Irma Boom

Irma Boom

My Manifesto for a Book

Graphic designer Irma Boom is the woman behind some of the most stunning books to have been published in the last decade. Watch the internationally acclaimed icon of Dutch design discuss her uncompromising design method.

“If you don’t believe what I’m making then why should we make it at all.” When Boom began working on the design for the book ‘Weaving as Metaphor’ by artist Sheila Hicks, her surroundings – including her publisher in London and commissioner in New York – had a hard time understanding her idea. In fact, they were quite upset by it, as they felt it was financially unviable. Boom’s response to this was unfaltering: “Please give me the trust and freedom to create this book. If you don’t trust me, then stop the business now.” The book consequently was off her table several times and was not completed until Boom was allowed to make it her way. When it finally came out after a process of four years, the response was overwhelmingly positive, and the book has since become Boom’s own manifesto for a book.

Irma Boom (b. 1960) is a Dutch graphic designer, who specializes in book making and is widely acclaimed for their iconoclastic beauty. Boom introduced the idea of a ‘fat book’ (overtly thick book) and has made more than 300 books, 100 of which are in the permanent collection of MoMA in New York. The 2,136 page commemorative ‘SHV Think Book’ (1996) – which was anti-chronological and also devoid of page numbers and index – became her international breakthrough. Boom’s design for the book ‘Weaving as Metaphor’ by American artist Sheila Hicks (2006) received the ‘The Most Beautiful Book in the World’ award at the Leipzig Book Fair. Boom’s many clients include the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Chanel, Ferrari and Camper. Her work has received numerous awards, and she is the youngest person to have been honoured with a Gutenberg Prize in 2001. Since 1992 she has been a teacher at Yale University in the U.S.

For more about Irma Boom see: http://www.irmaboom.nl/

Irma Boom was interviewed by Christian Lund at her home and studio – Irma Boom Office – in Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 2014. In the interview she discusses and shows the book ‘Weaving as Metaphor’ by American artist Sheila Hicks.

Camera: Maurits Veldhuijzen van Zanten
Edited by: Sonja Strange
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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