Formafantasma (Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin)

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Very well edited catalogue for the exhibition of the same name by research designer duo Formafantasma, who produce objects, furniture and installations from wood. The designers set themselves apart in their way of working and research through their multitudinous approach to the uses of wood – philosophical, academic, botanical, etc. This approach has been cleverly translated in this publication into a range of different corresponding (book) typologies (the academic book, the botanical guide and the artist’s monograph), the result of which is not in a mish-mash of styles, but rather a harmonious whole.

The pictorial index at the front of the book is proof of the soundness of the editorial process. Because – contrary to the impression gained when leafing through it – the book does not actually contain that much visual material. It in fact represents only the theoretical part of the exhibition, i.e. the working method and not the end product, meaning that – alongside the wooden objects and installations – it itself becomes an essential component of this. Something we have seen several times in the books submitted, and nominated.

The typography is both idiosyncratic and effective. The contemporary yet classic look of the letters is retained even in the kitschy gold print on the linen dust jacket. It is good to see that the cover has been given a sexy print, rather than a (predictable) wood-style embossing or veneer. The long flaps enfold the whole so well that the book gives the impression of something between a paperback and a nice, light hardback.

Edition: 2020
Release date: March 2020
Language: English
Translator: Andrea Zarza
Final editor: Riccardo Badano, Rebecca Lewin, Natalia Grabowska; texts by Hans Ulrich Obrist et al.
Publisher / commissioner: Serpentine Galleries, Koenig Books, Londen
Available through: Bookshop, webshop
Designer: SJG (Joost Grootens, Dimitri Jeannottat, Clémence Guillemot)) (Amsterdam)
Lithographer: NPN drukkers, NPN drukkers
Printer: NPN drukkers, Breda
Binder: Patist, Den Dolder
Dimensions: 210 x 280 x 16
Amount of pages: 192
Number of copies: 1:1500, 2:1000
Price: € 27.50
ISBN: 978 3 96098 802 1
Font and foundry: Lemmen (Or Type)
Binding style: Sewn softcover; hot melt gluing; linen dust jacket printed on one side
Paper interior: 90gsm EOS 2.0, Igepa
Cover material: 300gsm Lessebo Design Natural, Igepa
Dust jacket material: Record 254/216 Pfeffer, Wifac
Other technical features: Paper advice: De Monsterkamer, Amsterdam. Linen dust jacket printed in black offset; gold foil on front cover and spine; interior printed in CMYK. Printing: conventional offset (1st print run), LED-UV (2nd print run)