Friday, October 08, 2010

TASCHEN - 30 years on

Taschen is a publishing house I have admired from afar for many years. Their bold and spectacular, often ballsy and occasionally outrageous publishing, their gorgeous bookstores in Paris, London, Berlin, New York and loads of other places like Florida, Copenhagen and Cologne which I have't managed to visit yet, all combine to give them a prominent and unique place in the book world.

Recently I came across their spectacular Spring Summer catalogue, ( I wanted almost every title featured!), and eventually managed to get permission from Benedikt Taschen (the genius behind the brand) to reproduce his introduction which follows:

Comic beginnings, surreal success and magical artists

Dear Bookworms,
Thanks to your continuous support, little Bene’s open-air art gallery in front of Art Cologne  and the TASCHEN Comics shop turned into a real publishing house.
When I was a boy, I appreciated people who treated me like an adult, because my interests were different from those of most of my peers; my mind was full of stories and pictures, and I was permanently looking for inspiration and food for thought. By respecting my passions—books, movies, art, and so on—my family and mentors helped me to grow and turn my imagination into reality.

At the top of my wish list for birthdays and holidays were art books, which were more expensive than the regular boy’s toys. And young me—fully aware of the fact that I was a lucky and privileged child raised by liberal and unconventional parents—sensed early on that books could open doors to different worlds, and that a world full of artists and free-minded spirits was the world I wanted to be part of.

I thought that others might feel the same if books became more affordable and accessible. Luckily this has been confirmed by millions of readers who have bought our art monographs, starting with the first ones published in 1985. Our gang of young punks from Cologne became an international success story: in the 80s the key players were our two authors and editors, Ingo F. Walther and Gilles Néret and our brilliant sales mind, Ludwig Könemann. They laid the foundations for what became a truly international team of highly skilled and outrageously creative folks who have edited, designed, produced, promoted and sold more than two thousand subsequent titles.

This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary. As the proud publisher of the greatest artists of our time who have inspired millions of people around the globe, we continue to stick to our credo: don’t underestimate or bore your audience.
Thanks again for your loyalty these past 30 years. Hopefully this will continue to work out in the future as well.

Benedikt Taschen, May 2010

And here are four cover images of titles featured in the catalogue:

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