ABOUT

Our Polite Society is a graphic design studio based in Amsterdam/The Netherlands and Stockholm/Sweden, formed in 2008 by Jens Schildt (SE) and Matthias Kreutzer (D). In close collaboration with our clients and with a passionate interest in typography, structure, and method, we design (typo)graphic identities, books, magazines, posters, exhibitions, record sleeves, (dingbat) fonts, websites. Jens is currently teaching at Konstfack University in Stockholm, Matthias at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague.

CONTACT

Our Polite Society Amsterdam
Matthias Kreutzer
matthias@ourpolitesociety.net
+31 (0)6 16199076
Jim Thorpepad 3
NL – 1034WK Amsterdam

Our Polite Society Stockholm
Jens Schildt
jens@ourpolitesociety.net
+46 (0)7 08770049
Heleneborgsgatan 38
SE – 11732 Stockholm

Please note that we are not offering internships and will not be able to reply to your request.

We would like to thank the Mondriaan Fonds (formerly Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture / Fonds BKVB) for their support.

Special thanks to Paulien Barbas for photographing our work.

OPS portraits by Anu Vahtra.

Website programming by Jonas Lund.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Guiding Light
On Friday 15.04.2016 at sunset our exhibition Guiding Light will open at the Small Museum, a vitrine on the facade of Amsterdam music venue Paradiso. We designed a typographic neon sign that brings together the past and the present of the building that now hosts Paradiso. At 20:40 sharp the light will be switched on and we'll have a drink and listen to an accordion version of the Television song that lent its name to the work. The exhibition is open day and night until 15.05.2016.

Design collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
We’re happy and honored to announce that a selection of our work has been acquired by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam to become part of the museum’s design collection. Cheers!

The Best Dutch Book Designs
The book we designed for Elisa van Joolen last year has been selected as one of The Best Dutch Book Designs of 2014. The judges chose 33 books that “according to their opinion distinguished themselves conspicuously by their editorial choices, graphic design, treatment of images and text, choice of material and technical workmanship”. More information here: www.bestverzorgdeboeken.nl

Rules of Hypergraphy
On invitation of Paul Gangloff, our project Vaguely Specified Objects and a new set of VSO beer coasters will be part of the exhibition Rules of Hypergraphy at Extrapool in Nijmegen, along with works of Marc Matter, Karl Nawrot, Jörg Piringer and Roland Sabatier. The opening is on Friday 26.09.2014 at 7pm, the exhibition is open until Sunday 05.10.2014.

Workshop: Hypergraphy
Together with Paul Gangloff we’ll be giving a workshop for Design Research students at ArtEz Arnhem from 22.–26.09.2014. The results will be presented at the Rules of Hypergraphy exhibition at Extrapol Nijmengen from 26.09.–5.10.2014.

Vaguely Specified Objects in Amsterdam
On Thursday 26.06.2014 from 7.30pm – 9.30pm we’ll launch the dingbats specimen book Vaguely Specified Objects at San Serriffe in Amsterdam. The book has been published on the occasion of our exhibition at the International Poster and Graphic Design Festival in Chaumont. At San Serriffe we’ll show a simplified version of the Chaumont installation, including a slide show, a series of 18 printing sheets, 3 dust wraps and a travel playlist Amsterdam-Chaumont-Amsterdam. The book (including dingbats font download code) will be for sale at a special price, including a specimen poster printed with Kees Maas.

Means of Production at TypoBerlin 2014
We’re part of a group exhibition titled Means of Production at Haus der Kulturen der Welt for TypoBerlin 2014 and Berlin Design Week. You can visit the show until the 20th of June. After Berlin, the exhibition will travel to the Design Academy Eindhoven.

Article in Étapes Magazine
In the latest issue of the French publication Étapes (magazine about design and visual culture) we are featured with an article on the topic of co-working. There’s also a nice portrait of our colleagues at Studio Moniker from Amsterdam in the same issue. Go get it if you read french! Link to the issue here.

International Poster and Graphic Design Festival Chaumont 2014
From 17.5.–9.6.2014 we’ll show a new work at the 25th International Poster and Graphic Design Festival Chaumont. Together with Åbäke and Dexter Sinister we’re part of Ceci n’est pas une carte blanche / This is not a wild card at the Chapelle des Jésuites Chaumont. More information here: www.cig-chaumont.com.

