The Stedelijk Museum appears to incline to the view that while an annual report must inform, its main purpose is to entertain. The annual figures are on five pages somewhere at the back, and that says it all as regards that part of the publication. There is more to see on all the other pages, starting with the fact that nothing is where you expect it to be. In various ways, e.g. placing series of ornaments on the fore-edge margin, each page seems to want to push you towards its edge. ‘Digital bobbin lace’, as one panel member neatly put it. And that is what makes this design such fun.
Intricated patterns bled-off, gold as a fifth pass on pink paper – the printer has delivered real craftsmanship. The binder too deserves a compliment for the superb Japanese-style binding, the effect of which is the feel of smooth and supple leaves.
Look and enjoy, the message seems to be. And anyone who wants to know all the details is best advised to turn to the English translation at the back: black-and-white, a four-column layout and no pictures.
In his introduction to The Kaba Ornament (also in this year’s selection) Bram de Does writes that he is ‘almost certain that in the near future plenty of computerized ornamentation will be done’. This annual report has adopted the trend early.
Honorary appreciation Best Book Design from all over the World, Leipzig 2007