R. Klanten, publisher, Verlag Die Gestalten, Berlin (1999); available from Die Gestalten or Nijhof & Lee; 192 pages, about 500 color reproductions, 24 x 28 cm, softcover; ISBN 3-931126-24-2; in german and english; DEM 69.00, US$ 44.00
I picked up this small book because of it's interesting cover that looked like some kind of Amiga manual from Japan. The inside had the look and feel of one of these many clones of David Carson's The end of print or The graphic language of Neville Brody, i.e. little text, a profusion of colors and pictures, a different layout on each page, and almost no discernible effort to visually structure the content of the book. Put a Microsoft manual side by side with them to see what I mean.
After all, the title of the book and the name of this swiss graphic design group says it clearly, some order is being "destructed". On the other hand, some "swissness" remains, like superb print quality, sometimes in special colors that I have seen in no other book, or high discipline and simplicity in composition.
Buero Destruct is a group of maybe four graphic designers who prefer to remain anonymous, although they reveal their social security number, their exact birth date (1970s), and various body measurements, including their shoe size, I guess. Since I knew nothing about them, I googled the web and found that they are quite well known for their type design, and also have a functioning web site that is the most technically advanced and entertaining that I have seen in the five years that I surf. One of it's features is the possibility to have a look at every one of the 192 pages of this book, very cleverly done, although it may take you a while to find out how!
|1995, 70 x 100 cm, for "Garbage" exhibition||1996, 28 x 28 cm, concert poster and flyer||1997, 42 x 42 cm, concert poster and flyer||1998, 42 x 42 cm, concert poster and flyer||1998, concert poster and flyer|
Posters are only a small part of the work shown in the book, the rest is music promotion, party fliers, font design, logos, book design. Most of it seems to be computer based, and the authors proudly list their hardware: Total RAM 1550 MB, total HD space 42.5 GB, total screen size 8139 cm2. This is the new generation in full bloom.