‘A short guided tour of a virtual exhibition’, this book’s subtitle, making clear that this is no ordinary publishing-house history. You could read this text as a catalogue of the twenty-four Best Book Designs of Huis Clos. Each edition is reviewed as a high point in the work of Piet Gerards, which means that Huis Clos has more or less become a platform for his views on the perfectly made book. The panel was very impressed with the superb production values of Huis Clos 25.
The interior consists of a single section of thirty-two pages with nothing but text printed in a large and agreeably legible size. The covers of the books discussed are illustrated on the inside flaps. The order is chronological, but at the same time jumps from front to back flap. Huis Clos 1 is at the front, 2 at the back, 3 at the front again, and so on. A clever idea, for this is a bilingual publication with sixteen pages of Dutch and sixteen pages of German text, and both languages are given exactly the same treatment – apart from the colour. Precisely in the middle of the gathering we find the meeting of pagina zestien in red and Seite sechzehn in blue. Each language has its own front cover in red and blue respectively, and one red and one blue thread for the stitching emphasize the book’s invertibility. Perfect balance.