The Title Session
It’s alive! A new issue of our project The Session is out soon. The release party for The Title Session will take place on Friday 21.02.2014, 6pm – 10pm at Goethe Institut Amsterdam, entrance is free. Performances by Uta Eisenreich, Seamus Cater, Miek Zwamborn and Scott Joseph. Live music my Spilt Milk. Orpheu The Wizard and DJ Toner Loc will play records. The Title Session contains contributions by Anna-Maria Ytterbom, Antonis Pittas, Arnon Grunberg, Caspar Stalenhoef, Charlott Markus, Chris Evans, Delphine Bedel, Irene de Craen, Jean-Baptiste Maitre, Jens Schildt, Kalle Mattsson, Leif Holmstrand, Marc van der Holst, Marijn van Kreij, Matthias Kreutzer, Max Grau, Miek Zwamborn, Mikey Casalaina, Monica Tormell, Monika Rinck, Nienke Vijlbrief, Scott Joseph, Seamus Cater, Staffan Björk, Tarja Szaraniec, Tomas Voort ook Minkmaat Adolfs, Uta Eisenreich and Will Holder.

Workshop in Prishtina
From 22.–24.11.2013 we’ll give a workshop in Priština/Kosovo as part of the REDO Graphic Design Conference. This year’s conference evolves around the topics Architecture, the City and the (Situationist) concept of strolling. The press release reads: “Moving from one building to another, the audience will be marching together, bringing the conference closer to the city as a playful territory.” We like this idea of a conference in motion and we’ll try to react to that in our workshop. Thanks to Bardhi Haliti for the kind invitation, we’re looking forward to our visit in Prishtina. More info about the conference here: www.redoconf.com

11"x17" visual identity
We are currently working on a visual identity and a book for the project 11"x17" by Amsterdam based artist Elisa van Joolen. On Thursday 12.9.2013 Elisa will present the 11"x17" collection at Stomerij Multi-Clean, Bosboom Toussaintstraat 1 in Amsterdam, 6pm – 9pm. Here’s a temporary website (programming by Denny Backhaus) made for the occasion: www.11x17.nl

Article in Swedish magazine Cap&Design
Cap&Design has published an article (in swedish) on our Bauhaus project from 2012. You can read the article here.

Hot Sauce
We designed labels for Amsterdam hot sauce champion Alexander Krone. “Smooth Running Gun” (named after a chapter in the book “Count Zero” by William Gibson and winner of the Dutch Chili Fest 2012) and “Love & Napalm” (named after a story by J.G. Ballard) are now available at Lost Property and Tjin's. For more information see www.alexanderkrone.com

Workshop
From 31 May – 3 June we’ll be giving a workshop at University of the Arts Bremen/Germany.

Book launch
On 28 March at 5.30pm the book The Country of the Rising Sun which we designed for Amsterdam-based photographer Shinji Otani will be launched at &foam, together with the new issue of Foam Magazine. For more information see www.foam.org

Lecture
On 7. March at 20:30 we'll be talking about our work at Recyclart in Brussels, together with Swiss designer Ludovic Balland. For more information see www.recyclart.be

Talk
On 15 February 2013 at 16:00 we'll be giving a short presentation of our work for Bauhaus Dessau at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The evening – around the theme of visual identities for cultural institutions, including presentations by Mevis & Van Deursen, Lava and Raw Color – is organized by ITEMS Magazine and the Stedelijk as part of the lecture series ITEMS LIVE. For more information see www.stedelijk.nl

Presentation
On 31 January 2013 at 17:00 we’ll give a short presentation of the work we made for Bauhaus Dessau in 2012 at the Bijzondere Collecties of the University of Amsterdam. Part of the presentation will be a display of posters and other printed matter, so as two issues of BAUHAUS magazine. The last issue – on the theme photography – has just been released. Both magazines will be available for a special price. We’ll also show a series of photographs which was shot in the archive of Bauhaus Dessau by Amsterdam based artist Paulien Barbas and which was part of the first issue of the magazine. In our presentation we’ll introduce four type designs that (then Amsterdam based) designer Karl Nawrot developed for the project and how we applied them in the various printed matter. And we’ll tell how Philipp Oswalt, the current Bauhaus director, unmasked Laszlo Moholy-Nagy as a trailblazer of Psychedelia. For more information see www.bijzonderecollecties.uva.nl

Offprint Amsterdam
We'll have a table with back issues of The Session and the first issue of Bauhaus Magazine at Offprint Amsterdam taking place at Westergasfabriek from 20–23 September 2012. For more information see unseenamsterdam.com

Book launch
Welcome to join us for the release of Hey Now! – a book by Jens Schildt, published by Silver Fern Press. Hey Now!, assembled by Jens Schildt and designed together with David Bennewith, is the second booklet in a series of publications dedicated to the typographical ‘And’. Published by Silver Fern Press/Colophon.

