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Paul Hefting. Nederlandse postzegels 87 88: achtergronden, emissiegegevens en vormgeving. Den Haag: Staatsbedrijf der PTT, 1988

“Nederlandse postzegels 87+88 could be viewed as the debut of designer Irma Boom (b. 1960). It was a two-volume publication in a series of books on stamp design, backgrounds and philatelic issue data. The publication was produced by the SDU, where Boom was employed as a designer at the time. In many ways these volumes constituted a break from more usual design styles. The photo typefaces usued are all sans serifs: Frutiger, Univers and Gill Sans. The italic forms of these types are not used: accentuation is done by either using another body size or by underlining. The layout is characterized by a varying type area, text and illustration bleeding over the edges of the pages and continuing on the next page, paragraphs indicated by setting the first seven letters in a bigger body size, and the absence of hyphens. A Japanese-style binding has been used, and the translucency of the thin offset paper has been taken advantage of by printing mirror images of illustrations on the versos. The subject of Paul Hefting's text is inspiration, so Boom added a wealth of illustrations that could be seen, she believed, as sources of inspiration for the stamp designer. This visual presentation in particular shows that the designer in fact played the role of co-editor or even co-author. Although the readability of these books was criticized, they turned out to be the first of an impressive sequence of book designs by Irma Boom.”


Mathieu Lommen. The book of books: 500 years of graphic innovation. Thames & Hudson, 2012 (p. 422)

“When I finished these books, having worked on them intensively day and night for three months, I couldn't bear to look at them anymore. The result was not what I had envisaged. In what is called the Japanese method of binding, the left-hand pages were on the right-hand side and vice versa. The book depict, in particular, the developmental precess of the special Dutch postage stamps issued in 1987 and 1998. To emphasize their sketchiness, the insides of the folded pages are printed in reverse. This was the first project where I was involved not just as a designer, but as an editor as well. They have become two of my all time favourite books. Nostalgia and romance, perhaps, I designed these books by cutting and pasting. It was an outspoken, uncompromising concept which stirred up the design world. Historical comparisons were made and discussions still continues. I made some enemies, but also a lot of friends. Many still refer to these books.”


Irma Boom: the architecture of the book. Eindhoven: Lecturis, 2013 (p. 728)

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