Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Boekenweek Revisited

The Netherlands have such a rich heritage of the book and printing and hold them both in high esteem. Nearly every year since 1932, the CPNB or Collectieve Propaganda van het Nederlandse Boek (the Collective Promotion for the Dutch Book) organizes a book week, or Boekenweek to promote Dutch literature and reading. The entire country observes this literary festival for 10 days in March, with debates, book signings, author readings, a Book Ball, children's book events and even a commemorative postage stamp. What a lovely concept! The 2011 Boekenweek just ended on Saturday, so start planning for a visit next March maybe. 

The posters designed for the event this year were by Van Wanter Etcetera who collaborated with the fine art printer Souverein to create a series of 3D author book portraits called the Written Portraits. The 4 Dutch authors portrayed in the 3D books are Van Gogh, Anne Frank, Louis Vann Gaal and Kader Abdolla. The team at Souverein used original book pages for the text inside the portraits as a poetic salute to each of the four authors. 

For the 75th anniversary of Boekenweek last year, a commemorative postage stamp was issued for the event. As you can see below it is actually a small book with a short story included. The book which can be detached was designed as an actual appendix for the book written by Joost Zwagerman titled Duel. Zwagerman was invited to specifically write Dual for the coinciding event, Boekenweekgeschenk (Book Week Gift) where a prominent author is asked to write a book to be given by bookstores to customers purchasing a set amount of books in the Dutch language. I have no doubt this all requires a great deal of planning and logistics on many levels, but celebrating the book for one week each year is nothing compared to all the pleasures we get in return from books. 

Below are some past posters from Boekenweek. The first is designed by Wim Crouwel. The 2nd is a poster for the Boekenweek Dubutant Ball. Designer unknown, but from Jar Geerlings Flickr set. The poster of the dog with an identity crisis is from Designpolitie. If anyone knows the authors of the remaining posters, I will gladly post them if you get back to me here

:: Props to Cerebral Boinkfest for the Boekenweek lead and some of the images!

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