Walter van der Star, Jasia Reichardt, Nick Wadley

Biography of a Publishing House / Biografie van een uitgeverij

What an uncommonly agreeable celebration of the book this is. It’s an introduction to the legendary Gaberbocchus Press, whose noble creed was that its publications must first and foremost meet the definition of a ‘best-looker’ before aiming to be a best-seller.

A documentary by nature, this book is perhaps not as experimental as those published by its subject, but typographically it has been created with such excellence and so much love that it instantly generates an eagerness to learn more about both the house and its founders, the artist couple Stefan and Franciszka Themerson. And giving things time tends to produce results: designer and publisher Piet Gerards got to know the couple in the early eighties and spent years mulling over the idea of bringing out a book about the Gaberbocchus Press. We’re delighted he’s made such a success of it.

In this book subtle use has been made of red as a spot colour together with abundant ornaments, in both cases employed as characteristic features of the publishers’ oeuvre. This has also led to the magnificent dust jacket, issued in four variants, each employing its own graphic ornament enlarged and in a subtly different colour. This in turn ties in beautifully with the coloured papers used in the interior. A deliciously ‘papery’ book and a testament to craftsmanship.


Edition: 2017
Language: English, Dutch
Final editor: Rob Bindels
Publisher / commissioner: Huis Clos, Rimburg/Amsterdam
Designer: Piet Gerards Ontwerpers, Amsterdam, Stephan de Smet, Amsterdam, photos by Peter Cox
Lithographer: Wilco Art Books, Amersfoort
Printer: Wilco Art Books, Amersfoort
Binder: Hexspoor, Boxtel
Dimensions: 170 x 230 x 10
Amount of pages: 160 p.
Number of copies: 500
Retail price in euros: € 22.50
ISBN: 978 90 79020 42 3
Font and foundry: Gill Sans (Monotype), Baskerville (Monotype)
Binding style: sewn Otabind with a dust jacket
Material: 90gsm Pop'Set Apricot, Sky Blue, Citrus Yellow, Fawn, Cloud, Spring Green (Antalis), 100gsm Lessebo Design 1.3 White (Igepa) (interior), 170gsm Pop'Set Urban Grey (Antalis) (cover), 240gsm Pop'Set Brilliant White (Antalis) (dust jacket printed in four colourways)