March 28, 2013

Happy Easter ...

... to you all! Have a nice holiday! 

(Marianne Böck-Hartmann/G. Mauser-Lichtl: Hasenschule Eichengrund, Pestalozzi Verlag)

Here in Munich it's still snowing, so we will build a snowman on Easter Sunday this year maybe.

March 27, 2013

Christophe Gowans: The Record Books

Hello everyone! I hope you are all fine. Today I have some special "books" for you. British graphic designer Christophe Gowans transforms hit music albums into imaginary book covers. If best-selling albums had been books instead ... He calls them Record Books.

Christophe Gowans designed for the music industry and has been the Art Director for a number of magazines like Stella and Esquire. Click-thru to view his portfolio (take a look at The Family Album as well - it's fun) and the entire Record Books collectionYou can buy some of them as prints and postcards at The Rockpot. 

(Images: Christophe Gowans)

The Record Books remind me of Steve Wolfe's great work. I wrote about him here.

March 25, 2013

augen:falter

augen:falter is a Leipzig-based group of eight female illustrators and book designers: Franziska Neubert, Nadine Respondek-Tschersich, Petra Schuppenhauer, Urte von Maltzahn-Lietz, Katja Zwirnmann, Inka Grebner, Gerline Meyer, Julia Penndorf. The group's name is a combination between Augen engl. eyes and falter engl. to fold.

(Flyer of the exhibition "Kunst und Justiz" in Landgericht Leipzig till 28 June)

They teamed up in 2008 to launch book projects and exhibitions, to share networks, to present their work together on fairs etc. Head over to the artists' websites (I linked their names above) to find out more about them all. Here you can browse the augen:falter catalogue, packed with great postcards and posters, illustrations, original graphics and collectibles.

(augen:falter: EXLIBRIS)


I came across augen:falter several times before via Franziska Neubert and Gerlinde Mayer. Franziska Neubert illustrated for instance Joseph Roth's "Das Spinnennetz", Friedrich Schiller's "Gürtel der Armut" from the "Petits Fours 1ère Collection" published by Büchergilde and the Tolle Heft 34Gerlinde Mayer designs each year together with Katja SpitzerHalina KirschnerNadine Prange the "Pin-up" calendar published by artclub Büchergilde.



(Images via www.gerlindemeyer.de)


I wish I could be there: Bologna Children's Book Fair from today till Thursday 28th March.

March 21, 2013

Children's Magazine Gecko

About one year ago I subscribed to the Gecko Magazine. And since then I wanted to showcase this fabulous Bilderbuchzeitschrift on the blog. There is no excuse for waiting so long. Really hope to make up for it a little bit today: Gecko is a German children's magazine for kids aged 4 years and older. It is totally ad free, made with love and packed with very nicely illustrated stories.

Illustration: Tom Eigenhufe

 Text: Silke Wolfrum, Illustration: Mascha Greune

Text: Georg K. Berres, Illustration: Tom Eigenhufe

Text: Lotte Kinshofer, Illustration: Katrin Wiehle

The magazine was launched in Munich in 2007 by editor Muriel Rathje. It appears six times a year. Each issue includes three specially illustrated read-aloud stories by renowned children's book authors and illustrators like Ina Hattenhauer (visit her blog!), Katrin Wiehle, Marine Ludin, Tom Eigenhufe (check out his blog!), Mascha Greune. There are reading tips, a puzzle corner and fun science experiments for kids as well. So my 5-year-old is always excited, when "his" magazine is in the mail again (and I am too). The cover is washable btw.


Pick up a copy (only in German) here or subscribe to it here. To find out more about the many great authors and illustrators featured in Gecko so far click here.


March 18, 2013

Bill Jacobson: A Series of Human Decisions

Recently we had a very nice weekend in Vienna. We visited the Walther König bookstore in the Museumsquartier and there I was lucky to find this one: Bill Jacobson: A Series of Human Decisions published by Decode Books in 2009.


The monograph includes photographs from 2004 to 2009 as well as an interview between the artist and Ian Berry. In the text Bill Jacobson states that the in focus project is "about the idea that we're always surrounded by other people's creations and this becomes our visual world. We move constantly from one fabricated arena to another."


Another book with the simple title "Photographs" has been published by Hatje Cantz in 2005 showing Bill Jacobson's out of focus work he is most known for. Take a look at his great portfolio as well.



