A True Fairy Tale
Publisher: Kultura Gniewu
Text : Mikołaj Łoziński
Design: Marta Ignerska
Design: Marta Ignerska
IBBY (The International Board on Books for Young People) | The “Book of The Year 2013” Prize
PROJECT OF THE YEAR 2013 / STGU (Association of Applied Graphic Designers) | Special Mention
IBBY JURY: The jury rewarded A True Fairy Tale for the unusual boldness of its design and for its entire visual concept. This is such a coherent, intriguing tale that you can’t wait to turn the next page, not just because of the suspense and the colourful whirl of action, but above all because of the graphic design. The artwork has a stunningly simple form (where elementary geometric shapes prevail, and the line of a spider’s thread runs through most of the story) makes sparing use of colour (apart from black and white, it only features the three primary colours), and is clearly inspired by neoplasticism. There are some charming ideas for presenting things in the most simple form possible, e.g. a yellow circle means a sunny day, and a blue rectangle is the Côte d’Azur. At the same time, the story of a holiday adventure with a spider is set on the pages of a twentieth-century art history book (including works by Mondrian, Malevich’s squares, minimal art, op-art, constructivism, Italian futurism and Soviet poster art among other topics). The consistent design of each element of the book – the endpapers, lettering, title page, and the two little spiders at the foot of each page – brilliantly complement a series of spreads in which there appears to be nothing happening (but how much room is left to the imagination!). A True Fairy Tale is a true masterpiece of the highest quality in the art of book design.
All the summer we spent driving in our black volvo.
We were driving along Cote d’Azur, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, we saw the glacier.
Too lazy to pitch a tent, we unfolded seats in the car and spent nights in parking lots. Before we went to sleep we laid in our sleeping bags watching films on our computer.
How come it was after 8 thousand kilometres that we found out we were not travelling alone?
Earlier, when we woke up every morning I found a spider’s net outside the door at my driver’s side. It was stretching across the window between the mirror and the door handle. I tore it down, wiped my hands over my jeans and we simply drove off.
There were so many more interesting things around.
One day, leaving a petrol station and approaching a motorway I had a quick glimpse into an outside mirror and understood everything.
- Look – I told Julia.
But before I tell you what I saw you have to know that a car mirror has a special electric device behind, one that heats it up and helps us move it.
There, in the space between the mirror and the device I saw a spider half standing out and looking straight into my eyes.
- I can’t see nothing – Julia said, for the spider immediately disappeared inside the mirror.
From then on I stopped destroying its net which became more and more exquisite and elaborate each night.
And the spider stopped avoiding us. It came out to the sun, walked over its net or checked its looks in the mirror. We were allowed to take its pictures; it even sat posing on our arms.
From time to time in the evening it came close to the window pane and watched films with us on our computer. Car racing scenes were its favourites.
When we swopped places at the wheel I asked Julia:
- Please, adjust the mirror gently so that it doesn‘t get harmed.
We tried to give it different names but it only responded to Spider.
The summer was slowly coming to an end and we started returning home. It was raining every evening and it became cold. But we were not worried about the spider because we knew it was safe in its nest.
We were not worried until one day I took a sharp turn at the road and saw our spider falling out of the mirror. Although we were driving 160 kilometres per hour it seemed to be falling out very slowly. Probably because it was trying to hold on to its net.
I stamped on the brakes. Our volvo turned around, several cars clashed and we had a pretty good collision behind us. Luckily nobody got harmed.
I jumped out of the car looking for the spider on the road.
But it found me first, climbing up my leg and onto my arm. I felt all its eight hairy legs termbling.
Then I placed it in the back seat and we drove off.
It kept running while we drove – from one seat to another, to the wheel, the gear, the safety belts. It even jumped into the ashtray once.
And at the first stop, when I opened the door, the spider immediately escaped back into its mirror.
Approaching the border we pondered on what would happen to our spider. Would it like holes in the road and snow?
When we crossed the border I saw the Spider jump out of the mirror. It landed on a truck going slowly the reverse direction, then I saw it climbing up quickly and disappearing in the big mirror.
But soon it came out accompanied by another spider. They waved us good-by with all their sixteen legs.