Rene Wanner's Poster Page

BOOK REVIEW

book cover Designer Portraits
By Melchior Imboden, published by Hesign, Berlin (DE) / Shanghai (CN) (September 2007), available from Verlag Niggli, Sulgen (CH); 532 pages, 30 x 20 x 4 cm, 128 full page bw photos and 256 full page color reproductions; softcover; ISBN 978-3-9810544-8-4; in english; CHF 79 (about US$ 70)
Portraits of 128 graphic designers made by the photographer and graphic designer Melchior Imboden, together with 2 works (mostly posters), and a short biography of each designer.


Melk Imboden, born 1956 in Switzerland, started out as graphic designer, but his passion for travel and photography soon became an important part of his life. In 1992, he published a book of portraits of people from his neighbourhood "Nidwaldner Gesichter", followed by "Jazz Portraits" in 1999. I met him around 1993 at the Chaumont poster festival, and remember well how Niklaus Troxler encouraged him to take more pictures of poster designers, so we know how they look like. I think I have never seen Melk without his camera, so he hardly needed Troxler's push, however, this was the starting point of my own interest in designer portraits. I have learned a lot from Melk, both by asking how he does it, and by watching him work. His most important advice was "Do your own thing", and when I wanted to know if I should pose my subjects or let them choose their own position and expression, he was equally precise and profound: "Do both". Melk always shoots his portraits where he meets the people, on the street, in a bar, at an exhibition, but carefully sets them up, so background and lighting and focus are perfect. All his portrait work is on black and white film.

Melk Imboden is also a very successfull poster designer who is often invited, as prize winner or jury member, to international meetings of graphic designers, so over the years, Imboden's collection of designer portraits grew to over 500. After showing some of them in exhibitions in Lucerne in 2002 and Berlin in 2005, he has now published about 130 of them together with two posters and a short biography from each designer.

Here are some samples of the portrait and biography pages:


Vladimir Chaika

Jianping He

Pierre Mendell

and some samples of the poster pages:


Georg Staehelin

Tadanori Yokoo

Mervin Kurlansky




The book launch on September 7, 2007, was accompanied by an exhibition Designer Portraits at the Design Center D4 in Lucerne, Switzerland, for which two of Prof. Imboden's students, Jeff and Andrew Goldstein, made the catalogue and the exhibition poster:

Photo R. Wanner
Melk Imboden
Photo R. Wanner
Exhibition poster
Photo R. Wanner
Jeff Goldstein
Photo R. Wanner
Andrew Goldstein

Here are some of my pictures of the guests at the opening party, most of the designers are featured in the book:

Photo R. Wanner
Niklaus Troxler, between Troxler and Monguzzi
Photo R. Wanner
Bruno Monguzzi
Photo R. Wanner
Ruedi Kuelling

Photo R. Wanner
Sabina Oberholzer
Photo R. Wanner
Steffi Hofstetter, Paula Troxler, Goetz Gramlich and a Beuys poster by Oberholzer & Tagli
Photo R. Wanner
Erich Brechbuehl
Photo R. Wanner
Ernst Hiestand

Photo R. Wanner
Urs Gruenig
Photo R. Wanner
Claude Kuhn
Photo R. Wanner
Georg Staehelin
Photo R. Wanner
Majid Abbasi
Photo R. Wanner
Karl D. Geissbuehler


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