Past & present collide in Book Book Studio's latest Offset printed project
“From their Berlin-based design studio, the team at Book Book engage in hands-on experimentation with a collection of small-format printing presses, testing the creative potential of a technology long considered obsolete” writes Grafik’s Anna Lisa Reynolds in her feature on Book Book Studio’s latest project.
Jan Blessing, Constanze Hein, and Felix Walser are fascinated “with the near-obsolete world of small format printers and duplicators, and in particular, their prized Roto/Rotaprint 625 Office-Offset presses” which they used to print "Im Gebirge" ('In the Mountains’) by Anna Grass, an obsolete hardback book entirely in-house.
“When Grass’ desire to publish something from her old hiking journals was mentioned to the team, it seemed that the ideal subject had presented itself for their book-based labour of love: a deeply personal project, with an independent spirit at the heart of its subject matter, and a connection to the past” writes Reynolds. “Book Book’s work with outdated devices such as the Roto/Rotaprint 625 might, at first glance, seem to be a print-lover’s exercise in nostalgia for a machine whose original function has been superseded by newer technology. Yet projects like Im Gebirge demonstrate the ways in which these older pieces of kit can be reappropriated and subverted to create new outcomes” she adds.
“Office-Offset printing isn’t lost, it’s still out there, and it’s now possible to use it as an artistic medium – to take that machinery and directly interfere with the process in quite a direct, analog way. To continue that thought of combining modern technology with historical technology, and to bring those together is the idea behind our experimental space. If you look back to the time when lithography, the ancestor of the offset print, was still the main commercial printing technique, no-one thought of it as an artistic medium” says Blessing.
Enter Book Book’s adventure here .