Richard Niessen, Dirk van Weelden, Juan Luis Blanco, Tony Côme, Matthijs van Boxsel, Harmen Liemburg, Daniel Wiesmann

The Palace of Typographic Masonry

The Palace of Typographic Masonry is the multi-year project of graphic designer Richard Niessen. Starting with the idea of a ‘memory palace’ – a ‘building in your head’ in which to store the data you want to remember – for around ten years now Niessen has been creating physical or imaginary exhibitions, lectures, posters, debates and workshops, and now a physical book, designed by partner Esther de Vries, in which aspects of the world of typography, graphic systems and design find a place in one of the nine components or spatial departments (Sign, Symbol & Ornament; Construction, Poetics & Play; and Dialogue, Craft & Order. In the book’s graphic system, pages with three-dimensional constellations of striped round beams (this is a reference to the system used for suspending posters of Niessen’s exhibitions) are structuring elements that separate and announce the nine ‘departments’. In the context of the exhibitions the beams become three-dimensional typographical characters. Writers, designers and thinkers, such as Hansje van Halem or Els Kuijpers, are invited by philosopher and ‘palace guide’ Dirk van Weelden to enter this typographic form of freemasonry and provide contributions to the book – or typographic palace – that thereby displays a multicoloured range of perspectives and graphic forms. In its execution, too, it becomes clear that this book is both an ode to the richness of the graphic language and a search for its limits. The cover is first screen-printed in white, over which there is black offset. Over that comes more UV varnish, again screen-printed. This gives the cover a sense of three-dimensionality. Inside, four dayglow Pantone colours mark out the various parts of the book, underlining and highlighting the playful and experimental nature of the entire enterprise. The book is a visualization of the ‘thought building’, a refuge for graphic and typographic experiments and a plea for lightness and diversity in the graphic language.

Edition: 2018
Release date: September 2018
Language: English
Translator: Willem Kramer, Moshe Gilula, Barbara Banks
Final editor: Richard Niessen
Picture editor: Richard Niessen, Esther de Vries
Illustrator: Nejc Prah, Fanette Mellier, Studio Moniker
Publisher / commissioner: Spector Books, Leipzig (DE)
Available through: Webshop
Designer: Esther de Vries (Amsterdam)
Printer: ArtLibro | Coers & Roest, Arnhem
Binder: Patist, Den Dolder
Producer: Richard Niessen, Amsterdam
Dimensions: 210 x 297 x 28
Amount of pages: 348
Number of copies: 1,100
Retail price in euros: € 42.50
ISBN: 978 3 95905 203 0
Font and foundry: Courier Prime
Binding style: Sewn soft cover with flaps
Paper interior: 90gsm EOS 2.0, 135gsm Maxi Gloss, Igepa
Cover material: 250gsm Starline Greyback, Igepa
Concept book and design: Richard Niessen en Esther de Vries
Other technical features: Interior printed in black and four fluorescent Pantone colours (805 (red), 3265 (green), 3252 light green, 810 (orange).