Pentagram partner Justus Oehler has reunited with photographer/artist Julia Calfee to create the design for her new book Messages.
Covering six different countries in Asia and Europe, Messages spans several years of Calfee’s life which were spent searching for people connected to specific energies. In many cases, the subjects have become friends with the author, and the work is a deeply personal portrait of spiritualists, shamans, worshippers and clerics.
Messages consists of three simultaneous presentations. A visual component of forty-four black and white photographs, an emotional aspect through nine written philosophical and poetical interpretations of the human condition, and accompanying audio in the form of a 12' vinyl record of shamanistic rituals and field recordings.
The result is a humanistic and intimate portrait of people experiencing otherworldly moments. Messages serves to demonstrate that comparable cultural legacies not only exist today in the same way that they did hundreds of years ago; but also remain revered in ways that stretch beyond mere geographical locations.
Pentagram’s design uses a strong scheme based around red/orange and blue to echo the role of fire and water in spiritual rituals. Moreover, repeating word messages are designed to create a sense of the intangible, nebulous and shadowy; building on and complimenting the themes Calfee's work is also exploring.
Messages mark the third time Pentagram has worked with Calfee, with Oehler designing the layout for A Glacier’s Requiem (2016) and Inside: The Chelsea Hotel (2008)