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    Bernadette Engel: For Madeleine

Graphic Design: Bernadette Engel's typographic homage to the smell of books

Posted by James Cartwright,

For many of us, the smell of books is almost as important as their design and the content we find within. The fresh smell of newly printed matter and the musty aroma of a crumbling tome are magnificent olfactory reminders of the physical labour of love that culminates in the object clasped in our hands. For one designer however, the enjoyment of simple literary smells has developed into an obsession.

Bernadette Engel has embarked upon a quest to discover and catalogue the numerous different aromas that can be found within the libraries of the world, secret scents that tell unique stories of the books from which they emanate. She’s catalogued a whole host of different smells – from the delightful to the disgusting – in libraries across Frankfurt and Darmsadt, sniffing the insides of 134 books and compiling her findings into a beautifully designed (undoubtedly fresh-smelling) volume, For Madeleine. The typographic contents break down the intensity of smells discovered into percentages as well as noting their catalogue numbers and locations.

We suggest you get hold of the book, get on a flight to Germany and allow Bernadette’s scented guide to take your on a strange sensory journey across an aromatic landscape.

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    Bernadette Engel: For Madeleine

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    Bernadette Engel: For Madeleine

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    Bernadette Engel: For Madeleine

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    Bernadette Engel: For Madeleine

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    Bernadette Engel: For Madeleine

Jc

Posted by James Cartwright

James started out as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our two editors. He oversees Printed Pages magazine and content wise has a special interest in graphic design and illustration. He also runs our online shop Company of Parrots and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.