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When it came to producing the new 11th edition of Know-it-all passport®, publisher and editor Lisa Cirieco-Ohlman was faced with a particularly difficult challenge! How to top the shiny silver cover design from the 10th edition? What has changed in 2 years? The theme of the new chapter, Sustainability, paired with the trend to come back to using our hands like our grandparents, directed the process.

As a creative graphic designer, Lisa works with Indesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and other programs in her professional work. However, she is also an avid collector of vintage local items, and really wanted to show the readers that the guide was bursting with local ideas and interest. How to do this in a single book cover? With her design experience, she could have easily taken photographs of each item and created a montage on her computer... but she felt strongly about going back to the objects themselves and portraying them together within the title letters of the book.

With so many items to include in the title, Lisa first needed to create a model book cover from a huge sheet of cardboard. She quadrupled the size of the book to make sure items would fit and be visible enough when reduced back down to the book’s A5 final size. Cutting out each letter of Know-it-all passport took 3 painstaking hours on Thursday 7 June. Another few hours were required to wrap the entire board and letters in brown kraft paper. The middle parts of the "a", "o", and "p" were suspended by fishing line so they didn't disturb the objects below!

Know-it-all passport’s Content Advisor, Zuzana Hevler, was on hand during set-up the following day. Objects were moved under the cover to here, then there, then back again. Objects were changed out, deleted, replaced. Images were sent to a friend and advisor, Marie-Pierre Silvestre in Paris, for feedback on meaning, content, and color. Photos were taken, then taken again, and again. A roman numberal "XI" was fabricated out of glass but the reflections were too difficult to overcome so it was added post-photo in a turquoise overlay in Adobe Illustrator.

Finally 5 days later the perfect cover photo was chosen out of 1,500 photos. This short video takes you through the whole process.


Thanks to Zuzana from Visual Souvenirs  for her help and patience in preparing this behind the scenes video.

Zuzana commented to Lisa, "I love all the little details. Wonderful! And original! It is perfect!

Marie-Pierre wrote, "Tu m’éclates ! C’est super d’assister au processus de création pas à pas."

11th edition

To represent the 11th edition a few subliminal elevens were thrown in:
— 11 lentils are laying on the paper (not in the jar)
— The parking disk is set at 11h
— The ruler is positioned making sure 11cm is visible

The first edition was published in 1999, entitled 2000 on its cover. Guess what year is the Fr. 5.- coin from?

Before submitting the final artwork for the cover photo to the printers, Lisa had some last-minute additions to make on her computer. While each object selected for the cover title had its own meaning, text was also added to the cover photo to represent different aspects of the 50+ chapters. Once the final photo was chosen, the graphics finished and handed in to Imprimerie Nationale in Geneva, Lisa decided to dry the flowers and leaves, then laminate them so they remain an integral part of her "art", which now hangs on the wall in her lounge!

The little Faverger chocolates were eaten, the Rivella and Dr. Gab beer were drunk, and all was glued permanently in place. At the time of writing, however, the green carac, a local dessert (and recipe in the 11th edition), has survived heat and humidity and still remains intact in the model hanging on the wall! Wood and cardboard make a sturdy container to hold it all in. Look out for this giant model book when you see Lisa selling the new 11th edition of Know-it-all passport® at various outlets in the region! And take a selfie in front of it to post on our FaceBook page.

[Side note: On the Saturday afternoon, Lisa noticed a foul smell... the tomme vaudoise à l'ail des ours was reeking and had to immediately be thrown out and replaced with a styrofoam disc. She hadn't realized how many photos and hours and days would be needed to make the one perfect photo.]


Photo taken during the process... many changes were made after this was taken!

Thanks to Zuzana and Marie-Pierre for their frank comments and assistance in producing such a fun cover.