Review: Hedi Kyle. Festschrift 2009

hedi 01At the Hybrid Book Conference and Fair in the summer of 2009, the Guild of Bookworkers honored its member Hedi Kyle with this Festschrift.

It is printed in black and white on a slightly grey paper, and spiral bound like you can see in the picture. This binding has the indisputible advantage that is opens easily and stays open. But I don’t like spiral bindings, I think they are rather ugly, and they are unpleasant to leaf through. And here ends all criticism I have for this book. – If you don’t have it already buy it now – it is worth every one of the 2,500 US-cents it costs.

It has 330 pages, filled to the brim with interesting and useful stuff. 39 authors contribute something from their ( and Hedi Kyle’s ) field of work. There are contributions which present book structures ranging from folded book structures like the blizzard book presented in a purely visual way by , over the variation of the German case binding by Peter Verheyen, a pamphlet structure, and a broken back book, to the assemby of the Jabob’s ladder presented by Karen Hanmer. – I resist the temptation here to list them all.

There are also more theoretical articles included, some about historical book structures, some about certain issues in conservation practise or theory, others discuss developments in book art. And you’ll also find some amusing stories, hinting at biographical aspects, other wink at (Hedi Kyle’s style of) bookmaking as such.

Admittedly not everything presented here is brand new. Many of the instructions are available online, others were published before in different form, and some add simply a new twist to a known idea.

But I think, having them bound together like that, readily available to be read and tried out, is well worth the investment. Plus: From the composition, with all the lovely little snippets of information how Hedi Kyle crossed and influenced the live of many book binders and artists gave a beautiful picture of this extrodinary book conservator.

I can only repeat: If you don’t have it already, get it now!