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London Event: The Folio Society’s ‘The Artful Book’

26/04/2018

Last year, our client, The Folio Society celebrated their 70th anniversary by launching a special London event of a display at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Entitled ‘The Artful Book: 70 Years of The Folio Society’, the presentation took a look at The Folio Society’s work past and present as the world’s most foremost publisher of illustrated books.

As soon as I heard that The Folio Society would be displaying work at my favourite museum in the entire city, I had to go and see it for myself. With ‘The Artful Book: 70 Years of The Folio Society’ closing next week, I wanted to share with you three of my favourite elements of the display, with the hopes that more people will go to visit it this weekend.

Tales By Tolstoy

The edition of Tales By Tolstoy featured in The Artful Book, was the first ever edition published by The Folio Society in October 1947. I wouldn’t consider myself particularly well versed in Tolstoy, but this tome was remarkable because of the history it represented. In comparing Tales By Tolstoy with the books produced by The Folio Society today, it’s clear how advanced the art form of book production has come. The book was illustrated with nine pen and ink drawings by Elizabeth MacFayden, wrapped in a red dust jacket, and set the high standard by which future books would be constructed.

The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood’s work translates so well visually, so I was really happy to see that Anna and Elena Balbusso’s illustrations for The Folio Society’s edition of The Handmaid’s Tale were included in the display. Their sharp, graphic aesthetic, and the red colour palette works beautifully for the iconic dystopian narrative. When I was at university, I studied with an Atwood expert, so this was one addition I was very excited about.

Brave New World

I got to indulge my interest in the technical aspect of The Folio Society’s creative process with their edition of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. The cover of the 1971 release was made from aluminium foil, with a faceless baby etched into it. The metallic surface provides the perfect visual encapsulation of the science fiction novel, which takes place over five hundred years into the future. Reflective enough for the reader to see their own image, the design of the book allows us to practically place ourselves at the centre of the story. The etching technique and marriage of the book’s design and content really struck me, and this was definitely a title that stayed with me after I left the museum.

 ‘The Artful Book: 70 Years of The Folio Society’ will be at the Victoria and Albert Museum until the 1st of May. It truly is an unmissable London event, and we would highly recommend that you head there this weekend if you haven’t seen it!

Written by Jasmine Prasad, Cherish PR 

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