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Publication > 11.1 Book Layout

Frans Haacken

by formdusche – Studio für Gestaltung

Frans Haacken (1911-1979) was an overlooked collaborator of Bertolt Brecht, an accomplished illustrator and author as well as a creator of animated cartoons. After three years of research this book not only tells his life on both sides of the Iron Curtain and monographically paints a portrait of his artistic legacy but also arduously compiles his surviving oeuvre. The biographical part details his life, enhanced by six excursions into his various choices of artistic techniques. The second part consists of several annotated bibliographic chapters, concerning his graphic work for books, magazines, theater, animated film, original prints, advertising, and sacral art. Taking its cue from the title ”Illustrator Between 3 Worlds”, the design chose a triangle as its main icon, symbolizing the three fields of work (book, film, graphics) and the three political systems he worked in (Nazi Germany, East and West Germany). Each chapter is assigned a different assemblage of triangles, functioning as divider as well as a reminder of his talent to cross genres effortlessly. The different shades of blue and red used throughout the book draw from the colors dominantly used in his work for theater and books in the 1950s. Applying a system of shifting columns and pull quotes for the biographical part, the layout further emphasizes Haacken’s position as ”in between” artist and the innate fragmentation of the war torn period he lived in. Close to 400 color reproductions illustrate the book, often equally arranged with ”blanks” within the grid to similar effect. The book comes in two numbered editions. A hardcover trade edition and a cloth bound and embossed deluxe edition, the latter being presented to the members of the German bibliophile society Berliner Bibliophilen Abend as their annual present. It enclosed an authorized linocut from an original printing stock designed by Haacken in 1932.

  • Creative Directors Svenja von Döhlen, Tim Finke, Timo Hummel, Steffen Wierer
  • Art Directors Svenja von Döhlen, Tim Finke, Timo Hummel, Steffen Wierer
  • Designers Marie Zieger, Svenja Eisenbraun, Yella Schaube
  • Illustrators
  • Photographers
  • Editors Till Schröder / Gretanton Verlag
  • Copywriters
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