this beautiful, pristine book recently (and quite unexpectedly) became mine for a low price after placing a ‘not too serious’ bid sometime before christmas on an online auction for photography related stuff, the book dates back to 1962 and is in fact what i suppose you would call a ‘brand book’ made at a time when nobody even really talked about brands?
it is called ‘de verbinding’ or ‘the connection’ (yes there was even an english version made at the time) it was comissioned by the dutch post and telecommunications companyy (PTT) to mark the completion of the brand new national telephone network that same year, it was produced in collaboration with the late ‘piet brattinga’ and made by a constellation of creative people such as designers ‘jurrian schrofer’ & ‘jan bons’ who provided pen drawings, photographers ‘eddy posthuma de boer’ & ‘violette cornelius’ who provided the grainy black and white street photogrpahy whilst ‘paul huf’ made the colour photo spreads with a mix of colourful characters all deep in conversation on the phone
the whole book is loosely based around the theme of ‘connections’ and the real charm of this obscure (and fairly unknown) book is precisely the fact that it is has such as a loose, nonchalant feel to it? the colour spreads contain large fold out pages with more technical information and black and white diagrams and technical images of cables etc? the makers were even confident enough (or vain perhaps?) to use their own faces on the cover
the book compliments very nicely the groundbreaking ‘boek van ptt’ made by piet zwart in the late 30’s (and which i also happen to own, see my post about a year ago in ‘me stuff’) both books demonstrate just how progressive and design-minded dutch companies like PTT were, i stress ‘were’ because it’s pretty hard to imagine the contemporary equivalents (KPN and TNT Post) even contemplating anything as visionary or qualitative as these books? oops there i go getting all nostalgic again?