Bible Black

Although the monochrome jacket of Joan Morey’s Misa Negra is totally at odds with Perdiz magazine’s bright hues, the latter’s art director Marc Sancho owes it his career, he explains.

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Given the colourful rainbow of covers of PERDIZ, which changes colour with every issue, it may sound a bit incoherent to pick a black cover as a source of inspiration. But this is the book that, as a designer, made me steer my career towards editorial. It really was a turning point for me.

Its title is Misa Negra (Black Mass). At first sight it looks like a holy bible and plays with the symbols of Christ and the Antichrist in the cover, though in fact it’s the art catalogue for Joan Morey’s OBEY, Humillados y Ofendidos (OBEY, Humiliated and Offended) project, exhibited at the Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea in 2007/2009. His artwork reminds me of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. It has mysticism, eroticism, death, tension, and the evil side that exists in all of us. You can take for granted that it leaves nobody indifferent.

However, the most important aspect of it all for me is that it’s a book where narrative and shape walk perfectly hand in hand. It’s not just about design or beauty. I remember reading it and thinking with certainty for the first time in my life: “That’s what I want to do”. Books and magazines are the only design products where you can truly work with narrative and build a story. And I knew I wanted to tell stories.

Back then when I discovered the book I was still at design school. I enjoyed it so much that I moved heaven and earth to get an interview with Miquel Polidano, the book’s designer. Soon after the interview, I started working at his studio (it was my first job) before setting up my own studio, Querida. Besides PERDIZ, I now work on loads of other graphic, web but, especially, editorial projects. So I suppose I have to be very thankful to this book.