Norwegian Book History

The National Library of Norway

Highlighting the craft of bookmaking

Exhibition Design, Graphic Design, Selected

For our first project for The National Library of Norway, a temporary exhibition in a beautiful, tall and light-filled room in the Library’s central Oslo building, the subject was the art and craft of bookmaking. Seeking to show the tactile quality of books, the exhibition was divided into five key chapters: format, typeface, illustration, paper and binding.

Using the over-arching themes of craft and printing, the design treatment was inspired by paper and typography, investigating the ways in which paper could be folded and used structurally. The room itself is formed like a book, using paper to create curving and curling backdrops to the displays and deliberately highlighting crumples and imperfections to draw attention to paper’s qualities.

Hand-made banners were created for each of the main elements, whilst a film we created, showing the making of a poster, runs on an angled screen directly above the main table display area, with a vintage printing press at its centre. All the paper was recyclable at the end of the exhibition’s run.


The National Library of Norway




Studio ZNA

photography: Gareth Gardner