March 13, 2013

Giovanna Zoboli and Camilla Engman: C'era una volta una storia

Hello everyone! I'm very happy to hold a review copy of this one in my hands today. "C'era una volta una storia" has been published in February by Topipittori. I wrote about the Italian picture book publisher before. They have launched some very nice novelties for spring. First of all I want to show you the one by Giovanna Zoboli, award-winning author and founder of Topipittori (together with Paolo Canton), and Swedish artist/illustrator Camilla Engman (have you seen her Suitcase Series book and The Morran Book Project?).


The title is in English "Once upon a time there was a story" and it's a book about the power of words and imagination. It all starts with a book that belongs to a child who can not read yet. In this book lives a story. First the mother reads the story to the child. After the mother has left the room, the figures emerge from the book ...  The child then read the book to the bear, the bear to the train, the train to the ball ... and in the end even the moon to the sun.



Each spread is so beautifully drawn and each scenery illustrates the words so well (Valentina from Topipittori sent me an extra sheet with the English translation, hopefully there will be an English edition as well soon). I really love the fantastic story together with these insightful and poignant pictures. You probably might know Camilla's blog.



Purchase your copy here. This was the second collaboration between Giovanna Zoboli and Camilla Engman. Published by Topipittori as well: Troppo tardi. Take a look at the publisher's website for more books by Giovanna Zoboli.

March 11, 2013

Interview with Emma Fexeus and Book Review "Northern Delights"

Emma Fexeus is a real expert in Scandinavian design and author of Sweden's most-read design and deco blog. I'm sure most of you know her blog, Emmas Designblogg. Very shortly her amazing book "Northern Delights. Scandinavian Homes, Interiors and Design" will be available in the bookstores, you can order it by now via Gestalten. I was very happy to receive a review copy already on Friday, even before the official release date in mid-March.


"Northern Delights" is filled with striking designer's homes and with professionally and creatively styled living (or working) spaces. The book presents iconic designs as well as young talents and showcases the enormous range of Scandinavian design. Emma's preface to her book is a great summary of what Scandinavian design stands for and describes its whole success story, from the classic design icons like the Ant and Seven chairs, Tulip tables and Aalto's birch stools via contemporary brands like Hay, Artek and Fritz Hansen, to new talents such as Nina Bruun and Daniel Rybakken. The book also contains interviews with some of the most talented designers and architects, among them Clara von Zweigbergk and Tina Seidenfaden Busck, whose work I really love. I'm very delighted that Emma has been so kind to answer my questions about the book:

How did the book project begin? And how long did it take from the first step to the publication?

EF: It all started with an email from Gestalten last summer, where they asked me if I wanted to make a book in the same style as my blog. As this is a bit of a dream come true for me, and probable for every blogger, I was really happy to say yes and start planning the outlines of the project. When that was done it took me 2 or 3 months of researching, writing and editing before the final texts and images were handed over to the book designer. All in all, from first contact to book release, it has been 9 months, just like an average pregnancy, and that is a bit what it has felt like. Hard labour, lots of waiting, and out comes the prettiest little thing! 

 The Apartment, Interior Designer: Tina Seidenfarben Busck and Pernille Hornhaver, Photographer: Alastair Halfide


Which criteria did the showcased homes, interiors and designs have to meet? Did you discover new designs during the book project which you didn't know already from your work as an interior stylist and blogger?

EF: I tried to find projects that haven't been shown too much, but obviously I wanted to include some of my favorites as well even if followers of my blog have seen them before. The style had to be Nordic of course, but the location of the home or the nationality of the designer didn't necessarily have to be. Scandinavian design has spread internationally throughout the years, so now you can find it anywhere. Since I don't blog about products I did actually make some great discoveries during my research, mostly from young up and coming designers straight out of design schools.


Home of Erik and Cathy Westrell Nordström, Photographer: Patric Johansson

On your blog you promote a more sustainable lifestyle contrary to the encouragement of unrestrained consumption often found in other online media. In the preface to your book you said that Scandinavian design fits perfectly with a more conscious way of living. What are the advantages of Scandinavian design in this regard?

