Steidl founded the company in 1968 and is known as the ‘king of printing’ in the printing and publishing world
German publisher and printer, Gerhard Steidl has gained international recognition for his dedication to the craft. His publishing company, “Steidl” is known for making the most beautiful photography books in the world. Steidl founded the company in 1968 and is known as the ‘king of printing’ in the printing and publishing world.
His works have been admired by the likes of Nobel Prize winner Günter Grass, photographer Robert Frank, and Chanel's chief designer, Karl Lagerfeld.
A Documentary film on Gerhard’s life and works, “How to Make a Book With Steidl” by Jörg Adolf and Gereon Wetzel, was screened at the Goethe- Institut Bangladesh in Dhanmondi as part of Chobi Mela X on March 7. The publisher was also present on the occasion to address the artist talk, titled “Steidl Book Culture - Why Analogue Matters.”
The documentary depicts Steidl's process of working with artists and colleagues to produce books at the publishing company.
In a conversation with the Dhaka Tribune’s Showtime, Steidl talked about his experience of working with Karl Lagerfeld.
“With Karl Lagerfeld I worked on two different professions: photography, and publishing,” he said.
“Every day was very inspiring to work with Lagerfeld in the publishing business.”
“He was an outstanding photographer, not only a fashion photographer; he had a keen eye for architecture and landscape, portrait and abstract photography, and over the years I published more than 100 photo books from my publishing house.”
They had a publishing house together which was commonly known as Lagerfeld, Steidl, Druckerei Verlag, or LSD.
“He was the editor-in-chief of the literature section at our company, and he used to select the literary pieces that we would publish,” said Gerhard, talking about LSD.
Gerhard also told us about the future plans in Karl’s absence. He said: “We will print his incomplete works, and archive his photos.”
“We also plan to exhibit Karl’s photos to celebrate his life and works,” he added.
Gerhard also talked about the beginning of his own career. When he was asked what made him interested in the printing business he said: “I started working when I was 18, and printed a first book at that age.”
“Originally I wanted to be a photographer, and I went to a press company when I was 17 years old to ask them to print some of my photos as postcards.”
“But they were so poorly printed that I decided to print them myself.”
“Eventually I educated myself in printing.” He further added: “By the time I was 22 years, I figured out I was a better printer and publisher than a photographer. So, I decided to serve the artistes.”