Ben Joosten was already in his fifties when he became an artist. For years he was a bronze founder, but it was the printing press that became the medium for his own work: etchings, lithos and above all letterpress images composed of typographical material in small print runs. The panel were impressed by the way this book about his work hits precisely the right note.
The layout gives it all the space it needs, and the paper chosen is just right. There’s nothing dull and stuffy here; everything is bright and fresh. Text contributions and a photobiography have been incorporated as inserted sections in the format of a paperback novel. In all there are ten of these, making the book fatter at the spine than at the fore-edge. This makes it less of a paving stone and more of a bundle of paper, which is all to the good.
The cover is a hundred per cent genuine Joosten. You can feel the ink under your fingertips, and you again sense the power differential between graphic work and printed matter.
The panel could appreciate the designers’ wish to keep the cover free of text but were unconvinced by the solution: a vertical wrap-around band. Only those who are so detached from the world and its ways that they chuck the thing straight in the waste paper basket will have no problem with it.