Three years ago, we spoke to London design consultancy Bibliothèque about the rare editions and special collections in its bookshelves. This year, Bibliothèque is sharing its favorite books with everyone, as it opens an interactive installation and pop-up shop at Hoxton Arches in East London today to celebrate its tenth anniversary. The playful site-specific installation, developed in collaboration withThe Workers, pays homage to the consultancy’s decade of work for clients including the Design Museum, the V&A, Adidas and Vitsoe. The space also features a curated bookshop: Bibliothèque’s Bibliothèque with Artwords, and a coffee bar from Climpson & Sons. The bookshop will sell hard-to-find publications, rarities from the Bibliothèque collection and some limited editions produced specifically for the event. CH took the opportunity to have a chat with Timothy Beard—who founded Bibliothèque along with Jonathon Jeffrey and Mason Wells—about his favorite designs and the future of the company.
You’re celebrating ten years of Bibliothèque. Could you share with us some of your favorite, or especially significant, work the consultancy has done over the past decade, and tell us what you’re working on now?
The work we did with Ollo, the Russian telecoms brand, was very important for us as it was one of our first digital projects. It was a fun project, in which we created a playful identity that used the multi-touch hardware of smartphones to let users play with the logo—and it became a great brand identity! Another favorite is working with the Design Museum. We have done a lot of exhibition designs for them, amongst them one for Dieter Rams. That was a very special moment. He’s an absolute legend of product design and it was amazing to get to design for one of your heroes. I’m also very happy with our work for Adidas in the early days of the consultancy, and with the identity we created for Moving Brands, as well as our Yes/No project for the D&AD awards. We’re currently working on a new website for restauranteur Alan Yau, which is based on a typeface and involves the development of abstract type forms based on an eastern numerical system. Another project that we’re working on is a new magazine called The Hour. We are creating the design and concept for the next generation of watch journal.
What can we expect from the site-specific installation?
We were mindful of how standard graphic design exhibitions usually consist of posters on a wall, and we wanted something that was really engaging. The question was how to handle displaying 10 years of work. We decided to remix a lot of projects and look forward, to “reset.” The installation shows 29 projects on 24 screens and there are buttons on the wall that we’ve deliberately made very analogue. When you hit a button, the screens cycle through different individual projects or scrambles them together, and then there’s a button to reset. The remix gives you scraps of colors and visuals that together give an idea of what Bibliothèque is.
Why did you choose to collaborate with Artwords and Climpson & Sons for the pop-up?
We wanted to work with other brands we like to celebrate the anniversary, as it’s exciting to do a collaborative event. We spend far too much time and money in Artwords, so getting them to do a curated bookshop was a good way of sharing things that inspire us. Climpson is on the way in to work for several members of the team and their coffee is great. It’s all brands we love, and collaborating with them is also an opportunity to define what makes us different from other agencies. When you get that opportunity, you want to grab it with both hands.
Has Bibliothèque’s fascination with the printed word deepened or lessened in the past 10 years, as the world has become more digital?
Print is still very satisfying to us, and for the 10th anniversary event we created both a book and a poster, but we also created a microsite. It’s important to not be tied to one platform and I think that Bibliothèque asks different questions about digital deliveries than other studios. We have a fascination for communication in any form, that’s what keeps us excited.
What are your hopes for the next ten years of Bibliothèque?
That we continue to do the good work we started in the first ten. Every project is a new possibility, that’s why graphic designers are eternal optimists—we always feel each new project is going to be great. We want to keep the excitement with every project we do. We have an excellent team and are working on some of our most exciting projects ever now.
Bibliothèque’s pop-up at Hoxton Arches, Arch 402 Cremer Street, London E2 8HD, opens today 17 October 2014 and runs through Sunday 19 October.
Images courtesy of Bibliothèque