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.

Support Slanted #21

The team behind German typography and graphic design magazine Slanted discovered the amazing power of Cuban poster art and is planning on a special issue to give the Cuban artists an international voice. With 320 pages this Slanted issue will have an impressive coverage and exhibitions in Berlin, Leipzig and Paris will give deeper insights into Cuban design.
To make all these great plans reality, Slanted is dependent on the support of all you design enthusiasts out there: Via crowdfunding you can support the project by ordering copies in advance or buying hand-pressed prints signed by the artists. You can find the latest info on the project’s Facebook page.


What started out already in 1966 as a competition for the best posters in the GDR has become a dear recurring event: The exhibition »Die 100 besten Plakate des Jahres« (100 Best Posters of the Year) is once more on display at Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz. 53 posters from Germany, 45 from Switzerland and 2 from Austria were awarded for their outstanding design, whereof 23 of the prize-winning entries are posters designed by students.
We were great fans of the posters by the following designers: Paula Troxler for a Moby Dick theater play, Valeria Gordeew for a masked ball at Udk Berlin, Markwald & Neusitzer for an exhibition of islandic artist erró, Björn-Christian Schiebe for the Museum of Natural Sciences.
Have a look at all winning posters here or check other dates of the travelling exhibition.


We went out to see Sarah Illenbergers exhibition at voo store in Kreuzberg. Some of the exhibits apparently were done just at the same day but a lot of her work was familiar. Nevertheless it was nice to see some of the originals and the beetroot diamonds, the pomegranate and the blonde apple just made us smile!


Obviously, I bought these 1950s issues of »Country Fair« because I fell in love with their splendid cover illustrations. But also the magazine’s content is worth mentioning: lessons on how to shoot pheasants, articles on beekeeping and ads for harvesting machinery add up to an interesting reading. The genius behind the striking magazine covers is named John Hanna. He was an Australian who arrived in London in 1947, making his living as a commercial artist and cartoonist there until 1962. During his time in London he created over 50 covers for Country Fair, so the chances are quite good to hunt down some of them on Ebay!


On New Year’s Eve 1956, Czech illustrator Zdeněk Miler stumbled over a molehill in the woods west of Prague. This incident gave him the idea for an animated cartoon character that has become a dear companion of our childhood days: The Little Mole. Since the Fifties, the little creature appeared in more than 40 books and 50 cartoon episodes, uttering not much more than an emotional oh-oh or a welcoming ahoi, but always cheerful and eager to help his friends. Zdeněk Miler died yesterday, aged 90.

All images by Zdenek Miler
Photo of Zdenek Miler taken from


This funny sign is a winner – Bäckmans shoe repair in Stockholm, established in 1922.


On our trip to South-Germany and especially at Lake Constance we saw a lot of beautiful inscriptions and signs. The technique is special: the names of places, maps and little drawings are carved into the walls and then painted, all in a typical traditional illustrative style.


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!


Panther Club is an independant publishing platform from London that produces limited print editions in collaboration with international artists and illustrators. Originally, they started out as a blog covering the field of Graphic Arts and illustration. The blog is a fun source for inspiration where you’ll find a mixture of works by new talents as well as interesting material from past decades.

1. Panther Clubs second print
series »Dionysus, The Ecstasy & Madness«
2+3. Collages by Virginia Echeverria


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.


Out now is the latest issue of The Electronic Beats Magazine with one of my favourite covers so far, picturing a really romantic german shepherd photographed by Mikael Kennedy. Reactivating quill and ink and trying to perform some serious handwriting for the opener pages illustrations felt quite nostalgic! If you want to have a look at the whole issue: Klick! And also past EB issues: Klick!!


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!