Paris Exhibit Praises the World of Book Covers

In Discussion by Olivia Snaije

We Love Books! A World Tour in Paris

Several of the titles featured in the exhibit: We Love Books! A World Tour in Paris

We Love Books! is an exhibit within the second edition of the inspiring Graphic Arts Festival taking place in Paris until March 4.

By Olivia Snaije

Curated by book designer and graphic artist Michel Bouvet, We Love Books! presents more than 400 books from all corners of the globe, whether paperbacks or art books. Besides the instantly recognizable books covers, such as Chip Kidd’s cover for Murakami’s 1Q84, or Henning Wagenbreth’s designs for author Edgar Hilsenrath’s books, the exhibit allows the visitor to marvel at designs by South Americans, Koreans, Iranians or Portuguese, among others.

There are Brazilians such as Ruth Klotzel with a dreamy book cover of Maureen Bisilliat’s photographs or Gustavo Piquiera’s strong typography with vintage photographs as a background.

Imagen HB, Hernán Berdichevsky and Gustavo Stecher’s Buenos Aires-based branding and design studio produces crisp, lively book designs, while Peruvian Sandro Venturo Shultz’s style is decidedly retro-sixties. Kum-Jun Park, at the vanguard of recent Korean design, has several gorgeous art books on display combining graphics with lyricism.

Contemporary Iranian graphic design has been going strong for a while now, its art directors often innovating the typography of Arabic letters. Majid Abbasi and Saed Meshki’s book covers are bold, combining illustration, photography, and always, innovative typography.

With a long culture of book cover design, Portuguese designers João Bicker, Pedro Falcão, British-born Andrew Howard who is based in Porto, and Lizá Defossez Ramalho and Artur Rebelo of R2 Design studio are proof that making books look beautiful is an ongoing tradition.

Being able to travel the world of international book cover designers is a real treat. The only downside to the exhibit is that the visitor cannot actually touch the books…and that the show ends on February 8th. So if you’re in Paris, hurry up!

About the Author

Olivia Snaije

Olivia Snaije is a journalist and editor based in Paris who writes about the Middle East, multiculturalism, translation, literature, and graphic novels. She is a contributor to newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar Art, The Global Post, The New York Times and CNN.