A is for Ass, B is for Bulb, C is for Cauliflower and D is for Dolphin... of course. This wonderfully inventive and playfully eccentric take on the alphabet by Karner Union and Tatiana Rihs is the ninth release by Urs Lehniâ's print studio, Rollo Press, based in Zurich. It's a children's book which means that, in the finest tradition of all good children's literature, it's fun for everyone. Each double-page spread contains an illustration of a letter composed of a number of objects that start with the same letter: the letter S, for example, is made up of a wonderful compilation of a safety pin, sandwich, saw, scarf, slippers and shit.
Alphabet, like all the publications released by Rollo Press, is created using an old Risograph GR 3770 printer. Lehni christened it 'Rollo Press' after Rollo Aller, a German film. He explains: Soon after installing the printer, I began to work on the first publication. The Lousy Animals & Friends colouring book by good friend Stefan Marx. Both of us love Rollo Aller, a German low-budget road movie from 1990. The two main characters aim to escape society, one on a bike, the other driving a "rollo" a slang word for moped. We thought that the Risograph is the moped among printing machines and a nice tool to escape with.¬Ě
The Rollo Press allows for the printing of different monochrome colours (red, green, blue and black) in a pseudo-silkscreen way. Karner Union and Tatiana Rihs have made the most of this with their stark yet intricate black and white illustrations, leaving the colour to the words at either end of the book proving once again that, sometimes, less is more. Frankly it's too nice to let kids dribble and wee all over. Buy it for yourself: after all, who doesn't want to live in a world where W stands for wigâ?
About Rollo Press
Rollo Press is a small print studio located in Zurich and is operated by Urs Lehni since the beginning of 2008. The only printing machine available is an old Risograph GR 3770. Rollo Press aims to produce printed matter with friends and accomplices in a way that includes all steps of the process: from concept to design on to printing, binding and distribution. It's like in William Morris Art and Its Producers¬Ě: To own the means of production is the only way to gain back pleasure in work, and this, in return, is considered as a prerequisite for the production of (applied) art and beauty.