Sure, the Amazon Kindle might have dynamic font adjustments, and it can hold thousands of books, but can it do this? Printed in the late 16th century this small book from the National Library of Sweden is an example of sixfold dos-à-dos binding, where six books are conjoined into a single publication but can be read individually with the help of six perfectly placed clasps. This particular book was printed in Germany and like almost all books at the time is a religious devotional text. The National Library of Sweden has a fantastic photo collection of historical and rare books where you can find many more gems like this, and this, and this.
Update: And if you really like amazing old book discoveries, you should be following Erik Kwakkel, the Medieval book historian at Leiden University in the Netherlands, who originally unearthed this story. (via Neatorama)
This fun set of paper books was created by Japanese graphic designer and architect Yusuke Oono who conceived the idea as a clever way to illustrate scenes from individual stories in three dimensions. The 40-panel books are laser cut from paper and assembled into a booklet that can be viewed page by page or fanned out as a sort of layered diorama of silhouettes. You can see dozens of additional views from each book right here. (via Enoqi)
In one of his most ambitious book sculptures to date artist Guy Laramée (previously here and here) created an homage to the printed Encyclopedia Britannica by transforming a 24-volume set into a sloping mountainous landscape. Titled Adieu, Laramée says the work was inspired in part by Encyclopedia Britannica’s announcement that after 244 years the would cease printing its iconic multi-volume book sets. The artist relied on his travels in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil to arrive at the final form carved into the book tops that gradually morphs from green mountains to grasslands and semi-desert prairies. Watch the video above by Sébastien Ventura to see the piece in detail, and you can also see more of Laramée’s recent work over at JHB Gallery.
For many, reading a good book can be a religious experience, but this new bookstore in Zwolle, The Netherlands takes that idea to a whole new level. Architects BK. Architecten were tasked with converting this 15th century Dominican church into a modern bookstore with the addition of 700 square meters of shopping space. But there was one major catch: all the historical elements of the 547-year-old building including stained glass windows, pipe organ, ceiling paintings and expansive arches had to remain intact.
Incredibly, BK. Architecten managed to add three levels of retail space to the side wings of the church in a manner that the entire structure can one day be removed in order to restore the church to its original design. In addition only three colors of building materials were used to mimic the existing palette of the cathedral’s interior to further ensure that the bookstore would pay reverence to the original space.
Born in Tokyo, Dusseldorf-based artist Ramon Todo creates beautiful textural juxtapositions using layers of glass in unexpected places. Starting with various stones, volcanic rock, fragments of the Berlin wall, and even books, the artist inserts perfectly cut glass fragments that seem to slice through the object resulting in segments of translucence where you would least expect it. You can see more of his work over on Art Front Gallery, and here. (via My Amp Goes to 11)
Five years ago graphic artist and illustration Marion Bataille took the pop-up book world by storm with her incredible ABC 3D book. Bataille is back this month with a new book titled Numero, a brief but no less charming visual excursion into numbers. The new pop-up book is available October 15th but you can pre-order it online now. (via Cool Hunting)
There are those of us who regard LEGO bricks as a nostalgic toy from childhood, while others might still occasionally assemble kits as a hobby or perhaps as a way to bond with children. And then there are the select few who have an unwavering obsession with the tiny plastic bricks, who fiddle endlessly to find the perfect block to create sculptural objects so exquisitely designed, that it becomes art.
LEGO artist Mike Doyle (previously here and here) collected some of the most amazing people working with LEGO today in his new book Beautiful LEGO from No Starch Press. The 280 page book is filled with some 400 photos of LEGO creations from over 70 artists, and seems to be the most thorough book on LEGO art ever written. You can take a peek inside over on Mike’s blog, and although it’s not published until October 7th, you can preorder it now. All photos above reproduced from Beautiful LEGO, with the permission of No Starch Press.
Over the last few months numerous artists who have appeared on Colossal have created or been included in some pretty fantastic books that I thought I would bring your attention to. So in no particular order…
Before I Die, the book
New Orleans artist Candy Chang (previously here, here and here) has seen her famous ‘Before I Die’ project spread to 300 walls in over 50 countries and in 20 languages. Her new book by the same name shares a lot about how the project came about and most importantly includes photos of anonymous comments filled with hope, fear, humor, and heartbreak.
Art Made From Books
Published just a few weeks ago Art Made from Books includes work from no less than 27 artists (over a dozen have appeared here on Colossal) who make sculptures, collages, installations, and other artworks with the pages of books.
Outside the Lines: An Artists’ Coloring Book for Giant Imaginations
Outside the Lines is a brand new book edited by Souris Hong-Porretta that includes some 119 artists (including Keith Haring, AIKO, Shepard Fairey, Exene Cervenka, Keita Takahashi, Jen Corace, and Ryan McGinness) who have contributed black and white drawings designed to help kick-start creativity and inspire new ideas.
Origin of the Beginning
Hot off the presses, Origin of the Beginning is the first publication from Dutch artist Levi van Veluw (previously) that serves as an overview of his photographs, drawings, installations, sculptures and videos spanning 2006 to 2013. The book itself is a sort of artwork with an embedded wooden square that perforates every page of the book.
Big Appetites, Tiny People in a World of Big Food
The miniature people in these photos are dwarfed not only by food, but also by the giant imagination of photographer Christopher Boffoli. His latest book, Big Appetites, contains dozens of new photos that tell the story of tiny people who struggle to survive inside these bizare, edible worlds.
Full non-disclosure: Colossal is published from Illinois, a state in which Amazon cannot run an affiliate program, thus all of the links above are non-affiliate links and I really am just recommending these books because they are awesome. That is all.