The making of the Dürer’s Treatises

Overview   Process   Errata  

The year we decided to republish Dürer’s academic works in two volumes, the translator—a renown art historian Cecilia Genrikhovna Nesselstraus—passed away. The only facts known about the sole heiress of the translator’s rights were her name and location “somewhere in Israel.” That’s all. So we ran her name through a search engine and meticulously contacted every organization—including a chess players association—which our nets brought ashore. Good chance and a bit of pure luck helped us find the lady, surprisingly, through a school in St. Petersburg she used to go to and came to visit.

The original 1957 edition was laid out by Vadim Lazursky. Scanning, running text recognition, and performing initial proofreading.

The original work was set in 3:4 format. Trying to keep these proportions and making an asymmetrical layout.

Checking out a square format.

Making a full circle and coming back to the studio’s signature 2:3. Thinking on how to treat comments. The original book placed them at the end of each chapter, but we decide to anchor them to the text.

Embedding comments inside the body text, which pushes some to spill over to the next page. Not good. Assigning a classic bottom-of-the-page location for all the footnotes, numbering them anew for each chapter.

Typesetting process makes it clear that we don’t want to publish the first volume: it consists of the artist’s diaries and correspondence, making it a hard and almost irrelevant (to our publishing goals) read. Deciding to cut it down to a single volume with the Treatises and drafts for Dürer’s “The Book on Painting.”

Preparing fancy initials in Dürer’s style.

Drawing the initials.

Placing the initials.

Sending the book to a proofreader for the final examination and moving on to a dust jacket.

Selecting deep red cloth for the binding, navy stock for endpaper, and deep green headband.

Sending the book, binding, and dust jacket layouts to the printers.




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