Thoughts on a Book
The Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2011
The Most Beautiful Swiss Books competition was established to promote and reward top-quality book design in Switzerland. It was established at the behest of the famous typographer and designer Jan Tschichold in 1943. The competition is open to graphic designers, publishers and printers. An internationally staffed jury, currently chaired by Manuel Krebs, selects the most beautiful Swiss books each year.
The awarded books become part of an exhibition which travels to various cities around the world. When the books stop off in London this November, they will be exhibited at the ‘Thoughts on a Book’ event at The Horse Hospital.
The event this year will take a closer look into one of the awarded books: ‘Directory’ by Ari Marcopoulos and Benjamin Sommerhalder. Both the artist and the designer/publisher will give a talk about their collaboration, showcasing their process of working together.
Marcopoulos’ first book “Portraits from the studio and the street” came out in 1987. It was part of a larger series of dutch born photographers. When Marcopoulos started working with skateboarders around 1993 he became interested in making zines. The ease of publishing something independently allowed Marcoppoulos to put out his work and also it helped him formulate new directions in his work. The zines and books started becoming Marcopoulos’s exhibitions. His work is in the collection of The Whitney Museum of American Art, SFMOMA, Fotomuseum Winterthur. He has produced over 200 publications to date.
Benjamin Sommerhalder is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Nieves publishing house, probably the world’s first “zine” publishing company. He is considered one of the main instigators of the recent artist zine movement, and has published a variety of contemporary artists such as Geoff McFetridge, Takashi Homma, Rita Ackermann, Kim Gordon, Stefan Marx, Yukari Miyagi and Ari Marcopoulos. The highly collectible Nieves books and zines are exhibited all over the world—most recently in Tokyo, New York, and Zurich.