A book like a piece of music

Designing a book like a piece of music - but one of 688 pages. In recent years, writer Irene van der Linde and documentary photographer Nicole Segers have traveled in the footsteps of British writer Rebecca West through the former Yugoslavia and Albania. With West's magnum opus Black Lamb and Gray Falcon (1942) under their arm, they explored the meaning of the new borders in the Balkans.

Looking for boundaries

In Blood and honey, language and image are intertwined into an inseparable whole - in the same way, history is intertwined with the environment. That is the basis of the book: a story with two speeds in which language takes over from image for once, and then image takes over from language. As a thread through the book, framed color images are centered on the pages. Only the black and white images push the boundaries on one side. The lyrics work like a kind of harmonica, as if the book “breathes text” and that every time you are surprised by what is to come. Texts never just stop somewhere halfway down the page, because the font sizes have to adapt to the type area everywhere. For example, text pages are treated in the same way as image pages.
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The designers from Smel pushed the boundaries in the design of our book. Blood and Honey is an innovative and unique combination of documentary photography and literary non-fiction. Language and images tell a continuous story, as in a travel journal. With almost mathematical precision, Smel devised a model within which the concept could be worked out. This resulted in an enjoyable and close collaboration with us as makers. The infectious enthusiasm and perfectionism of Edgar and Carlo resulted in a visual and typographic masterpiece. They designed the book as a piece of music - but one of 688 pages.

— Nicole Segers (photographer) and Irene van der Linde (writer)
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Unique edition

The book is no less than 5 cm thick, contains 90,000 words interspersed with 225 images in 688 pages with a prologue, travelogue, photography, epilogue, and speech of thanks—dutch-language, bound linen hardcover, published by Boom and Lecturis. A book design like this does not yet exist in the Dutch language area, as far as we know.
De Volkskrant chose Blood and honey as one of the ten most beautiful Dutch photo books of 2020

Is it a photo book with text? A travel report with photos? Never mind discovering the beautifully designed Blood and Honey; it doesn't conform to any form (okay, it's a book) and exceeds all expectations.

— Volkskrant
Irene van der Linde & Nicole Segers
  • Story editor:
Marc Prüst

Sebastiaan Hanekroot

  • Printing:
  • die Keure, Brugge

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