Throughout history the artisans of the book have always wanted to push its boundaries. The present research will take a closer look at a contemporary applied artist who redefined and reshaped the physical book. For nearly three decades Irma Boom has designed books which pushed the limits of typography, text-image conventions, materiality and binding.
Through her commissions Boom blurred the lines between a designer, image editor and author. Her unusual way of story-telling provided the book with a new life. Boom’s books are celebrated as works of art, exhibited in museums around the world, and featured in the permanent collections in most prestigious art establishments around the globe.
The aim of this research is to create a discussion about the new role of the book in the new millennium. In the digital age Irma Boom’s books prove that the physical book has much to offer to its reader. This study will examine three main issues: legibility as main source of communication, the designer as the new author of the book and finally the books of the new millennium. Ten case studies were chosen to illustrate how Irma Boom redefined the craft of book design.