Loraine Furter

Print Lexicon

A supplement to the “Table of Prints” of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books 2013 catalogue.

The 2013 Most Beautiful Swiss Books catalogue, designed by Maximage (David Keshavjee and Julien Tavelli), is a kind of giant “test print” book, using samples from the awarded books to showcase different printing techniques, resolutions, profiles, colors, varnishes, screenings and other machine settings. The duo was known for experimenting with the offset printing process, intervening directly on the offset plates with brushes, tape and acids, and had been awarded in the past for their diploma work “creating tools - using tools”, and for the book Tooled Sundays.

Usually, the print test elements stand in the margins of the paper and are cut and thrown away when the print is done. In 2009, Fanette Mellier made a very famous poster for the Graphic Design Festival of Chaumont, that displays these technical figures as central elements, highlighting their status of design vocabulary: shapes and colors that have become standards, comparison points.

With their Most Beautiful catalogue, David Keshavjee and Julien Tavelli have made a real “catalogue” of printing techniques, in the tradition of former Most Beautiful Swiss catalogues like the amazing 2004-2006 trilogy designed by Laurent Benner and Jonathan Hares, both paper sample and font specimen. In these cases, the catalogue is not only promoting the Most Beautiful Books (was is at all in the 2013 edition, some might wonder), it is also a real tool for graphic designers and book makers.

The only thing missing in this regard is a more extensive set of information on the different techniques and settings showcased. Only the last page of the book – an enigmatic Table of Prints – provides an index of the print experiments, with the names of the techniques or settings.

In order to make it possible to use this catalogue as a tool, for book makers but also for graphic & book design students, the project Print Lexicon proposes a supplement to this catalogue, that can be read with (and without) the book. It is a mix of Wikipedia articles and fine-tuning (then as much as possible integrated back on Wikipedia).

Made at the occasion of the “Livres Parlés” - a series of interventions during the exhibition of the Most Beautiful Swiss Books and Fernand Baudin Prize 2013 from Tuesday 3d to Thursday 5th of March 2015 at the erg gallery 50°49'19.50''N 4°21'25.53''E. Its sources are available on GitHub, for further collaborative improvements (CC-BY-SA n open for citing, re-use, modification and release under the same license).


Supplément à la « Table des impressions » (Table of Prints) du catalogue des Plus Beaux Livres Suisses 2013 réalisé par Maximage (David Keshavjee et Julien Tavelli), ce lexique explicite une série de termes utilisés en impression, et dont les résultats sont imprimés dans le catalogue des Plus Beaux Livres Suisses 2013. Ce lexique est un mélange d’articles Wikipedia et de tuning (ensuite ré-intégrés aux articles Wikipedia autant que possible et nécessaire).

Fait à Bruxelles, le 1er Mars 2015 pour les “Livres Parlés” - série d’interventions pendant l’exposition des Plus Beaux Livres Suisses et des livres du Prix Fernand Baudin du mardi 3 au jeudi 5 mars 2015 à la galerie de l’erg 50°49'19.50''N 4°21'25.53''E. Ses sources sont publiées sur GitHub afin de permettre son évolution et de multiples contributions. (CC-BY-SA: ouvert à toute citation, ré-utilisation, modification et publication sous la même licence)

1st March 2015, version 1.0, license CC-BY-SA.