The outcome of a thesis conducted in 2014 at Isia Urbino, this project focuses on book clubs, a publishing practice which debuted in postwar Paris. The history of the origins, organisation and causes of disappearance of book clubs is rife with little-known aspects. Today, a renewed interest in this form of publishing brings up old, but still highly relevant questions — about books and their physical form, communicative potential, and social impact.
This book investigates these questions, while adopting a design approach reminiscent of the characteristics of a typical book club’s publication:
– the cover can alternatively function as a mail package bearing the address of the sender, the receiver and the postal stamp;
– following standard book club practices, the title page is used to display information about the thesis itself (subject, printing number, etc.)
– the postcard inside the book, with the address of the university for which the thesis is done.
The book has been designed as an object : it is intended to be manipulated, rotated, opened and browsed. It is composed of two parts: a ‘blue’ part studying the main Parisian book clubs, and a ‘red’ part focusing on the Club du meilleur livre. Well known for the unconventional and daring design choices of its ”maquettistes”, this book club provided a most eclectic style — a radical alternative to the more pragmatic Swiss International Style of the era.
The blue and red parts of the book are bound together in reverse order. The book hence offers two reading directions, depending on which side the reader choose to start with. A foldable gallery of book covers from different clubs physically binds together the two parts. Also including a map of the book clubs’ locations, this central section constitutes a visual bibliography referenced to in the text by help of caption numbers.
- Creative Directors Marianna Calagna
- Art Directors Marianna Calagna
- Designers Marianna Calagna
- Illustrators Marianna Calagna
- Photographers Marianna Calagna
- Editors Marianna Calagna
- Copywriters Marianna Calagna