Bauhaus Dessau
We are happy to announce our collaboration with the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation. In 2012 we will be in charge of two issues of the Bauhaus Magazine, the quarterly released program folder and other (exhibition-) related printed matter.

Amsterdam Art/Book Fair 2011
Our Polite Society (together with lots of other people from all over the world) will show work and sell books at Amsterdam Art/Book Fair 2011. Come by and visit us at our table at Brakke Grond on Saturday between 13–19 and Sunday between 12–18.

Exhibition
Some Things Better Change
Our Polite Society at HBKsaar gallery
Exhibition open from 6 November until 12 December 2010
Opening times: Wed–Fri from 17–20:00, Sat from 12–18:00
Address: Keplerstrasse 3-5, 66117 Saarbrücken/Germany

Book presentation
Beeld Hal Werk
on Sunday 31 October at 17:00
Catalogue for sale on Saturday 30 and Sunday 31 October
Price catalogue: € 20 (at the exhibition) / € 29,90 (afterwards)
Entrance exhibition: € 5 / free with a catalogue
Address: Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85, Amsterdam-Noord

Release party
The Session #11 – The Sample Session is a 10 inch vinyl record with contributions by Nicolai and Tomas Adolfs, Elinor Archer, Andre Avelas, Mats and Staffan Björk, Ian Brown, Gerbrand Burger, Colophon/Mobile Carrion, Cotopaxi, Attila Csihar/Void Ov Voices, Rickard Daun, Sam de Groot, Orpheu de Jong, Lars Ekman, Elfenbeinturm, Emmusica, Erratic Boulder, Fyoelk, Willum Geerts, Sæmundur Thor Helgason, Will Holder, Yutaka Hoshino, H...enrik Kihlberg, Klaus, Jesse Koolhaas, Matthias Kreutzer, Cindy Lee, Luva, Maia Lyon-Daw, Simon J Mason, Kalle Mattsson, Moemlien, Finn Öhlund, Stephen O’Malley, Leo Park, Taatske Pieterson, Lisa Premke, PTTRNS, Jonathan Sachse Mikkelsen, Alban Schelbert, Jens Schildt, Floris Schönfeld, Strange Boutique, Stuff Linear, Clas Svahn/UFO-Sweden, Tarja Szaraniec, TAPE THAT/Christophe Meierhans & Koen Nutters, Monica Tormell, Tarvo Varres, Joris Verdoodt, Simon Wald-Lasowski, Henrik Wallin, Eli Walter with Jules van Hal & Amber van den Eeden and Hollie Witchey with John Blackford. The record will be available for the special price of 10 euros during the night. Live performances (starting around 20:00) by Cotopaxi (D), Mobile Carrion (NZ), Yellow Socks (DK), Nutters/Avelas (NL/P). Kulter, Sanderijnstraat 21 (near Erasmuspark),Amsterdam.

Exhibition
The Situation Room is an exhibition of works by graphic designers Na Kim, Our Polite Society (Jens Schildt & Matthias Kreutzer), Nina Støttrup Larsen, Janna & Hilde Meeus and Karl Nawrot. Also with the presentation of Echo’s Book, a publication of the Department of Reading edited by Sönke Hallmann and designed by Paul Gangloff. Saturday 24 April 8pm, Gallery P/////AKT Amsterdam

Exhibition
Different Ground is an exhibition of contemporary Dutch graphic design that will be held in St. Petersburg, Russia in the Bulthaup Gallery within the frame of a program called ‘Window to the Netherlands’ by Netherlands Consulate General in St. Petersburg. The exhibition features more than 30 projects from 24 young Dutch graphic designers, recent graduates of either Gerrit Rietveld Academy or Werkplaats Typografie. The exhibition aims to introduce local public to the processes and context of modern graphic design. The exhibition opens on 8 April and will last for two weeks. As part of the program, three speakers were invited to give lectures during the first weekend.

Book presentation
‘OCCII January–December, 2009’
On Wednesday 17 February 2010 at 20:00 we'll present the project we’ve been working on during 2009 for and about OCCII – our favourite venue for alternative and independent music in Amsterdam. OCCII, Amstelveenseweg 134, Amsterdam.




