Unfold: An exhibition of contemporary book designs

London Print Studio’s latest exhibition, Unfold, is a beautiful collection of hand made, pop up and laser cut books and prints.

London Print Studio’s latest exhibition, Unfold, is a beautiful collection of hand made, pop-up and laser cut books and prints.

The show, which launched on Saturday to co-incide with the opening of this year’s London Design Festival, features around 50 works by 36 artists, most of which are for sale.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is a series of extracts from Circle Press founder Ronald King and writer George Szirtes’s the Burning of the Books (below) – a collection of 14 illustrated poems inspired by Elias Canetti’s 1935 Nobel-prize winning novel Auto da Fe.

Another major exhibit is Chris Mercier’s Abjad Articulator, a series of digitally printed hybrid letterforms (top). “This performative printing matrix based on the children’s puzzle generates new found consonants. It articulates the ligatures and components of our Roman and Cyrillic alphabet to generate hybrid characters,” he explains.

The show also features some lovely illustrated titles, including Penelope Kenny’s 2011 Zoomania – a collection of hybrid ‘post-modern animals’ – and a set of illustrations by RCA printmaking student Alice Gauthier and artist Laetitia Oser (both below).

Kaho Kojima and Chisato Tambayashi – two London-based, Japanese graduates of LCC’s graphic and media design – have submitted some fun pop-up publications: Kojima’s Have a good day! comes with a series of accompanying flip books:

And Tambayashi’s collection of pop-up books, inspired by Japanese arts and crafts, featute cheerful illustrations of everyday scenes such as traffic jams and falling rain.

A collection of titles published by Micropress – a publishing label set up by Italian arts project PrintAboutMe, which promotes graphic art in Turin – are equally charming. Sophie Lecuyer’s A Mon Seul Desir’s book, printed by Paulo Berra, is inspired by medieval tapestries:

While Daniele Catalli and Lucio Villani’s 24 Senza Testa (below) narrates the story of 24 historical characters (saints, royals and revolutionaries) that were decapitated. Each story is accompanied by a two colour risograph illustrations which can be viewed through an accompanying red lens eyeglass to create different scenes (more about the project here).

Alongside PrintAboutMe’s books is a collection of hand bound titles (below) by Swedish artist Lina Nordenstrom. Nordenstrom and her husband Lars Nyberg run a print studio in Sweden, Grafikverkstan Godsmagsinet, teaching intaglio and letterpress.

While not a book in the traditional sense, Ousama Lazkani’s Dragon – The Spirit of Water features some intricate laser cutting, as does his accompanying project, White Tiger (both below). Lazkani’s work is inspired by Chinese legends and is created using traditional woodcut, calligraphy, papercutting and bookbinding techniques, and laser engraving.

It’s a small show but worth a visit for anyone interested in bookmaking techniques and crafts, and a great reminder of just how lovely it is to pick up a handmade publication.

Unfold is open until November 2 at London Print Studio, 425 Harrow Road London W10 4RE. For details see londonprintstudio.org.uk

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