Every other Wednesday we bring you a selection of books owned and curated by a different creative. Limited to just five – a near impossible task for many – we ask them to choose a line-up of titles which have been influential or important to their practice in some way. This week, the responsibility lies with Loes van Esch and Simone Trum, founders of design studio Team Thursday. Based in Rotterdam, the studio has spent a significant amount of time in Seoul and is well known for its bright, colourful, Risographed aesthetic.
“For our Bookshelf, we’ve simply chosen to pick the five books we get off of our bookcase the most – to look at or read, to show to our students, or as reference for a project,” Loes and Simone explain. “We buy many books, for many different reasons: we find ourselves liking zines a lot, for the beautiful simplicity with which they are produced. We like a good exhibition catalogue that becomes more than just that. But we also have a lot of, well, not really books but little souvenirs we bring from travels whilst browsing in stationery shops. We collect Chinese calendars, with the really nice very thin paper, and a lot of empty notebooks waiting to be scribbled in.”
Without further ado, here are the publications which spend the most time scattered on the surfaces of Team Thursday’s studio…
Seth Siegelaub: Xerox book
This exhibition in book form and the carefully constructed simplicity of it make it a book that’s just lying around on our desks much of the time. We really like Seth Siegelaub’s approach to exhibiting and distributing art, and his collection of historic textiles. Although the book is eventually process printed, we really like the idea that a stack of copies can turn into a book. This notion of copying is shown beautifully at the first page of the book, which is nothing more than a blank page with pieces of dust on it, appearing when copying a page.
Koen Taselaar: Sing your life
This Riso-printed book consists of prints of works of artist Koen Taselaar from the last ten years. He makes drawings of imaginary bands; the fact they don’t exist gives it this extended zine feeling. We weren’t sure if we should put this book in the list, being sort of biased as we now the artist well. Still, it remains a fact that both use it as a reference and as something to browse through between jobs. We really like that the drawings are complemented with experiments he made on the Riso, whilst printing the book on the spot. So it’s a combination of existing work and new printing experiments. There is no additional text or anything like that, it feels like the book has no beginning or end: you can flip it open on any page, just start looking at all the details and kind of get lost in this world.
Robin de Waart: Part One, designed by Jonas Wandeler
This is one of the first books we bought when we started working together. It is printed in a run of 101 and contains 101 pages of ripped-out “part one” pages from existing books. The action of the ripping is reflected in the fore-edge of the book that feels softly torn. Due to the softness and the bulging light weight of the paper, it’s a pleasure to touch this book. All design decisions seem to fit together so very well.
Sasa: Heavy metal (news) around the world, designed by Sulki & Min
We were given this book from Min Choi when we we visited Seoul. Heavy metal aesthetics are an inspiration for many graphic designers we guess – and also for us. In general, we get quite happy from seeing do-it-yourself aesthetics. This book is a juicy collection of such. The grungy print on glossy paper emphasises this. We find it funny that the book itself is also indeed very heavy (this – or the bulk of face masks that we brought back, had us paying extra luggage fee at the airport).
Stephan Keppel: Flat Finish, designed by Hans Gremmen
Our latest purchase and it hasn’t left our desk yet. In our own work, we often use a database of photos we take when just walking around on the street, looking at facades and city surfaces. We then transform them into graphic structures or create patterns out of them. This book feels like a database of urban structures, and we really like how it becomes this loop of zooms, abstract and less abstract cityscapes by the combinations of photos and repetitions.
About the Author
Ruby joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in September 2017 after graduating from the Graphic Communication Design course at Central Saint Martins. In April 2018, she became a staff writer and in August 2019, she was made associate editor. Get in contact with Ruby about ideas you may have for long-form stories on the site.