3. social

Book for Sale 

Online platform
Graduation project, Design Academy Eindhoven, Februari

Image by Femke Reijerman

Book for Sale is an online platform for the bookbinders and printers of Athens. By presenting the identity behind the artisan the platform aims to create a more realistic image of the artisan and creates an opportunity for them to stage themselves in the European market.

For the last 7 years, Greece and it's capital Athens have been gripped by financial crisis. After living for 7 months in Athens during her internship in 2016, Ilse Meulendijks was surprised to see that small businesses and craft shops were not just surviving, but staging a comeback. Locals realize that the economic crisis would not be solved by buying from multinationals, rather, it is better to spend the little money they have at smaller businesses. The crisis therefore creates opportunities and stimulates a more flexible market.

This platform is a blueprint of an online network of craftsmen. It functions as a bridge between supply and demand for people living across different countries. It is not only the exchange of a product but of craft and identity. The goal is to present the identity behind the artisan to showcase their professionalism, skills and living context, curating a collection of artisans that represent the refinement of their profession.  By presenting the artisans identity the project aims to break through the stigma created by the financial crisis and reveal a very different reality. Book for Sale thus focuses on mid to high segment creatives, creatives that want to make beautiful, self published books that allow them to take control of the publishing process.

With the digitalization of books, printed books have become more important in the visual arts, being more than a carrier of a narrative, but a desirable object, with the outer cover and choice of material representing the work inside. However, individuals wanting to create a small edition of books, quickly end up dealing with larger multinational companies where choice is limited and the quality generic. A gap has emerged in the market that craftsmen can fill with their knowhow and skills.