ELOI GIMENO

Eloi Gimeno, 1982 Barcelona (Spain)

Education

  • 2000 – 2006 BA in Graphic Design at Elisava, Barcelona.
  • 1/8/2004 – 31/7/2005 (30 credits)
    Erasmus at Aalto University, Helsinki.
  • 2011 – 2012
    Master in Documentary Photography at BLANK PAPER, Madrid.

Working experience:

  • 2006 – 2007 Estudio Diego Feijóo.
  • 2007 – 2009 Freelance.
  • 2009 – 2011 Outumuro Estudio.
  • 2011 – …Freelance.

Teaching experience:

  • 2012 – 2014 Curso de libros Escuela BLANK PAPER Madrid.
  • 2012 – 2014 Master en fotografía documental Escuela BLANK PAPER Madrid.
  • 2012 – 2014 Curso anual de fotografía documental BLANK PAPER Valencia.
  • 6–7/12/2014 Workshop at Outono fotográfico Ourense.
  • 4, 16, 21, 23/7/2015 Workshop “El libro como trampa” at La Central, Barcelona.
  • 21/12/2015 Master Class at El Observatori, Barcelona.
  • 30–9/2016 Lecture at Photobook Week of Aarhus, Denmark.

 

Publications:

  • Hellsinki 2010
  • Libro 2014

Awards:

  • 2006 Finalist at the “Design a Birthday logo for EU”
  • 2010 HELLSINKI
    Silver and Copper Laus.
    Voted as one of the best books of the year by Photoeye.
  • 2013 KARMA
    Winner of The Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation First Photobook Award 2013..
  • 2015 LOS ÚLTIMOS DÍAS VISTOS DEL REY Premi Arts Libris Fundació Banc Sabadell.
  • GOOD NEIGHBORS Best National Book PhotoEspaña 15, Premi Arts Libris Fundació Banc Sabadell

 

 

Designer Spotlight

Gonzalo Golpe on Eloi Gimeno

Eloi Gimeno represents a different way to assume the role of designer. Positioned between the roles of visual editor and art director, his work on photobooks is not limited to resolving formal questions about format, materials, finishes, typographic treatment, or cover design. He also participates in the conceptualization stage, when the sequence of images has not yet been determined and the book is still undefined. This gives his decisions a special weight and makes his design an essential rather than complementary element.

The skills required for designing photobooks differ greatly from those demanded by other kinds of publications. Although the editing of the images has usually already been completed by the time the designer enters the picture, the ideal method is for the editor, photographer, and designer to work in sync. By working on the sequence, the designer intervenes directly in the work, and, like the editor, must be aware of maintaining distance, determining which spaces can be shared and which must be left alone, in a constant dialogue with the author.

At once obsessive and unpredictable, Gimeno is behind some of the most innovative recent photobooks published in Spain. His versatility, intuition, grasp of graphic rhythm, use of typography, and degree of complicity with the photographer are some of his designs’ identifying characteristics. Born in Barcelona in the early 1980s, he was trained in design at ELISAVA (Escuela Superior de Diseño e Ingeniería de Barcelona) and at TaiK, School of Arts, Design, and Architecture, in Helsinki, where he produced his only photobook to date as a photographer: Hellsinki (self-published, 2010), the winner of two Laus design awards in Spain. Extremely simple and elegant in design, Hellsinki is especially noteworthy for its effective layout and sequencing.

Gimeno’s interest in photography led him to Madrid by way of the collective Blank Paper, a group of photographers who have helped to revitalize Spanish photography over the past decade. Some of Gimeno’s most interesting work has been done in collaboration with members of this collective, including Óscar Monzón: Gimeno designed Monzón’s book Karma (Dalpine/RVB Books, 2013), the winner of the 2013 Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Prize. Gimeno was involved in the book’s concept from the beginning, brilliantly resolving the typographic treatment and articulating the structure of the book from the very cover, with the title spelled out in four-beat time. Although the techno-trance rhythm that marks the book is Monzón’s own cadence, in the refinement of the pulse and the precision of the notation, one can intuit the vision of a designer who is able to interact with the author without interfering. Nothing in the book is arbitrary or done by chance; every formal solution has been driven by the same, singular intention.

Gimeno has established an uncommonly close association with Julián Barón, another member of the Blank Paper collective. More than an author/designer team, Gimeno and Barón are a unit that responds immediately to that which ails modern society. Although their collaboration goes beyond the area of photobooks, both of Barón’s self-published volumes Dossier Humint (2013) and Tauromaquia (2014) reveal traces of their willingness to take risks and their commitment to the publishing world and to the process of editing and producing photobooks. Dossier Humint is presented as a classified company report that invites us to participate in a meta-fictional game in the style of Joan Fontcuberta or Cristina de Middel, but as the book progresses, this conceptual structure disintegrates. With Tauromaquia, Barón connects again with the spirit he demonstrated in his 2011 book C.E.N.S.U.R.A (Editorial RM). In this new work, the notion of analogy is used to relate prints by Goya to photos taken from the Internet; the density of engraver’s ink to photocopier toner; and the Roman circus to the bullring, as a setting for propaganda. Gimeno’s design is simple and efficient, using the kind of inexpensive low-fi materials, printing techniques, and binding provided by any repro service—choices intended to endow the author with complete control over the production.

Among Gimeno’s most recent designs are XY XX by Fosi Vegue (2014), and Mediodía by David Hornillos (2014, reviewed on p. TK), both published by Dalpine. XY XX is a violent psychological essay on desire, sex, and men’s need to control. Again, Gimeno collaborated on the sequencing of the images. The format, choice of paper, and softcover binding seek to provide a more literary experience. Despite the subject matter, this is not a book for grandstanding; except for the striking design of the spine, everything in it speaks in a soft voice, almost a whisper.