Dear Lulu etc.
‘Dear Lulu’ is a series of test books which were researched and produced during an intensive two-day workshop on 12—13 June 2008 with London-(now-Auckland)-based designer James Goggin (Practise). On June 11th he also gave a public talk in the FbG-Aula. The books’ intention is to act as a calibration document for testing colour, pattern, format, texture and typography. Exercises in colour profile, halftoning, point size, line, geometry, skin tone, colour, texture, cropping and print finishing provide useful data for other designers and self-publishers to judge the possibilities and quality of online print-on-demand. Because the books were also uploaded onto other print-on-demand providers, such as Blurb, MagCloud, and BoD (not availble anymore), a print-on-demand-battle has been initiated. The book project therefore also acts as a colour/type/pattern test of the very system with which it is produced. The title of each of test publication is adapted as necessary, for example to ‘Dear MagCloud’ or ‘Dear Blurb’. Since every print job takes places at a different time, with a different machine, and potentially at a different production site, in the end every copy is unique and can only stand for itself. It is not possible to generalize the test results. Neither can the Print on Demand provider guarantee a certain product quality. In April 2021 ‘Dear Lulu etc.’ has been added to the ‘Library of Artistic Print on Demand. The library is a is a cooperation between the Freie Universität Berlin (Free University of Berlin), the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and the Bavarian State Library, funded by the German Research Foundation DFG. The founders of the library are Annette Gilbert and Andreas Bülhoff from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg. You can watch the virtual launch talk here. In 2009 the project received a ‘Gold Cube’ from the ADC Art Directors Club New York in the category ‘Book Design: Public Service / Non-Profit Book’ and has also been featured in various magazines and books since its appearance eg. ‘172 new book objects’, Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt; Idea Magazine (Tokyo); Print.