In this video, we will look at the process for numbering a book using calligraphy. Specifically, the Atles de l’Expansió Catalana a la Mediterrània [Atlas of the Catalonian Expansion in the Mediterranean], published by Editorial Base, a large-format work that we are binding at the SYL workshops.
Numeration is a highly methodological and precise calligraphy operation, performed for this book by a graphic designer trained in the art by English calligraphers. In this instance, the work is a limited edition numbered from 1 to 890 along with six author copies numbered I to VI in Roman numerals.
Once the book number has been handwritten using a hard-tip pen and a blend of two blue inks, it is left to dry. We then place each copy in an individual sheath and, lastly, in a fold-out case with the same number on it. The book comes with a folder containing a painting by the artist Narcís Comadira folded into a triptych.
The director of the work is Víctor Hurtado Cuevas, who is a cartographer and historian, as well as being the author of numerous books. Through his writing and 180 maps, the reader travels along with the different Catalonian expeditions on the Mediterranean Sea between the 12th and 16th centuries, to Majorca, Valencia, Sicily, Sardinia, Naples, Athens, Alexandria, the north of Africa and other places.
The Atles de l’Expansió Catalana a la Mediterrània is a 320-page book printed in CMYK, measuring 490 mm x 345 mm, with a hard cover and printed endpapers. Blind debossing was used to create three hollow spaces in the cover, into which, in each copy, we hand-inserted sheets depicting the Balearic Islands, Sardinia, Sicily and Crete.