MOTOS DE PORTUGAL
Motos de Portugal is an exhibition hosted by Casa do Design de Matosinhos honouring the production of Motorcycles in the country – from its origins in the late 19th century to its prime in the second half of the 20th. Over 80 Motorcycles were selected from several local collectors and exhibited together with related materials – helmets, signs, posters, magazines, instruction guides – in what used to be the Matosinhos City Hall's garage and is now a design museum. Emanuel Barbosa, a long time Motorcycle aficionado and collector, curated the exhibition with the support of esad—idea and we were commissioned to design its catalogue.
Having such a rich and attractive context to work with, our main concern was to control our excitement about this project and not over do our intervention, finding the natural visual environment for content to be displayed.
We were handled a huge set of materials for this project, and editing the book ended up being the most important part of our work.
The catalogue is structured in three main sections: 1. Essays on the historical context of motorcycle production in Portugal; 2. A selection of visual materials from several Portuguese motorcycle manufacturers; 3. Photographs of the motorcycles on display in the exhibition.
The first texts are written in a formal and academic style, which lead us to create two complementary structures: one for the main text and another for quoted text. We've also decided not to display the photographs and documents directly next to the text that references them, but rather let the text flow continuously and have small image sections creating ocasional reading pauses to provide visual context.
The second section is a long visual navigation through the most amazing documents from several motorcycle brands and dealerships. We've decided to compose the least the we could, and in most cases just let the images bleed out of the pages. It also creates an interlude which leads the reader into the third section, printed in a glossy paper with a glossy varnish, where the motorcycles are displayed on a clean environment according to their most beautiful side (where the exhaust pipe is placed). There's a forth mini section containing a visual index of the motorcycles running in between an historical timeline, photographs of the most important engines produced in Portugal, and finally, photographs of the exhibition.
Despite the bold slanted type on the titles and display elements, the overall feeling of the catalogue is quite light and easy going, allowing both a quick glance over the images or a careful and detailed reading over the curious history of motorcycle production in Portugal.