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Scroll pricing explained

We have recalculated our prices. For some scrolls, nothing changed, others have become 2-5 Euros more expensive. We thought this was probably a good moment to give you a little insight into our pricing process. Why do our scrolls cost what they cost?

First of all, it is important to us that our scrolls are being read.
Of course, they are objects of art, but they are made to be scrolled through and experienced. This is only possible if we sell them at a price where readers still dare to do so. This is particularly true for our children’s books, which therefore continue to be our cheapest scrolls (apart from the notebook). At 27 Euros, we’re confident readers will still dare to just roll out the scroll once across the whole room. Not to mention that the paper is more robust than you might think.

Of course, we also want to be able to live from our work. To work in a small publishing house is a great luxury in itself, but bills need to be paid. And producing books by hand is quite time-consuming and expensive. We have exactly one (very large and very expensive) printer on which you can only print one scroll at a time. Then the covers need to be printed and cut, glued and folded. The scroll inserted, and if something goes wrong, it needs to get fixed. At least one hour of manual work goes into producing a single scroll

 

We want to be able to give our artists their fair share and it is important to us that they earn something from doing a project with us. Likewise, it is important to us to pay our bookbinders properly.

Overall, founding a small independent scroll publishing press has not made us rich – yet!

Incidentally, the price development on the book market is a huge topic overall. Fearing that fewer books will be purchased, book prices have hardly augmented for years, at a lower rate than the inflation. Even paperbacks, which are very cheap to produce, would actually need to cost more in order for publishers to have a reasonable margin. Think about how much a dinner or a visit to the movies cost and how much book you can get for that money. There’s got to something wrong …
Anyways, this is just an aside. Because if you want to compare prices, it makes a lot more sense to compare our scrolls not to mass market paperbacks, but rather to art books, art prints or other handmade design objects.

Recently, our material costs have risen again, especially those for paper and ink. This is reflected in our new prices. We still find them fair. We hope you also see it that way and continue to value our work. Because one thing has certainly not changed: A lot of love goes into every single scroll we make.

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Round not Square in Sjøland

A trip to the Sjøland exhibition at the Edvard Munch House in Warnemünde

We spent last weekend in Warnemünde for the opening of an exhibition of Sjøland. The perfect occasion to virtually pack the entire publishing house into one car for a trip to the Baltic coast. Talk about combining business with pleasure! We took the opportunity to hang out on the beach one last time for this year, eat chips, fly our kite and we even went to watch some seals.

The Edvard-Munch-House

We went to Warnemünde with the Sjøland artists Herbert Eugen Wiegand and Heike Schmitz at an invitation of the Förderverein Edvard-Munch-Haus, an association dedicated to cultivating the memory of the Warnemünde period of Edvard Munch. The Norwegian painter spent 18 months there between 1907 and 1908, and today, the house he lived in at the time is used as a space for cultural encounters between Norway and Germany — what a perfect setting for Sjøland.

The building itself was very much one of the highlights of our visit. It is a beautiful historical fisherman’s house, one of a series of narrow, small houses built “Am Strom”, directly on the river Warnow. The house charms visitors with its beautiful winter garden, a courtyard with a pear tree and a cosy little library that is just perfect for a small – or large! – collection of scrolls.

The exhibition

And then there was the exhibition itself … The graphic from the Sjøland scrolls is made up of 96 single linocuts of the Norwegian coastal landscape stitched together (more about the scroll editions on our website). Herbert’s original prints look beautiful in the long, bright main room of the Munch house.
We also brought along some framed art prints from Sjøland that are now also available in our shop.

 

The opening of the exhibition was very well attended, which obviously made us very happy. There was a cordial introduction from Petra Schmidt Dreyblatt, artistic director of the Edvard Munch House, then Herbert talked a bit about Harøy and the changes in the region that inspired him to work on Sjøland. Heike added another, literary level to those insights, reading from some of her texts on which the story in the scrolls Sjø and Land is based. And last but not least, Antonia and Ioan gave quick introduction of Round not Square and explained why some ideas – such as Sjøland for example – should just not be squeezed into a normal book, when they could also appear on a scroll.

How to visit

The exhibition runs until November 25, 2018. The Edvard Munch House is always open on Saturdays from 11:00 to 17:00. Visits are also possible by prior arrangement. Go there to scroll through all the Sjøland editions — or come visit us in our shop in Berlin, of course!

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Round not Square On The Rugs

Weil man bei Design aus dem Iran gerne an Teppiche denkt, haben wir uns für die Premiere unserer BEYOND CURTAINS Buchrolle mit Anna Wahdat von On the Rugs in Hamburg zusammen getan. Autorin Lena Späth reiste extra aus Barcelona an und setzte sich mit Antonia und FAZ-Redakteur Christian Meier zum Gespräch über ihr Projekt auf den Teppich.

