A book about the beauty of failure. The book contains a selection of 'test prints' that i found at the silkscreen workshop of Paul Wyber of 'WyberZeefdruk' in Amsterdam.PUBLISHER
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Excerpt from a Q and A, that i had with Graphic Magazine about Serendipity. It was published in Graphic #10, an issue about selfpublishing
[ Q. ] Could you give us the description about your book?
[ A. ] The book has a long history. I was asked a few years ago to make a website for a Silkscreen Workshop, called WyberZeefdruk, in Amsterdam. Wyberzeefdruk is a one-man workshop that prints posters for designers and artists such as: Jan Bons, Mevis & van Deursen, Lex Reitsma, Julia Born, Roger Willems, JCJ Vanderheyden, Roland Schimmel, Nancy Spero, Carlos Amorales, Experimental Jetset and many others. [ note: some exemples are shown at the right of this text ] The basic idea for this website was to generate an digital archive of the posters and artworks he had printed over the years. I went there and start to organize and file all the posters. While doing this i came across some very intriging "misprints". Paul Wyber explained me that they were not misprints, but "test-sheets". When he starts to print a new poster he always tests the position and colour. In order to save paper, he uses previous test-sheets to do this. He never looked what was on there, he just took randomly a sheet. This is how this test-print posters are made. All made by Paul Wyber, without any artistic intentention or pretention. I got a large selection of this posters and stored them in my studio. Thinking what to do with it. I was thinking of overprinting them to make new posters, or use them for a cover of a book. But that all was very forced. These posters are so strong because they are useless. If they would be used then they would be very pretensious. When i realized this, i decided to documentate them and to make a book out of it. I didn't want the book to be to much about the design of the original posters, but i wanted to emphazise the autonomous quality of the posters. The book is constructed with as less context as posible. In the colophon is briefly mentioned were they are from, when they were made, how big they are etc. But more as a caption, then as a leading text. The only text which is there is an adaptation of a text that i found from Richard Boyle. This text is about the definition of the word "serendipity". It is about how this word was invented and found its way into the English vocabulary. 'Serendipity' is a variation of coincidence. It is about discovering new things while you are actually looking for something else.
[ Q. ] Why self-publish?
[ A. ] The context how to show these posters "to the world" is very subtile, to control that completely, the most easy way is to do it all yourself. Then you know for sure that you can make it exactly how you want it to be. For me it was the only way to be able to make my point. For me these posters almost work as a thinking exercise about design. The things i really am struck by are almost always not design, but logic sollutions for technical problems. If you think of railwaytracks for instance: they are in that shape and made of that material because there is no other way. If i design a poster or a book i always try to find this logic in it. Off course it will never work in the end, but it is good to have such an ambition in mind while making things. back to the publication: the featured posters were made without esthetic ambition. They are visually inspirational to me, but i also know that i can never make them. If i would make these exact same posters, it would be very pretentious and therefor non-sense. I am not an artist, i am a designer. You could say the best things happen by coincedence, but the catch is that coincidence can not be forced.
[ Q. ] What do you want to express with this publication?
[ A. ] Besides the points i mention above it is also about focusing and relativation.
These posters a were already there, made by a printer that didn't had a clue he was making something. The result is simply perfect. But it is not a manifest for non-design. These posters are not about that. What makes them interesting is the paradox. These posters are so beautiful because the designs of Mevis & van Deursen, Lex Reitsma, Roger Willems etc etc. function so well. So i think both worlds need each other, and everyone has to determine for himself what his position is in there.
[ Q. ] Could you explain about the production process and the funding of this publication?
[ A. ] The book is printed in 4 fluorescend colours instead of the standard CMYK. The posters are very layered, the colours are very rich. In standard CMYK these dimension is gone. Flourescend inkts do not solve that completely, but at least some colours get more pigmented and mor intense. The blue colour for instance are very deep.
But offcourse offset print is something different then silkscreen and because the book is about the strenght of silkscreen i wanted to include that technique in it. Therefor i asked the binder to fould and cut 800 "misprint-posters" into a section of 16pp. This section is included in the book. This makes every book unique, but also this 16pp section are the best way of documentating the posters if it comes to technique.
The funding is done by me. Hopefully i will sell all the books, then i would be 80% out of my costs. But that was not the point of making the book. I felt responsible for these posters and for showing them. The printer that printed the book (Veenman Prinoffered me to do it for half the price if he would get 300 copies for his relations. I rejected this because i didn't felt comfortable that a printer was handing out copies of "misprints". then the posters would have been about the process of printing. I wanted to show them in another context. More poetic, more on it self. That is why i was very happy that Roma Publications offered to label it as a Roma Publications. The backlist of Roma Publications is about art, poetry, philosophy.
Silkscreen Workshop WyberZeefdruk
from Paul Wyber, Amsterdam
Some examples of 'original' posters that Paul Wyber regularly is printing:
Designed by Mevis & van Deursen
118 x 84 cm
Designed by Jan Bons
118 x 84 cm
Il Barbiere di Siviglia
Designed by Lex Reitsma
118 x 84 cm
JCJ vander Heijden en Roger Willems
118 x 84 cm