Sara De Bondt’s new book brings together the epic stories of graphic design in Belgium
The book itself feels celebratory, diverse, and collective. It covers as much of the Belgian scene as possible, largely inspired by Sara’s own exhibition at the Design Museum Gent, titled Off the Grid: Belgian graphic design from the 1960s and 1970s as seen by Sara De Bondt. “I invited anyone I could think of who knew anything about it to give a talk in the little reading nook we had set up on the show,” she says. “It felt like a waste not to capture all the new content produced in the context of the exhibition so people could enjoy it longer.” At the end of the exhibition, Sara had archived and tidied up the works and asked the practitioners present to contribute words to the books.
Ultimately, Sara herself is a designer “inspired by the work of her peers, colleagues and students”, constantly drawing inspiration from the life she encounters on a daily basis to constitute her work. That’s probably why Off-grid feels so genuine and genuine, because it’s infused with Sara’s true appreciation of art as much as aesthetic whimsy. Often it’s the everyday things like “drawing, art, walking, travelling, flea markets, bookstores, and nature” that Sara turns to for artistic nourishment. “And with Occasional Papers, the people whose work we publish are always people we look up to,” she says.