Ein großes Dankeschön an Anna und ihren Vater Herrn Wahdat, die uns so herzlich begrüßten, dass uns trotz echt Hamburger Wetter gleich ganz warm ums Herz wurde.

Hier ein paar Impressionen von diesem rundum gelungenen Abend – inklusive Schnelldurchlauf durchs Buch!


Because we imagine carpets when we think about Persian design – and it’s true, though there’s so much more to it! – we paired up with Anna Wahdat from beautiful carpet lable On the Rugs in Hamburg for the launch of our latest scroll, BEYOND CURTAINS. Author Lena Späth came all the way from Barcelona and sat down on a stack of carpets with our own Antonia and FAZ-journalist Christian Meier for a diverting talk about her project and a Q&A session.

A huge and heartfelt Thank You to Anna and her father Mr. Wahdat who were so very welcoming we felt all warm and fuzzy in spite of real authentic Hamburg weather.

Here’s some impressions of this lovely evening – including a quick tour all through the scroll. Enjoy!


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Of Swine and Men

The German language has a plethora of sayings drawing comparisons with pigs. Crazy driving? You drive “like a singed pig”. You threw a party and nobody came? “Not a swine was there”. You go wild and have crazy fun? “You let the hog out”!

What else can this signify but a major influence of said animal on German culture? So it probably shouldn’t come as such a surprise that one of the first ever German comics had for its main character … exactly.

When Ludwig Emil Grimm set his mind to drawing a story about “the especially loving and peculiar pig from Ihringshausen”, not even the notorious brevity of an average pig’s lifespan – potentially quite a threat to storytelling – could deter him. Sure, realistically, it’s hard to avoid death by slaughter when narrating the life of a domestic pig  – but why let this get in the way of a good story?

So with a pointed pen and a lot of black humor, he went on to describe the life of a swine from the stable to the grave, or, well, local butcher … and beyond! Terminating only in what just might be the first ever autobiographical account by a pig in literature (post-mortem, too). The result? A story that’s as absurd as it is amusing, with beautifully executed, amazingly detailed drawings proving Grimm to have been not only a master of his craft but also a keen observer of his contemporaries’ foibles and quirks.

Once the hog is slaughtered and every single part from its ears to its hoofs turned into mountains of delicacies, us modern readers cannot help but make the comparison with the way we consume meat today. While of course even back in Grimm’s days not every swine was deserving of a comparable sendoff as the pig from Ihringshausen, which was famously especially peculiar, meat definitely was treated much more like a special luxury, and the animal providing it with considerable respect.

So it made sense that we celebrated the release of the book with a barbecue with our friends from Meine kleine Farm, the “online butchery” with a mission: Happier pigs, happier farmers, happier eaters, better food. If people realise what, no, who they eat, they’ll support farmers that take good care of their animals. Resulting in a quality of meat that will then again benefit the consumer. Less meat, more respect!

We’re pretty sure the Sau from Ihringshausen would approve.

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Larry Yust on Round not Square

It happened like this. I got an email out of the blue from some people who called themselves Round not Square. The name intrigued me and so did their proposal. They wanted to use some of my images to make a book in the form of a scroll. You know, with sticks to roll a long piece of paper from one side to another, rolling pages past your eyes instead of flipping them. Like an ancient Chinese scroll. It was completely out-of-the box and it caught my imagination.

So I emailed back asking for more details. We exchanged emails several times and the result was that I pulled a new book project of mine from an established publisher (who was taking too long to get the book into print, I thought) and gave it to Round not Square.

I’m glad I did. The result is everything I hoped it would be, still way out-of-the- box. Unique, beautiful, fun, crazy and the best way I have seen yet to present my long images in book form, albeit a book of a very different sort.

I love it.

Larry Yust, Los Angeles, 2015

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Winners of Capturing Movement

We did this great photo mission together with the amazing EyeEm community. The results?

  • about 8.000 pictures handed in
  • over 2.000 photographers from all around the world took part
  • a week of excitement and cheerfulness when spotting new cool shots

Of all these contributions we had to pick. It was really hard – but after long discussions, instant love declarations and serious fighting we agreed on the 24 pics of the final selection. These pictures

  • were exhibited on Saturday the 20th of June in Berlin
  • will get published in our newest publication called Capturing Movement

And then, out of these 24 outstanding images we had three prizes to award. There were three categories, and we are once again delighted to announce that

  1. Eric Youn (US) won the Best Picture category
  2. Constantin Schiller (Germany) won the Best Metaphor category
  3. Rachel Chua (Phillipines) won the Public Choice category, which was given out by the audience, both online via facebook and offline at the Capturing movement exhibition

The winners won their very own copy of the scroll Capturing Movement and will be the first to hold it in their hands when it is all set and published. Congratulations!! It will be a beautiful book and we are really happy to have had the opportunity to cooperate with EyeEm and their great community.

