Stichting De Roos is synonymous with well-produced books, even if over the past twenty years they have only occasionally become Best Dutch Book Designs. Now we have a book about the foundation: In Beperkte Oplage (‘In a limited edition’). It has been nicely printed and bound, and testifies to close collaboration between author and designer. It is a kind of bird’s-eye view of De Roos’s archives. Files appear to have been emptied out over the scanner and then incorporated into the layout. Cluttered, but the clutter is organized. The result is a look behind the scenes of a foundation that publishes books for book collectors. The ultimate product of such a business is nowhere to be seen, however: there are no pictures of completed books.
One brilliant editorial decision was to include copious amounts of the original correspondence between those involved. By being reproduced in a size that allows us to read them, letters and postcards automatically become part of the main text. The effect is an original way of giving the reader an insight into developments in book design and production: from the worries expressed in a handwritten letter about a printer faced with the task of setting his text in Times (Jan Bons in 1960) to a lighthearted email from Tessa van der Waals in 2002.