Initium Maris is a project conducted by artist Nicolas Floc’h that questions the future of submarine landscapes, in the perspective of the environmental crisis we are experiencing. It is at the same time a documentation and a reflection about the influence of man on these environments which we rarely consider as proper landscapes, in the artistic sense of the word. The project is based on an expedition that started from the coasts of Bretagne, France, leading all the way to Japan. The book is conceived as a photographic logbook, associated with a presentation of the project and its actors, whether they’re artists, scientists, or researchers.
Initium Maris. Carnet de bord was designed by Maison Solide, who chose to use Big Daily from Production Type for text. Styrene A from Commercial Type is used for titles and notes, sometimes with its alternate a and u. The sobriety of the dark green cover is evocative of old notebooks, while the silver printing brings us to the stars, in a crafty inversion of the topic we are dealing with. The dots scattered on the cover are different significative points of the submarine map, but the silver color makes them shine as if it was a sky chart. This grasping of an astral world – which we are eager to tend to when we are asking for answers or just contemplation – is a way to make the sea and its depths as mysterious as the celestial dome.
Big Daily fits right into a design inspired by documentation and archival resources: its shapes inspired by daily newspapers give it a documental aspect, fueling the ambiguity between science and art that is seen in the book. The photographs become testimonies, all the more so as they are paired with maps. In its aesthetic, this book manages to raise awareness towards the submarine landscapes it is showing. Initium Maris. Carnet de bord was published by Édition GwinZegal.