2 posts tagged Pressing Matters
As the name suggests, The Booklet Library is a book and booklet library based in Tokyo. All titles are made available to the public (by appointment) at Shibaura House, included in pop-up shows throughout Tokyo, and (best of all!) available to view online. It’s a great visual resource that provides not just cover art, but interior spreads and specs from many of the projects in the library’s archive. If you’re interested in sharing your own ‘zine with The Booklet Library, details about their submission process are available here.
Howdy! Welcome to Pressing Matters, where I, Elana Schlenker, will be covering issues big and small up and down the supply chain of publishing — indie magazines and publishers, ‘zines, book shops, printers, and book fairs are just a few of the things you can except to see in this new corner of Studio Sweet Studio. I’m looking forward to sharing them all with you and hope you’ll follow along! I’d also love to know what you’re working on, so if you’ve got a relevant project, tell me about it!
Started just a few years ago, the London-based Visual Editions has quickly come to be one of my favorite publishers. Partnering with writers, designers, and other creatives, founders Britt Iversen and Anna Gerber create work that marries compelling visual literature with knock-your-socks-off production techniques. The results are challenging, inspiring, and lots of fun. I interviewed Britt and Anna for the forthcoming issue of Gratuitous Type, excerpted here:
ES: How did you come to meet and begin working together?
VE: We met through our kids’ nursery years ago. Most parents there wore boring grey suits and we were wearing matching pink scarves. We shared a general sense of chaos and became friends on the spot. Britt had been working in advertising and Anna had been lecturing and writing about design. We were both tired of all the talking and wanted to do more doing and making.
ES: I’ve heard you say that you turn “love and mischief” into beautifully crafted books. That’s such a lovely expression, and so nicely describes what you do. Where does this love and mischief come from?
VE: Love and mischief is probably what best defines each of us as people. We get very excitable very easily and we like to be irreverent—we’re like children. It’s at the core of who we are, so it makes sense that it’s also what we do.
ES: Sara De Bondt Studio, along with Joe De Baerdemaeker (who created your custom VE dingbat typeface, developed a fantastic visual identity for you. How does the look of the VE brand influence the look of your books? Is there a VE aesthetic?
VE: In the style guide written for us by Sara it says that “any color goes so long as Anna and Britt are happy.” That says it all. It’s more about the VE spirit than it is about a defining aesthetic. As far as our books go, Sara designed a template so that the VE brand lives on the spine and wraps around onto the front and the back covers just a little bit. It’s about striking that balance between letting people know it’s a VE book and giving each of our books the space to breathe and stand alone.
ES: Despite the high production quality and inventiveness of your books, they’re shockingly affordable. How do you balance your budgets with your creative ambitions?
VE: When we started out, we said that no matter what, our books have to be books that are meant to be read, not kept behind glass cabinets. That’s why they’re all paperbacks—it’s about engaging and reading, not just looking. The idea of a battered up copy of one of our books makes us smile because it means someone took joy and time in reading it.
ES: What are you working on right now?
VE: We’ve got a few ideas brewing away—some further along than others. Right now we’re working on a new book with Adam Thirlwell, designed by Frith Kerr, which we’re super excited about. And plenty more in the pipeline. Watch this space…
Learn more about Visual Editions here. For more images and the full interview with Britt and Anna, check out Issue 2 of Gratuitous Type, available here.
Image caption: Composition No.1 by Marc Saporta. This box filled with loose pages, each offering a different self-contained narrative, can be read in any order. First published in the 1960s, this reimagined version was designed by Universal Everything, with drawings by Salvador Plascencia. VE recently staged a live mass reading of the book at the V&A museum in London.