How to make a book with Steidl
One fantastic asset we have in WSA library is our Audio Visual collection which includes well over 3000 DVDs comprising feature films, documentaries and artists’ film and video. Working in the library has the benefit of being able to frequently browse the collection and I recently stumbled across an interesting looking documentary, How to make a book with Steidl. The film follows Gerhard Steidl, a printer and publisher, who for over 40 years, has collaborated with some of the world’s most famous photographers to develop and produce a huge number of photobooks. The film follows Steidl around the world as he dashes from city to city meeting the likes of Robert Frank, Karl Lagerfeld, Ed Ruscha, Joel Sternberg and Martin Parr, before returning to his studio in Germany where the books are produced to completion. It is a fascinating film about a man who has built an empire around the printed page and has established himself as the most important publisher of photography books in recent years.
After watching the film I felt impelled to return to the library and select a number of books on book publishing, design and book making and have now created a display in one of the new book cabinets which can be found between libraries one and two. What this has helped me to do is recognise that we perhaps sometimes overlook how books are actually constructed, and the artistic aspect that is often involved in this craft. So if you have any interest in book making, publishing or photography in particular, then this documentary is a must see (we have it available to borrow on a one week loan so come and take a look!).