Experimental Typography in a Collaborative Publication. AZURA

Invisible Cities Abridged

  • Kristina Ambrose MacEwan University
  • Erika Amper MacEwan University
  • Erin Barnes MacEwan University
  • Alexander Boivin MacEwan University
  • Patrick Doody MacEwan University
  • Ashlee Ganton MacEwan University
  • Celina Gudzowski MacEwan University
  • Nathaniel Hehir MacEwan University
  • Milo Knauer MacEwan University
  • Thanh Nguyen MacEwan University
  • Janae Olsen MacEwan University
  • Quoc Pham MacEwan University
  • Haley Richardson MacEwan University
  • Katherine Schneider MacEwan University
  • Marcos Troisin MacEwan University
  • Zachary Walters MacEwan University


In this experimental typography project, we translated the novel Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino (1972), into layouts that aimed at pushing the boundaries of how we read literature. Each student was assigned to one of the fifty-five cities described in the novel, and to one dialogue between the two protagonists, Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. As we worked with the content of this piece — including a wide range of concepts such as urbanism, linguistics, and human nature — we were encouraged to challenge convention by exploring: alternative ways to organize the page; linear and non-linear representations of the text; the integration of text and image; and the nuisances of written and spoken language through linguistic deconstruction, pace, rhythm, and other techniques. As a group, we built a collective publication that was professionally printed in the Fall of 2017.

Discipline: Design Studies

Faculty Mentor: Constanza Pacher