design a catalog to showcase their “Contemporary Art, Science and the Sublime” show from the Bakalar and Paine Galleries.   This catalog will be in libraries across the country, as well as available to the public.

Design challenge and approach: 

The catalog features the insulation and the artists of the show.  The art displayed data and the universe interpreted through the eyes of the artist.  Opus designers, Emily Knapp and Ellery Curran took on this challenge.  Together they designed a book that not only captures the beauty of the art but also engages the reader.

As the first step and with the cover art piece set by MassArt, Ellery took on the challenge of making it into a cover.  After several reviews the client chose a laser cut black cover. Ellery worked closely with the printer, DS Graphic.  She used black paper, that was cut with a laser and hit 3 times with white ink.  The outcome was as precise and breathtaking as the artwork itself.  The art piece is the observable universe, take a look:

Catalog   Catalog insulation

Next, Emily worked on the layout of the catalog.  The client asked for the artwork to stand on its own.  Emily achieved this using a few different techniques:

  • Using simple typography that does not distract from the artwork. Instead, it adds a scientific, mechanical feel to complement the art.
  • Inside margins are kept wide so the art would not get lost in the gutter.
  • Use of full-page cropped-in layouts of the art.
  • Some pages displayed artists work with full-color background that bleeds to the image.

We achieved consistency across the piece by pulling the color from the cover piece and coordinating it with the art pieces on the inner pages.

MassArt was thrilled. Here are a few of the beautiful layouts:

catalog