Wallflower Dispatches

Wallflower Dispatches header image 2

it’s just a book – “Nella Notte Buia” by Bruno Munari

May 4th, 2010 · 1 Comment · Art, It's just a Book

Italian children might not all be raised in style, but always with style.

Bruno Munari, the Italian graphic designer and Futurist, made sure that this was also true where children’s reading was concerned.

Influenced by such artists as Marinetti, he started experimenting with new ideas in graphics and typography in the 1930s. These ideas would first come to fruition after WWII when he applied them to book design and book objects.

“Nella Notte Buia” (“In the Dark of the Night”), published in 1956 is the most popular of the 40 odd children’s books Munari created. A small hole on the cover of the book draws the child into the adventures of a blue cat. Turning the pages, we follow the animal through the night that appears at times on transparent paper until we get to the source of the yellow light that has been shining through the pages.

With his libri illeggibili Munari went one step further. These books contain no text at all and the children can start reading, feeling or playing the book from the beginning, the middle or the end. The ‘bed book’ is one example.

Il metodo Munari” opened the way for children and adults to immerse themselves in the stories using all senses. Today’s “touch and feel” books are direct descendants of Munari’s ideas.

Munari’s vision has inspired artists such as Steven Guarnaccia, former Art Director of the New York Times. His updated version of “The Three Little Pigs” features the architect giants Le Corbusier, Gehry and Wright.

The Italian publisher Corraini has re-published many of Bruno Munari’s childrens books and also features similar books by artists such as Iela and Enzo Mari.

The archive Oasi per libri artiscitici (OPLA) in Merano was founded in 1997 to house books such as these. Its collection now holds over 500 examples. 250 works and 6000 image examples can be searched on their CD-Rom.

If you would like to find out more about Bruno Munari and his work, search the Collezione Bruno Munari or check out Grainedit for a link to the Bruno Munari image archive.

Tags: ··············

1 response so far ↓

Leave a Comment

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree