►Amsterdam-based graphic designer Irma Boom specializes in book making who has different work methods and a different view on things such as the use of unfamiliar materials and formats, colors, structures, and typography. Boom applies the sense of touch into all of her book and has established an international reputation, according to an interview in April 2001.To her, books are seen as objects that communicate ideas and stories and speak to all human senses.
Boom has worked on her 2136 page SHV Think Book as editor and designer for five years. Research for this book took place in cities like Amsterdam, Paris, London, and Vienna. This anniversary book was one of her biggest works and showed a specific view on the history of her company. It was designed to be distributed around the world. However, it's pace of distribution is very slow. Boom has calculated that it will take five hundred years to spread to all the places in the world. Four thousand copies were printed in English and five hundred in Chinese. Her think book has become an international icon of Dutch design.
Her design for ‘Weaving as Metaphor’ by the American artist Sheila Hicks was awarded 'The Most Beautiful Book in the World’ at the Leipzig Book Fair. Her books have been shown at numerous international exhibitions and are also represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
This Dutch designer has introduced the idea of a "fat book." When Boom was asked what would make her create a book that was two inches tall and half as thick, she replied: “The book is small because whenever I make a book, I start by making a tiny one. Usually I make five, six or seven for each book, as filters for my ideas and to help me to see the structure clearly. I have hundreds of those small books and am so fond of them. I’ve always wanted to make one for publication, but no one has ever wanted to do it. And I thought, well, this time, I can.” The book contains 704 pages and 450 images. She titles the book "Irma Boom: Biography in Books." The New York Times wrote an article called "A Small Book in a Big Career," published on August 8, 2010, based on Irma Boom. This book only ran for about two months at the University of Amsterdam Library. It was bound in a bright red cover with the word "BOOM" printed on the front in clumsy white letters.
Graphic designer Irma Boom has made over 250 books, 50 of which are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Boom, at age 49, has designed most of her books for other people the way she has wanted and felt like they should be. Almost none of her clients have complained. A book designer normally works with texts and images selected by editors and art directors. However, Boom combines the three roles by deciding on the book's structure and choosing the themes and visual material on her own. When working on a book, she obsesses over every element. This includes not only how the book will look, but how it will feel and smell and invents ingenious ways of achieving her desired affects. This is what makes her such a great designer.
Boom designed a book titled "Beautiful Ugly" by Sarah Nuttall. Nuttall states that "the book was designed in Amsterdam by Irma Boom, and I thank her for her extraordinary eye and prodigious talent for making books beautiful."The cover to this book was an olive-green color with no pictures or text. It was simple yet elegant, just like Irma herself.