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‘Printed matter’ 3

The third edition of Karel Martens’s Printed matter / Drukwerk is being printed by Thoben in Nijmegen now; sheets will then be sent to the binders, Hendricks–Lützenkirchen in Kleve, across the border in Germany. The binding will be done in batches and will take some weeks, but we should have copies at the end of this month – just in time for the Frankfurt bookfair.

Proofs of the new pages in the new edition, together with (top left) the three previous printings of this book.

It may be interesting to set out the history of the book, in outline:

1996 (September): first edition
144 pages / weighs 520 gm
880 copies for general sale1
44,50 guilders / £17.50

1997 (July): first edition, second printing
3000 copies for general sale
44,50 guilders / £17.50 / $29.95

2001 (December): second edition
168 pages / weighs 600 gm
4000 copies for general sale
€41 / £27.50 / $40

2010 (October): third edition
208 pages / weighs 720 gm
5000 copies for general sale
€55 / £40 / $60

So this a real new edition: forty pages have been added, and these show work that Karel Martens has done in the nine years since the second edition. The book as a whole now shows fifty years of work – it’s also an anniversary celebration.

After some hesitation and doubts, we’re glad to publish what may be the final edition of this work. Prices of over $1000 are being asked by Amazon-marketplace sellers for the now outdated editions. It is nice to be able to announce that you can buy an improved edition, and at what we think is still a reasonable price – for a book that stands apart from routine production.


1 A number of copies, with white covers but otherwise the same, were made for distribution by Heineken and by Karel Martens himself. These were given free to anyone attending the Heineken Prize awards in Amsterdam, September 1996.