REFERENCES

Guiding light,
guiding light,
guiding through these nights.
— Television (Project: Guiding Light)

“On Main Street, shop-window displays for pedestrians along the sidewalks and exterior signs, perpendicular to the street for motorists, dominate the scene … It is the highway signs, through their cultural forms or pictorial silhouettes, their particular positions in space, their inflected shapes and their graphic meanings, that identify and unify the megatexture. They make verbal and sym-bolic connections through space, communicating a complexity of meanings through hundreds of associations in a few seconds from far away. Symbol dominates space. Architecture is not enough. Because the spatial relationships are made by symbols more than by forms, architecture defines very little … The sign is more important than the architecture … Sometimes the building is the sign.” — Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas, MIT Press, 1972 (Project: Vaguely Specified Objects)

The changes of venue and leadership resulted in a constant shifting of focus, technique, instructors, and politics. (Project: Bauhaus Dessau)

“This goes to the heart of the modern predicament: on the one hand, we desire and encourage originality and authenticity; at the same time, we are all too aware of the impossibility of escaping our surroundings, all too aware that whatever we say and think has been said and thought in the past, somewhere, by someone. Still, we can’t help but pretending otherwise, especially in fashion – either by dressing outlandishly, as we are wont to do in our teens, or by claiming our designs as new, special, ours.” — from 'The Banality and Shock of Cut and Paste' by Lynn Berger (Project: 11"x17" Reader)

Wouldn't you like that?
Promise to settle up
and stay in love
forever from now
— Naive Set (Project: Naive Set)

“Art should receive nothing from nature’s formal properties or from sensuality or sentimentality. We want to exclude lyricism, dramaticism, symbolism, etc /…/ The picture should be constructed entirely from purely plastic elements, that is to say planes and colours. A pictorial element has no other significance than ‘itself’ and therefore the picture has no other significance than ‘itself’/…/ Technique should be mechanical, that is to say, anti-impressionistic.” — Theo Van Doesburg ‘Manifesto of Concrete Art’ 1930 (Project: Gongred)

In 1986 Karl Gerstner outlines his own examination of the colour-form relationship in his book, ‘The Forms of Colour’. Amongst other things he examines Kandinsky’s well known metaphysical ideas on the correspondence between colour and form: square = red, triangle = yellow, circle = blue. He reevaluates these findings and introduces a system of ‘Colour Signs’. Next, with the help of computer programming, Gerstner further develops the system yielding new primary forms: astroid, diagon and sinuon and establishes what he calls ‘The Colour Form Model’. (Project: PTTRNS 12 inch series)

“There is a history of the practice of reading, of writing, of making and shaping text, of designing and publishing books. This is not just a cultural or social history, but also a material history of objects and devices. A catalogue of an exposition where the practice of reading and writing and the materiality of the book and the text is at stake, faces the present as an occasion for experimenting as well. That catalogue is part of the university, its practice of publishing, and seeks to address the present in between past and future. The catalogue dismantles the book object, seeks to disentangle the book as reading and writing device and lays down its essential components. As a container the catalogue is filled with words and images looking for a place and making space; it is closed, it can be opened but never be closed in the same way; it works, it changes and makes time; the catalogue creates layers, constructs authors, produces new references, constitutes a scene of names; it invents readers. And similar to all experiments, the time of writing and reading is irreversible.” — ‘On Experiments, Roundtables and Containers’ by Maarten Simons, Joris Vlieghe, Mathias Decuypere, Jan Masschelein (Project: Curating the European University)

Representation describes the signs that stand in for and take the place of something else. (…) In literary theory representation is commonly defined in three ways:
– To look like or resemble
– To stand in for something or someone
– To present a second time to re-present
(…) To represent is “to bring to mind by description,” also “to symbolize, to be the embodiment of;” from O.Fr. representer, from L. repraesentare “to present,” lit. “to place before”.
(…) A representation is a type of recording in which the sensory information about a physical object is described in a medium. (…) Aristotle discusses representation in three ways:
– The object: The symbol being represented.
– Manner: The way the symbol is represented.
– Means: The material that is used to represent it.
(Project: Some Things Better Change)