EF: First of all, the quality of the craftmanship and design of Scandinavian furniture and architecture is very high, so they will last you a lifetime. Secondly, their simple lines and natural colors will make sure that they fit in most everywhere and that you won't get tired of seeing them, so you won't want to buy new things. Also, the use of natural materials will ensure that your investments (because let's face it, a lot of it is expensive) will age gracefully. Last but not least, natural materials are renewable resources, making them easy on the environment.

Höst/Norm Architects and Concrete 02 Pendel by Bolia Design Team

Gradient Sacks by Susanna Vento/Varpunen and Tint by Kristine Five Melvaer

You post almost every day on your blog since 2005. What was the main difference between blogging and writing for a book?

EF: On my blog I post quite short texts since my visitors come mostly for the pictures, so I didn't have much experience with longer texts before this. I found myself going back to what I learnt in college about writing a coherent and interesting article or story, and also got a lot of input from the editor at Gestalten. There is also a big difference in pace and precision between the two medias, where blogs are quick and easy and most blog posts will be forgotten in a month, and books are meant to be read over and over again and be kept for years, so considering my words and choices felt much more important.

Thanks a lot to Emma for taking time for this interview. 

Purchase your copy here or here.

March 07, 2013

édition PAUMES: Nordic Kitchens

Not long ago on a very grey and cold day in February I ordered the latest book by édition PAUMES to cheer myself up a little. Finally it arrived this week and now the sun is shining. "Nordic Kitchens" is just as beautiful as all their other books and packed with fantastic photos of inspiring interiors. Wonderful ceramics and glassware included. My favorite is the bright, sunny kitchen on the cover. It's the home of ceramic artist Anne Black (look at her portfolio!) and Jesper Moseholm-Jorgensen from Denmark.


The two founders of édition PAUMES Hisashi Tokuyoshi and Fumie Shimoji lived in Paris in the 1990s, where they became friends with lots of French designers like Tsé & Tsé, Hervé Tullet and Maison Georgette. Back in Japan they worked as agents for a few of those designers and developed the idea to showcase their creative working and living environments in books. Since then they produced more than 40 titles. They also run two shops in Tokyo called Galerie Doux Dimanche.







Photography by Hisashi Tokuyoshi, illustrations/design by Kei Yamazaki, text (in Japanese) by Coco Tashima. Pick up a copy at www.paumes.com. I wrote about PAUMES books before here.

March 05, 2013

Máquina de Voar

I found three lovely children's books yesterday in our mailbox, all published by Máquina de Voar (Flying Machine), a new Portuguese Publisher. They make books for children and all who love illustrated books. In 2012 they launched their first titles. All three books are illustrated by Margarida Teixeira, founder of Máquina de Voar. Her illustrations are always beautiful and in bright colours, so every page is fun.


"Quando a mae era pequena" (When mummy was a little girl) is about the changing world within two generations. When the parents were young the world was a different place. They played outside with their friends, there were no mobile phones and computers, but vinyl and typewriters. It's a great book to show children the world as it was when their parents were as young as they are now. I looked through this book yesterday with my 5-year-old and even without understanding the words he loved it and asked tons of questions.



"A estranha história do Príncipe que inventou o Abecedário" tells the story of an unhappy prince who discovers the power of words.


"O que me faz feliz" (What makes me happy) is about all the simple things that could make us smile: sunny days, friends, good books, dreams and many other things.



The books are all in Portuguese, hopefully they will be translated and published in other countries as well in the future. I would love to see them in English or German. Maquina de Voar also make workbooks for children in preschool age to be used by kindergartens or at home.


To order their books, email them at editora@maquinadevoar.com.

March 04, 2013

Käpt'n Bramsegels Abenteuer

I got this comic via Guido Weißhahn from www.ddr-comic.de. I came across his website via this book and this magazine. The Holzhof Verlag republished a whole bunch of comics, all classics from the GDR (Eastern Germany).

The cover has been drawn by Ivo Kircheis just for this publication.


"Käpt'n Bramsegels Abenteuer" authored and illustrated by Franz Kerka was originally published in the magazine "Unser Robinson" between 1956 and 1960. Its story is hardly worth mentioning and has been interrupted several times. Kerka worked for the Kinderbuchverlag Berlin in the 1950s, he illustrated the children's book classic "Alfons Zitterbacke" for instance. You can not find out much more about him. The comic's whole history, which is fully described in this publication, is quite mysterious.