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The Audience Award – Capturing Movement

Last Saturday we invited the public to help us chose the audience award of the photo mission we initiated with EyeEm and their great community. About 8000 images were handed in by over 2000 photographers around the world – imagine! Those are impressive numbers. And even more amazingly: we received loads of impressive images!

So before making the Jury decisions on the winners, we wanted to give you all a chance to choose your favorite picture out of our final selection of 24 outstanding images. Taking the global set-up of the artists into account we decided to have two days of Facebook voting before the actual event.

On Saturday then we had a remarkable evening, combining the Finissage of our exhibition at the Wettbureau in Berlin-Wedding, with the offline voting for the Audience Award, some champagne and Jessica Nay’s beautiful music: Noah’s tape live in concert.

The most extraordinary moment of my evening was definitely to get to know two really cool girls who had just had a 6 hour drive to be there – this totally made my day!!

And last but not least: we are proud to announce Rachel Chua (@rachlannchuaa) as the winner of the Audience ard. Congratulations, Rachel! Your picture has made its way to the hearts of hundreds!

#9 by Rachel Chua

Capturing Movement by Rachel Chua

Thank you all for being there!

Below you can see the Top 4 images of the Audience Award, congrats to all of you!

NrArtistEyeEm Total no of votes
    
#9Rachel Chua@rachlannchuaa263
#4Eric Youn@serlaluz168
#6Priscila Lima@la_lima115
#14Flavio Edreira@flavioedreira111
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Capturing Movement

Life doesn’t stand still. How true! This is why we teamed up with EyeEm, the creative community for photography, and launched a new Photo Mission called Capturing Movement today.

Whilst much of photography is about capturing a posed, still scene, there’s an art to truly capturing the dynamism, speed and movement of real life. Life is full of activity and movement, and the mission is all about communicating that energy in a photograph

We will publish a selection of finalists with full credits – on scroll, printed, designed and handbound in Berlin. Three winners will be selected, whose pictures will be central to the publication. They will receive the first copies of the finished scroll as their reward when it is published.

Since today, this new book can already be pre-ordered through our Kickstarter campaign.

All finalists will be exhibited at Wettbureau in Berlin on June 20th, where one of the three winners will be selected through an “Audience award” by the attendees of the event.

The mission Capturing Movement is online on EyeEm from June 8th, deadline is June 15th, 2015.

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A completely new level of freedom

I love books. Especially photo books. They are collections of visual knowledge and perspective, and photographs can do things words could never do. I love turning a page and stumbling into a new and surprising scenery, another look, other living and inanimate things than on the page before. But with every read-through, a book loses some of its ability to capture and surprise, you see the pictures on one double page, you have an idea what’s coming next and the relation of every page to another becomes at the same time more obvious and more detached. It is also very tedious to fumble around the edges of a page in order to turn just one and not several at a time, and then they insist on tearing just because you are too passionate a page-turner, and I won’t even start on large-format pictures in traditional books or the distorted horror that is a photograph stretched over one double-page. Or playboy centrefolds. Let’s be honest, we’ve all had it with those devilish stacks of paper from the ninth circle of hell. I hate books.

Enter the good old scroll-format book. The solution to all of our problems. In a sexy shiny new dress. I will admit that I had a minor mental breakdown the very first time I started to layout this book for Round not Square, I didn’t know what to do, where to start, how to structure… but it soon dawned on me that the trouble I had stemmed from what was so great about this format, a completely new level of freedom. It was all up to me, the only limitation being vertical. Quite the challenge. It led me to design a way of story-telling that I had never had the opportunity to realise before, one chain of thought, or block, or chapter could be 30 cm long and consist of ten pictures, or it could be 90 cm long and consist of just two, and I wasn’t forced to implement any clear breaks where I didn’t want them. Even better: ultimately, it’s the reader who decides what is shown at once, whether it’s just one picture, a set of three, or the entire book (provided the premises in the west wing of your château allow for it, because it is quite long indeed). There are hundreds of different ways to look at such a scroll.

Quite honestly, the scroll won’t be able to replace the cookery books you inherited from your grandmother. It won’t replace your first edition of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “Les Européens” and it won’t replace your Bible, or your Quran. I also doubt it will replace anyone’s Torah, but that’s another story. In any case, there are quite a few things that a scroll-format book can do that “normal” books never will, and the same is true the other way around. They will never replace one another, but it’s high time the scroll took back the space that is carved out for it, and that place is round, not square. I love books.


Simon Becker

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Enjoy!