Outside the lines

Crossover between book and art

Is it a book? Or is it art? This is the core question in the exhibition Outside the lines.

The exhibition displays a selection of beautiful artists’ books, part of a collection housed at the Library Zuid-Kennemerland. The city of Haarlem has been paying special attention to graphic design the past centuries, which is abundantly present in this collection. The books are made by artists, some are one of a kind, others have been made as a very limited edition. The books are the artworks.

Many of the books heavily feature patterns of lines, which we chose to incorporate in the interior of the exhibition hall. Another aspect that is present in most of the artworks is layering and transparancy. We’ve placed series of semi-transparent cloth panels throughout the space, bringing the artists’ book to live. The hanging panels invite visitors to look up to the high ceiling of the beautiful Janskerk. The exhibition visual pays homage to work by Alicja Webachovska, an artist who’s work is well represented throughout the exhibition.



Term: 22 September – 27 October 2017
Location: North Holland Archives, Janskerk, Haarlem


“Synergique’s design matched perfectly with the art collection on display, strengthening the exhibition. Content and design interacted with each other. Great intuition!”
Anneke van den Bergh – Curator old book collection and special collection North Holland Archives

The books are at their best when they are actually being “read”. A new world comes to live upon opening them, or a play of lines. Even a chessboard can appear right in front of you. To enable visitors to see what the books are like when in use, we produced short teasers, in which some books show off their secrets.