Project Gutenberg is a virtual mega library created in 1971 with more than 50,000 titles in all languages. The leitmotif of this project is collecting in digital format all titles in literature which are in public domain, either because their authors have been 6 feet under for a long time or because some (few) have forfeited their rights to be published.
In any case, Project Gutenbergbrings together most of the jewels of world literature, and those that are missing will be added over time. So far, just a brief introduction for those who didn’t know.
But what is Project Gutenberg by Minimae? The principle is the same: publish books that are in public domain… but from here on out, EVERYTHING changes.
Want to know what Minimae’sProject Gutenberg is all about? Discover it right now
Exactly 1 year ago, we had the “brilliant” idea to make a series of prints (6 in total) which had the complete text of Don Quixote de la Mancha printed on them. The idea came to us upon seeing an old edition of Don Quixote edited in 6 volumes. What if we could condense Cervantes’ entire text into 6 prints?
We ran a few tests with Word and our own handiwork, and we realized that the typography could be reduced to a very small size, until the point where we thought that instead of 6 prints, we could reduce it to 5. We continued adjusting the font and reduced it to 4. We tweaked the line spacing, and reduced it to 3…
And that’s when the lightbulb went off. What if we could condense Don Quixote (no less than 377,032 words in the Spanish edition) into poster format? And furthermore, what if it could be read perfectly with a magnifying glass or eagle-eyed vision?
It was then that we realized we needed help, and that was when Pau Marco from Valencia appeared – or to be more exact, when we contacted him after 5 other designers looked at us like we were crazy.
“It’s possible,” Pau immediately wrote to us. “Let me analyze it and I’ll send you a proof.”
An hour later, we had a sketch and, tadaa! IT WAS POSSIBLE! Pau had reduced the Calibri font as small as possible, removed all of the spaces and periods and then compressed the line spacing so that, incredibly, he had managed to fit Don Quixote into a 70 cm x 100 cm format. IMPRESSIVE.
Now came the second part. Was is possible to print it so that it could be read well? We dedicated more than 4 months to this operation, right Pau? We ran tests with many different machines: laser, color process, digital… everything. We invested a lot of time and money, and the most frustrating part was, we hadn’t managed to figure out a solution… until we took a chance and printed 150 units of Don Quixote on a machine that Pau assured us would be “the one”.
The print was perfect. On a sheet of high-quality Antalis brand Olin Crema paper and with a Roland 700 machine, we had our miracle. More than 5 months of tests, and we had – finally! –given birth to our first book in Project Gutenberg by Minimae.
The result couldn’t have been more Minimae. From afar, it appears as a uniform mass that, for some reason, draws you towards it. As you get closer, the print maintains its uniformity but starts to reveal clues that behind that mass, there’s something more. The surprise comes when your nose is literally pressed up against the glass. But what the h… is this? Then comes the time for an explanation, because even at this point the observers can’t understand what the h… that is.
After Don Quixote came other large books: Ana Karenina, Ulysses (yes, we also managed to compress Joyce’s Ulysses to 70 x 100 cm), The Count of Monte Cristo, Moby Dick…
And then we thought, why limit ourselves to large books? What if we tried with smaller works?
The next twist was to make “art”. How? The compressed text of the books allows you to make some very, very creative compositions without looking tacky.
These were our next works of art of world literature: