Irma Boom

It is my contention that Irma Boom is, quite broadly, an ANTI designer. This is based mostly on a talk she gave at the Walker Art Center, where repeatedly, she sets up the expectations for a project and then explained how she got around them.

The SHV Book
(1996) is an ANTI work in many ways.
The most succinct ANTI is this: an anti-jubilee book. Supposed to be a jubilee book of SHV (celebrating the company’s past 100 years), Boom designed a book celebrating 200 years of SHV (the past 100 years and the future 100 years).

Best Books Catalogue (2000)
A book compiling the best books in the Netherlands, which is actually two books in one: flipping through it one direction, you see a book which is the best book covers of the year; flipping through the other way, it is a book cataloguing the best designed book insides of the year.

Describing the book she mentions that it’s an honor to be chosen—each year, a young designer is chosen to design it: “And it’s a one-off. You never do it twice.” Immediately after these words, she notes: “I wanted to make two books in one.”

Frits (2004): Anti-liber amicorum.
(Literally: a book of friends. A format which collects writings of friends in honor of someone). The book was commissioned in honor of Frits van Vlissingen’s retirement. Saddled with letters that his friends had written which she hated, Boom sought a way out. The book hides the letters in pages that fold out. The letters transform “from a sort of disadvantage it becomes an advantage.” (Boom, Walker Channel)

An anti-jubilee book
SHV Book, 1996: An anti-jubilee book

Anti-one time opportunity.
Best Books Catalogue, 2000: Anti-one time opportunity.

Anti-liber amicorum.
Frits, 2004 : Anti-liber amicorum.

Image 2
Best Books Catalogue, 2000: Image 2