Natural Enemies of Books | Melbourne Book Talk

Perimeter is excited to host an in-store presentation by Maryam Fanni, member of feminist graphic design research collective MMS, about their book Natural Enemies of Books: A Messy History of Women in Printing and Typography (Occasional Papers). A must-read for anyone interested in publishing, graphic design, and typography (and their histories) learn more about this publication on Thursday November 23, from 6pm–8pm at Perimeter Books (734 High St, Thornbury VIC). All welcome!

'Ever since the days of Mrs. Gutenberg, women have been involved in the art of printing,' writes the group Distaff Side in 1937 in their preface of the book Bookmaking on the Distaff Side offering a satirical, feminist, re-writing of book history. Decades later, design historian Martha Scotford responded to patriarchal and capitalist design history writing by inventing the concept of 'messy history', which could serve to acknowledge many more experiences and trajectories than those fitting into conventional design history books. Not only have individual women designers been structurally obscured in written design history, but also social relations and collective activities that deny or go beyond individual success stories. Natural Enemies of Books: A Messy History of Women in Printing and Typography serves as a pot-luck of attempts made to contribute to graphic design history with stories that can allow for more accurate ways of understanding the past, present and future of the field.

MMS is a group of graphic designers Maryam Fanni, Matilda Flodmark and Sara Kaaman, based in Stockholm, Sweden. They collaborate since 2012 on investigations and writings on graphic design histories from feminist and labour history perspectives. They are the editors of Natural Enemies of Books – A Messy History of Women in Printing and Typography.