Angelika Taschen: The Publishing And Style Icon Of The A+ Awards Jury
December 21, 2012
via Angelika Books
Print publishing is in a state of upheaval. E-books, Amazon, mergers, lawsuits, the Internet—in the past decade, the arguably once-sleepy industry has been pummeled from all sides and made to evolve. Every other week, it feels, there’s a column or an article wondering about the fate of the print book, lamenting its heyday, or impatiently calling for nails in its coffin. With all the change and all the talk, it can be easy to forget what it is to sit down and just read.
Dr. Angelika Taschen, however, is able to tune out the noise and create beautiful print books. The daughter of booksellers, she worked as an editor and publisher at her then-husband’s publishing house, TASCHEN, for two decades, making books on architecture, art, design, and a multitude of other visually striking subjects. Last year, she founded her own small house, Angelika Books, in Berlin. Now, she’s serving as a juror for Architizer’s A+ Awards, bringing her discerning and innovative yet classic sensibility to the new competition.
Taschen as a young girl, via Angelika Books
Taschen curates her books extremely carefully, publishing only a few titles per year. Right now, she’s offering an illustrated book by Frédéric Malle called On Perfume Making with a foreward on Catherine Deneuve, and designer Fabien Baron’s Anna Bauer Backstage. Even with just two titles, she manages to display her wide range of interests. Design and theater, beauty and literature—everything coexists in Taschen’s beautifully hand-selected world. This is what publishing should be, she appears to argue with her small-batch books, an industry of curation and convergence.
via Angelika Books
Taschen is the subject as well as the creator of gorgeous design content as well; her home was featured in photographer Todd Selby’s popular project The Selby, in which he photographed all kinds of creative people and the homes they’ve created for themselves. He has each subject fill out a questionnaire, printed in their own (often shockingly messy) handwriting.
“How do you know when a book is finished and ready to send to the printers?” Taschen’s questionnaire reads.
“The book has to be ready when the deadline is there, just when it is due!” is her exuberantly scribbled answer, in peacock blue ink. “It is done!”
Taschen’s style is clean and distinct, all grey and white walls punctuated with flashes of unapologetically bright colors. Looking through Selby’s photos of her space makes you want to crawl inside and spend the day by yourself, reading and writing and sipping lemon tea (after remembering to take your shoes off at the front door). And, of course, she owns a ton of books.
via The Selby
The fate of the print book may be up in the air, but one thing remains true: people will always want (need) high-quality content, the same way we need shelter and a sense of place and even great design. These things remind us what it is to be a person. The A+ Awards acknowledge that truth and look to enhance it, to bring us closer together and create something big and accessible and new. Today, December 21st, is the last day to enter. So what are you waiting for?