What motivated you to start publishing?
While we were studying, then at the start of our career, we realized that the main inspiration for our work comes from nature. We come from two totally different cultures. Our roots, Shanghai – China and Wallis – Switzerland, allow us to appreciate the world differently. Our interest for nature, culture and our high aspiration in quality design connects us. We want to tell stories about nature and culture from surprising perspectives.
How would you describe your role in the creation of a publication?
We cover the entire spectrum: we are authors, designers and printers for each publication. We discover, research and analyze topics and translate them into a poetic, visual language.
In a time consuming process, we push the boundaries of risography, which usually results in a coarse print. With the utmost care, we manually produce items which are one of a kind: booklets, notebooks, cards and prints in limited edition.
What do you look for in a project?
Our projects are rather surrealistic at first sight. Our aim is to awake people’s interest in unknown cultures or traditions and to inspire them. It could be a trigger for interesting discussions. The more the viewer sees from our projects, the more layers she or he can discover.
What advice would you give to anyone planning to make a publication?
Plan enough time and then double it, at least 😉
What do you consider to be your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for us now is to find a good balance to run our publishing business. That’s because it’s only the two of us and we do all the work ourselves.
To run a self-publishing business is not only about designing new books. Nobody sees this, but marketing takes most of the time.
As a lot specialized (art)bookstores are disappearing, is it harder to present the publications to a wide audience? Are you using new channels to reach them?
It’s very hard to present a niche product to the right public and get audience. Especially if you have a niche target group. We like to join Art Book Fairs like Offprint or I Never Read to get in touch with people. We also use Instagram and Facebook, which is a lot of work to do properly. Also, we sometimes conduct lectures and workshops and work as graphic designers for cultural clients.
People need to feel our passion, we think that’s the most important.
What do you find the most rewarding?
Seeing the peoples appreciation for our work, especially when talking to them during fairs. And also the the freedom to research projects we are really interested in.
What does the future hold?
Hopefully a lot of new challenges and collaborations with interesting people.