The latest project we’ve worked on (and that we’re delighted to introduce you to) is November Editions. Based in Amsterdam and Berlin, November Editions is a new publisher, specialising in first-time English-language translations of German Expressionist and other Modernist writing from the early 20th century. Their books will appear exclusively in electronic format.
November Editions uncovers plenty of hidden and forgotten gems, starting with their first round of books, which introduce English-language audiences to work from Karl Kraus, Walter Rheiner and Carl Einstein.
The first books are a great entry point into German Expressionism: a pivotal art movement in German history, coinciding with a time when modernity was beginning to arrive in Western consciousness, and Germany as a country was left reeling from a lot of social chaos, be it the outbreak of war, the abdication of the Kaiser, numerous attempts at revolution and the rise and collapse of the Weimar Republic. This sense of turmoil and rapid change prompted artists to experiment with new forms of expression suited to convey their intense personal response to, on the one hand, political issues (war, pacifism, socialism, communism), and social commentary on the other (centred around problems such as estrangement, poverty, addiction and the influence of metropolitan life upon the individual).
Beginning with the founding of the painters’ collectives Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, Expressionism was not limited to one medium and constantly blurred lines between personal and political, and various modes of expression. Alongside painting, poetry, prose and drama, film became an integral part in later years, with Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Metropolis being prime examples. Expressionism also coincided with similar movements across Europe – Fauvism, Cubism and Surrealism in France, Dada in Switzerland, and Futurism in Italy. Like these, Expressionism was a hugely influential movement, and in the years that followed as the Nazi’s rose to power, it is telling how many works from Expressionist writers were committed to the flames at Bebelplatz in 1933.
But back in the present day as there is plenty of Expressionism to explore on the November Editions website. Our brief was to come up with a brand identity, logo and website for November Editions, and design the covers for their ebooks. Working with a new, niche publisher is always a fantastic experience as it means working with people like NE founder Gijs van Koningsveld, who are completely committed to the books they publish.
For us, it’s also been extra special to work on a project so closely intertwined with the history of our new(ish) base in Berlin, and to see that come to life through the modern world of ebooks.
Big thanks goes to Emma King who helped bring November Editions and their books to life under Kristen’s direction. And of course to Gijs van Koningsveld, for letting us explore the world of German Expressionism and November Editions.