Alles außer flach ’24

Alles außer flach '24, on Leipziger Buchmesse

Dutch and Flemish literature is “alles außer flach”(“Everything but flat”), the thematic representation of the two host countries at the Leipzig Buchmesse 2024. In the Low Countries, a region characterised by straight polders, vast meadows, rivers and canals, literary expression is given free rein – it draws inspiration from the landscape and produces a new generation of authors. To bring this wealth of literature to light, the Netherlands and Flanders are joint guests of honour in Leipzig, Germany, in 2024.

After winning the pitch, our studio was commissioned to design the identity of the large-scale event, create the online and offline campaign, design the exhibition stand and take care of the print publications. With our roots in both the Netherlands and Flanders, this project became a representation of and collaboration between the two neighbouring countries. For instance, the architecture of the pavilion was a co-production with Brussels-based architecture agency Babini Geysen, who named the stand “Hunting & Collecting”. For the scenography, we strove for a zero-waste policy, including the use of loaned furniture and textiles –  “Studio K” from the KANAL–Centre Pompidou, designed by Brussels textile designer Flore Fockedey in collaboration with Sébastien Roy, is re-used as a room divider and the iconic “deposit chair” REX by Dutch designer Ineke Hans is part of the decor, such as the bookcases and trolleys which are designed by Stiel Atelier.

The campaign builds on the flat landscape of the Low Countries, complete with its own “alles außer flach” font that rises above the horizon. The abstracted colours of the polders and dykes, the sea and the sky, in various shades of blue and green, are instantly recognisable. This campaign introduces the German public to Dutch and Flemish literature: on outdoor posters and in trams, coffee mugs and sustainably produced bags, on social media and on billboards above the stand. The merchandise and campaign materials are produced in the most sustainable way possible, thus minimising our footprint in Leipzig.  

​​As the Buchmesse is considered as the literary encounter, we chose quotes and catchy titles from young, contemporary writers as a starting point. With animated typography, the digital campaign tells the story of the origins of language and the dynamics of literature. And that is everything but flat.

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