John FitzGerald penned this suite of poems which each revolve around the concept of ‘the night’. Dorothy Cross produced a positive / negative photographic piece to accompany the poems. The challenge was to instill the essence of the night into a book through it’s design, material choices and production methods.
Darklight became a book in which every physical aspect was choosen for its relationship with light. Two editions were made, a standard and a deluxe.
The ink was handmade to shine while reflecting light; the light-absorbing, charcoal coloured paper was hand-made specifically for this project; the sequential poem numbers are debossed and require low-angled light to be read; the black leather chosen for the deluxe binding mimics light entering a forest; the perspex housing for the standard copy diffuses light like a thick fog; the Japanese tissue chosen for the wraparound on the standard copy allows light to penetrate; the phospherescent ink inside the box of the deluxe copy emits light in the dark.
The type was hand-set in 14 and 24 point Méridien, designed by Adrian Frutiger, cast here by Rainer Gerstenberg. The image by Dorothy Cross has been produced in two variants; the etching that covers the standard book was printed by Suzannah O’Reilly Mullaney, the phosphorescent images that accompany the deluxe book were first screen printed by Jordan McQuaid before intaglio printing by Suzannah. Both image variants were printed on 54gsm Japanese Tosa Shi. Printed in an edition of 80 copies. The bindings have been executed by Tom Duffy in Dublin’s Five Lamps area. Housed in a semi-transparent Perspex slipcase, copies marked 1 – 50 are be printed on and bound in 200gsm handmade paper commissioned for this book from the Velké Losiny Mill in the Czech Republic. Copies marked A – Z are printed on the Velké Losiny paper, bound in full black Pentland goat, presented in a Japanese cloth covered solander box.