ISTD Brief 5: Paradiso

Conor Maguire
Visual Communication

College
Technical University Dublin

Contact
hummusdesigns@gmail.com
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Conor Maguire

ISTD Brief 5: Paradiso

The brief asked to typographically interpret Canto 33 of Paradiso from The Divine Comedy by Dante Aligheiri while considering the navigation of The Divine Comedy as a whole. A series of books was designed in response to the ISTD brief ‘Paradiso’. Paradiso is the third book from Dante Aligheiri’s epic poem: The Divine Comedy. On the surface, it is a religious odyssey where Dante travels through Hell, Purgatory and Paradise, to finally meet God. The designer interpreted Canto 33 from ‘Paradiso’ and The Divine Comedy through the universal theme of adversity and building resilience to bring it to a new audience. Book one is a visual interpretation of Canto 33. The illustrations were created using a typewriter and Adobe Photoshop and reference the feeling of ascending, Dante’s vision becoming clearer and circular shapes from Canto 33. The book can be unfolded into a long strip, reflecting the Dante’s long journey through the realms of The Divine Comedy (Hell, Purgatory, Paradise). Book two discusses the universal theme of adversity in the context of Dante’s experience of political exile from Florence, and in the present day. Book three is a creative writing journal with prompts derived from The Divine Comedy. The journal has a built-in narrative of Dante facing adversity where he is lost and fearful, to seeing his adverse experience as a time of great learning and growth in ‘Paradiso’. The user can write about their experiences of adversity paralleled with Dante’s. Writing in the journal reflects the catharsis experienced by Dante from writing The Divine Comedy after his exile. The designer liaised with Dr. Aideen Lewis, Principal Clinical Psychologist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin for guidance in constructing the journal’s narrative. People need to face adversity in order to grow. Without Dante’s experience of political exile, he “could not have written (The Divine Comedy)”. Immerse yourself in your past, remember how resilient you are, what you have learned and how you have grown as a person.