It is on the day one year ago that I wrote about the book fair in Leipzig and also this year I saw a bunch of inspiring books there – content-wise as well as regarding the design and production.  I spent hours admiring the nominees and winners of the yearly award »Best Book Design From All Over The World« and the presentations of the students of different German book art study programmes, find some impressions in the pictures. Another highlight was the Korean Pavillon – every single book here could have won the best book award, in my opinion!
I concluded my weekend in Leipzig with a visit to »It’s a book, it’s a stage, it’s a public space«,  a meeting of small independent publishers, where I met friends who presented their cool project »Publishing as (part time) practice«. Check it out here, I heard they will come to Berlin with it, soon.


As sad as this sounds, as beautiful is the work of artist Nick Georgiou. And here‘s what he says about it: “My art is inspired by the death of the printed word. Books and newspapers are becoming artifacts of the 21st century. As a society we’re shifting away from print consumption and heading straight towards full digital lives. My sculptures are products of their environment —both literally and figuratively. As often as I can, I use local newspapers to add authenticity, and the form the sculpture takes is a reflection of the personal connection I feel to that particular city.”



We´re just back from the press proof of the second issue of Œ magazine. It´s printed at printing house Heenemann and we´re very satisfied with what we saw. We can´t wait until it returns from the bookbinder! The images show contributions by Yves Borgwardt, Rachel de Joode, Jette Stolte and Jan Mielke,  for a copy and a list of all contributors check out The issue will be out on November 18th.


This was long overdue: Berlin-based publishing house Gestalten finally opened a shop/exhibition space! But the waiting was worth the while: Situated in Sophie-Gips-Höfe in Mitte, »Gestalten Space« spreads over more than 300 square metres and offers all the great books by Gestalten, covering everything relevant in the international design scene. Besides, you can buy selected products by designers & artists who have been previously published by Gestalten. The gallery space is inaugerated with the exhibition »Cutters Edges« displaying contemporary collages by 50 international artists.


This weekend, I visited the book fair in Leipzig. Besides presenting an overwhelming amount of literary novelties, the fair is also dedicated to book art. At the yearly exhibition »Best Book Design From All Over The World« arranged by Stiftung Buchkunst you can admire really beautiful books. Great layout, fantastic material choices (especially the Asian people know how to work with paper), sophisticated bindings and other extra details lifted my spirits. 14 books were rewarded, check out the winners here!


If you are looking for some wise words about live, written in a straightforward language with philosophical depth and a good sense of humour, this book is for you! Ok, that’s not what you usually expect from a book mainly regarded as children’s fiction, but then you really do Tove
wrong if you just see her as the creator of some chubby trolls with funny names that entertain your kids.
At the beginning of the book, Moominpappa is grumpy because he thinks that his family does not need him anymore. They even extinguish a forest burn without asking for his help! He yearns for some danger to protect his family from, so he decides that the whole family should relocate to a lonesome, barren island far out in the ocean. Here, he thinks, he can earn some respect with his great knowledge of the sea. What starts out as a big adventure becomes a story about a family in a crisis. Displacement, unattainable love, the loss of gender roles, marriage problems and the challenges of growing-up, of friendship and of responsibility – all this is dealt with in this simple little story that Tove Jansson narrates with lightness and lots of charm.



The Bonniers Cook Book from 1960 is the Swedish Holy Grail of cooking – everybody’s granny had it. It is a culinary and visual treasure and you can spend a lot of time learning how to modernize your kitchen (to a middle of the 20th century standard), interpreting diagrams about how to blend sauces and admiring table decorations. I even discovered a piece of Rörstrand chinaware I have at home! The cover art is by Bo Lassen, unfortunately I do not know other works by him.


In search of inspiration in the field of production we paid a visit to Stein + Lehmann bookbindery. Mr. Stein himself took us on a really interesting tour through the manufactory and showed us the possibilities of modern bookbinding.



This book with its vast collection of the works by American illustrator Charley Harper (1922-2007) is a bombproof spirit-lifter. No matter if you’re young or old, you can spend hours flipping through this treasure of abstracted geometric forms, energetic paintings, amusing drawings and an overall whirl of colors. Harper, who called his style for »minimal realism«, is best known for his highly stylized illustration of birds and wildlife, but this book gives you a wider insight and also includes the pieces Harper created for advertising and promotional art, his murals and illustrations for Ford Motor Company’s lifestyle magazine, Ford Times. There’s an affordable edition of this weighty tome out there, so feel free to enter Charley Harper’s universe.


Last weekend, the renowned book shop Motto Berlin and the neighbouring Chert Gallery invited once again to »Unter dem Motto«, a fair for contemporary art publishing where they displayed the works of more than 70 publishers from over 17 countries. New for this year was a programme with films, talks and readings.
In mono.kultur‘s Design Talk Kai von Rabenau very briefly introduced all 24 issues of his magazine mono.kultur, NODE talked about the two issues they designed and Mario Lombardo showed us nearly everything he has done so far. After that we were overwhelmed by the quantity of special interest magazines, fanzines and other independent publications. Puh, there´s so much out there, but we´re still dedicated to add some more!


This book about the person we got to know as Marilyn Monroe is heavy read, Joyce Carol Oates leaves no room for joy or hope while telling her story (and all of us know the ending already). Anyway, you keep on reading in horrified fascination about Norma Jeane Baker’s transformation into the artifial Hollywood product called Marilyn Monroe. Oates makes no difference between facts and fiction when she builds her story out of inner monologues, narratives by different people, real and fictious quotes of books Norma Jeane read, poems she wrote and comments by contemporary witnesses. This is definitely one of Oate’s best books (it made me for the first time think about Marilyn as a real person and not just the cliché of a blonde) but maybe it is not your next holiday reading.