“According to Walter Benjamin in the ‘Task of the Translator’, the afterlife of a piece of art can be formulated as its ability to survive. He also called it the ‘translatability’ of an artwork, an essential quality of certain works that enables their renewal. This is what translation is about: it doesn’t copy an original but rather gives it a new birth. It is from this position of observing the practice of graphic design – as the ability to transform and renew the given content by way of aesthetic practices – that we would like to see this project develop itself visually. We would like to see the works and topics taken out of their cinematic frame and begin a new life in a new form, media and context.” (Project: Surfing the Black)

Randomness is closely connected with the concepts of chance, probability, and information entropy, randomness implies a lack of predictability. Randomness, as opposed to unpredictability, is held to be an objective property – determinists believe it is an objective fact that randomness does not in fact exist. Also, what appears random to one observer may not appear random to another. One of the intriguing aspects of random processes is that it is hard to know whether a process is truly random. An observer may suspect that there is some ‘key’ that unlocks the message. This is one of the foundations of superstition, and is also a motivation for discovery in science and mathematics. Popular perceptions of randomness are frequently wrong, based on logical fallacies. (Project: Antonis Pittas website)

Other quotes and quotations:
– Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered. W. H. Auden
– Nothing is as new as something which has been long forgotten. German Proverb
– A check or credit card, a Gucci bag strap, anything of value will do. Give as you live. Jesse Jackson
– It’s not how long life is but the quality of our life that is important. Roger Dawson
– The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships. Anthony Robbins
– The quality of an organization can never exceed the quality of the minds that make it up. Harold R. McAlindon
– The quality of expectations determines the quality of our action. Andre Godin
– Precious beyond price are good resolutions. Valuable beyond price are good feelings. H. R. Haweis
– My country, always wrong. Student Slogan
(Project: Quality Remains poster)

An end of an object is a point where it terminates, or stops. When the object is thought of as running in a certain direction, the end is whichever end occurs last, or is furthest from the beginning.
End may also refer to:
– End (philosophy)
– End (category theory)
– End (topology)
– End can also denote a monoid (or a ring) of endomorphisms
– End (American football)
– Ending (linguistics)
– End key on a modern computer keyboard
– End Records, a record label
– “End”, a name of a song by the band named The Cure from their 1992, compilation named Wish (album)
END may refer to:
– European Nuclear Disarmament
– Endoglin, a glycoprotein
– Exotic Newcastle Disease
Ending may refer to:
– Alternate ending
– False ending
– Happy ending
– Multiple endings
– Twist ending
(Project: The Last Session)

THE ENDLESS REALM
I have nothing
Nothing!
How really is I am …
Nothing is mine.
How treasured rich am I
I have the treasure of nothing
Vast endless nothing
That branches out into realm beyond realm.
This and these are mine
Together they are nothing.
***
The idea of nothing
The notion of nations
Nation … notion
***
I have the treasure of nothing
All of it is mine.
He who would build a magic world
Must seek my exchange bar
In order to partake of my endless
Treasure from my endless realm of nothing.
— Sun Ra
(Project: At first there was nothing...)

The OCCII (Onafhankelijk Cultureel Centrum In It) is a venue for alternative and independent music in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The organization is mostly run by volunteers and has its roots in the squatting movement; the building was squatted in 1984 and “legalized” in 1989. Next to the concert hall, there’s also a café (called the Kasbah), a restaurant (called MKZ), a library (Bollox), a theatre for children (Kinderpret), a bike workshop (Farafina), a sauna (Fenomeen), rehearsal studios, and a big courtyard. The building the OCCII resides in was built as a horse tram garage with stables in 1883/84 by architect Abraham Salm (1857-1915), who also designed (together with his father G. B. Salm) the buildings where popular commercial venues Melkweg and Paradiso now operate. The OCCII has no central programming, instead there are several programming groups that set the agenda. Some of these groups are Le Club Suburbia (mostly indie and post-punk), Hex (new wave and gothic), Muziek Kapot Moet (experimental music, electronic, noise, weird pop), Spellbound (electronic, dance), The Real Amsterdam Underground (punk, hardcore, crust) and Cool Schmool (dance, indie, riot grrrl, mostly female fronted). (Project: OCCII)

“A business card makes up one of the most important pieces in your consultant marketing kit. You typically hand over a card just moments after making an important connection. If that important contact receives a card with perforated edges, a bit of an inkjet smudge, slightly off-center wording, and a run-of-the-mill design, how do you think you’ll look to them? Will they take you seriously? Will they believe you’re really a consultant or will they wonder if you just whipped up these cards to hand out in emergencies? (...) So, if you want to look professional, don’t create your own business cards. Invest in them and improve your return on investment.” — consultantjournal.com(Project: OPS cards and letterheads)

“We don’t see our work as art; we don’t see our work as making beautiful things. It is the result of social movement. It is not fashion or a special view of art. We try to establish our connection with the social situation in our work … The answers to our problems must be the questions: Why, how, when where, what?”
— Modified excerpt from a quote by Paul Schuitema from the book ‘What is a designer’ by Norman Potter (Project: Why, how, when, where, what?)

