Conversas gerais [General Conversations] is a collection of teaching aid books about the Cerrado biome indicated for elementary school children. It was created by Instituto Inhotim, a contemporary art museum and botanical garden located in Brumadinho, in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Also known as the Brazilian savanna, the Cerrado is the largest biome in the state and the second largest in Brazil and South America. This educational material aims to make the biome better known and preserve it for future generations. Graphic artist Arielle Martins was invited to illustrate the pages of the first two books produced: Águas do cerrado [Waters of the Cerrado] and Plantas do cerrado [Plants of the Cerrado].
The 32-page books were designed in an easy-to-use format, 15.5 × 23 cm, on uncoated paper. Its lightweight size allowed for the absence of a hardcover and the creation of a dust jacket that can be unfolded to form an illustrated poster. Its inverted flap was thought of as a tactile effect to provoke curiosity. It is an invitation for the educational gesture of looking at what is below, and remembering that the Cerrado has a world apart in its subsoil. The flap also becomes an ideal space to display the book titles. The design of the books was conceived to better enhance the colorful and vibrant work of the artist in order to provoke interest in the reader with all the amply illustrated pages and different layouts. Therefore the books were created with a structure of rigid blocks of text that could be interspersed with images and titles. The Futura typeface was chosen because it has a strong similarity with the geometric shapes that we can see in the artist’s drawings. Thus, its expressive and rhythmic use, and varying sizes, adds to the images, forming landscapes that lead the reader through the pages. The text blocks are also interspersed with small boxes with glossaries that jump out of the margins of the main text. Small supplementary texts stand out from the main text flow accompanied by double-page illustrations.
Illustrator: Arielle Martins
Graphic producer: Joana Alves
Editors: Lorena Vicini and Wendell Silva
Books 15.5 × 23 cm; Dust jacket 59 × 39.5 cm