Goldene LetterSwitzerland

Lisa Wenger, Martina Corgnati
Meret Oppenheim. Worte nicht in giftige Buchstaben einwickeln
Das autobiografische Album «Von der Kindheit bis 1943» und unveröffentlichte Briefwechsel
Scheidegger & Spiess, Zurich

Design: Bonbon, Valeria Bonin und Diego Bontognali, Zurich
Printer: DZA Druckerei zu Altenburg, Altenburg
ISBN: 978-3-85881-375-6

A weighty folio of substantial size dedicates itself to the letters of Meret Oppenheim. At the heart of the sources under investigation is the facsimile of the album “Von der Kindheit bis 1943” [“From childhood until 1943”], published here for the first time.

From a design point of view the challenge here is to organise a large dismembered body of text in such a way that the reader is impelled to read it by more than just a sense of duty. On the other hand the fact that the display of her own personality was anathema to Oppenheim calls for typographical discretion.

The large-sized typeface does not have wide spacing, yet its pronounced bold-fine style allows the two-column typesetting enough space to breathe. Footnotes are positioned unconventionally, namely in single or double columns of the narrowest width between the main columns. The text is printed in dark grey. The overall effect is one of politeness and organised structure. The idea of altering the background of each page of the album in the facsimile section to multi-coloured pastel shades has been marvellously realised. The change of paper underlines the precious nature of the original documents.

The work is presented unpretentiously yet self-confidently in a cloth-laminated card sleeve on which the elements of its design order can truly resonate.