“(...) Could honoured wellborn not tell me, where the forms of our paper makers are produced, or whether they, which I doubt, make their own? I once gave an exercise to a young Englishman, whom I taught in algebra, to find a sheet of paper for which all formats (forma patens, folio, 4, 8 and 16) are similar to each other. Having found that ratio, I wanted to apply it to an available sheet of ordinary writing paper with scissors, but found with pleasure, that it already had it. It is the paper on which I write this letter. The short side of the rectangle must relate to the large one like the side of a square to its diagonal. This form has something pleasant and distinguished before the ordinary. Are these rules given to the paper makers or has this form spread through tradition? (...)” — Excerpt from G. Lichtenberg’s letter to J. Beckmann, Göttingen, 25. Oct. 1786 (Project: The A-Team)

The first step in the record pressing process is the creation of the master disk, or acetate. The plater coats each acetate with a thin layer of silver which is then electro-plated with nickel. When this plate is separated from the acetate, the metal that was facing the disk now has ridges where the grooves were. This plate is called the father. The father plate is oxidized, and plated again. The resulting plate, when separated from the father, becomes a metal duplicate of the acetate, with grooves again. This plate is called the mother plate and is shelved for future use. One father can produce 10 mothers, and one mother can produce 10 stampers. One stamper can produce about 1000 vinyl records. Therefore, this three step process can produce up to about 100,000 vinyl records before remastering. (Project: The Je Ne Sais Quoi)

“The Session manufactures theme-zines in the finest DIY spirit, serving serious readers through a distribution network consisting of dealers. (...) The Session will favourize, focus and execute. It will continue to be committed and maintain a strong balance sheet with an anarchistic yet anal leadership.” (Project: The Session)

Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. The year 2007 was designated Year of Rumi, International Polar Year, International Heliophysical Year, European Year of Equal Opportunities for All, Year of the Dolphin and Scotland’s Year of Highland Culture. (Project: Jan van Eyck Yearbook)

“(...) And the public gets what the public wants. But I want nothing this society’s got – I’m going underground, (going underground). Well the brass bands play and feet start to pound. Going underground, (going underground). Well let the boys all sing and the boys all shout for tomorrow. (...)” — The Jam, ‘Going Underground’, Polydor Records, 1980 (Project: We Are Going Underground)

The vinyl LP jacket and the 7"/12" sleeve are the areas to receive considerable attention to graphic design, and will contain the most important and pertininent information about the recording, assuming there is no visible record label with such information. (Project: PTTRNS)

Print on demand (POD), sometimes called publish on demand, is a printing technology in which new copies of a book are not printed until an order has been received. “Print on Demand” developed only after digital printing began, because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing. Print on demand with digital technology is used as a way of printing items for a fixed cost per copy, regardless of the size of the order. Print on demand is often used to print and reprint “niche” books that may have a high retail price but limited sales opportunities, such as specialist academic works. An academic publisher may be expected to keep these specialist titles in print even though the target market is almost saturated, making further conventional print runs uneconomic. Many of the smallest small presses, often called micro-presses because they have inconsequential profits, have become heavily reliant on POD technology. This is either because they serve such a small market that print runs would be unprofitable or because they are too small to absorb much financial risk. (Project: Think Tank)

“The ancients built Valdrada on the shores of a lake, with houses all verandas above the other, and high streets whose railed parapets look out over the water. Thus the traveler, arriving, sees two cities: one erect above the lake, and the other reflected, upside down. Nothing exists or happens in the one Valdrada that the other Valdrada does not repeat, because the city was so constructed that its every point would be reflected in its mirror, and the Valdrada down in the water contains not only all the flutings and juttings of the facades that rise above the lake, but also the rooms’ interiors with ceilings and floors, the perspective of the halls, the mirrors of the wardrobes. (…)” — Excerpt from Italo Calvino, ‘Invisible Cities’ (Project: NDSM Magazine)

INDEX