After three years the 2010 mini-book about the work of Irma Boom has been reprinted, albeit that the format has grown slightly, a hundred pages have been added, the lithography has been largely redone and the navigation has changed – enough for the competition organizers to allow this new edition in. Meanwhile the mini has been joined by a de luxe maxi edition eight times the width, 64 times the surface area and 128 times the volume.
These numbers are reported here by way of hommage to Boom, to whom proportions are just about the chief preoccupation. It was precisely the presence of two extreme-format editions that led the panel to select them both. The tiny clarifies the relationship between book and postage stamp, the megalarge that between book and poster. Together they offer plenty of food for thought about books and their proportions. Size matters.
In the minibook the text remains easily legible and the images retain their power. In the maxi edition even the text pages become posters, which was not to everyone’s liking.
On the technical execution of both large and small, however, the praise was unanimous. Take the binding, for example: ‘fan-tas-tic’ – or the shadows behind the images, or the hole at the bottom of the box for the mini edition, making it possible to push the bookling out of its protective crumple zones with a single thumb.