‘Wonder Years’ was published to mark the tenth anniversary of the Werkplaats Typografie master’s course and presents the work of over fifty participants. The blurb reads: ‘More than an anthology, the archive represented in this book is an interpretation of a design school history by compiling its items according to a rather subjective, incomplete and sometimes inimitable set of entries.’ Works are grouped under headings that are not arranged chronologically, as you might expect, but alphabetically. Editorially speaking this isn’t just clever, it also throws up surprising combinations of work. Thus there’s a category called Blank Covers but also, for example, Bold, Repeating and Tight Trim. You can compare different solutions for the same problem as well as comparing similar solutions for different problems – which neatly gives you a sense of what the course is all about.
Former course member Radim Pesko designed the Fugue ABC font specially for this book. It is used throughout in a
One aspect that struck the panel straight away was the ring binder, which works extremely well. The ‘strip of film’ in the heart of the book, through which the rings pass, is beautiful and well thought out. It isolates the individual pages and at the same time guarantees continuity. You sense that you are dealing with an educational establishment which attaches great value to the content of the course.
The entire book is black-and-white, apart from the first and last six pages. These colour pages carry almost poetic phrases and sentences that are built up by the superimposition of different printed works in such a way that some parts become legible, others illegible. (This is the result of a workshop with Uta Eisenreich.) The addition of small word-cards causes the creation, in the collages, of sentences such as ‘Our documents of snowballs will inspire modern painters to classic prose.’ And so they will.