Book Design Shop

Book Design Shop is a specialty design bookstore in Beijing that was founded by Taiwanese entrepreneur, Tony Li. The shop has its own courtyard and is located in Dashilar, near Qianmen off Yangmeizhu Xiejie, in a small hutong. It carries a wide selection of books that would appeal to both avid readers and design aficionados alike. The shop’s carefully curated selection of publications from both Chinese and international authors showcases a wide range of material, from creative editorials to thought-provoking design books. From time to time, the store also turns into an exhibition space that promotes the creative work of illustrators, photographers, and other independent artists. Tony encourages artists to publish their own work and having it available to be purchased through his shop.


北京前门大栅栏的杨梅竹斜街,自古书局林立。台湾人Tony Li创立的书的设计店,便是在这条街上一个带院子的微型胡同空间内,向喜爱设计和阅读的人们推荐来自国内外的编辑创意、精彩版式设计,以及经典生活用品设计,同时也不定期有摄影、插画等独立创作以及出版主题相关展览展出。此外,Tony也努力鼓励创作者将作品集成出版物并代为销售,书的设计店用自己的方式给这条出版业老街添加了新的含义。

In today’s busy world, oversaturated with an endless stream of images and text from social media, being able to produce quality content is of utmost importance. Tony, who also previously worked in media, believes, “Many people still consider the book to be the most ideal way for receiving and disseminating information, especially among professionals. A book is an amazing gateway – the content of every book is a world in itself.” He hopes that his store can become a select shop for books.


今天的社交网络充斥着各种图片和文字,所以当下的出版物更注重用心、独特的编辑。“书的形态,在很多人,特别是专业者的心目中,还是最理想的载体。” Tony,这位曾经的媒体人说,“书籍是个很好的窗口,每个书籍的内容都是一个世界。”正所谓“一书一世界”,他要做的是一个书的select shop。

With a background in architecture, Tony used to work for GQ Taiwan along with various lifestyle magazines. He had experienced the turbulent times for lifestyle magazines in the early 2000s, as well as the impact of internet media affecting printed publications following the financial crisis. Having been through these uncertain times, Tony’s passion for lifestyle, design, and printed publications still remains unchanged. Shortly after relocating to Beijing in 2010, he founded a social app targeting readers. He also worked on branding it as well as creating content specifically for iPad users. He found that he was fascinated by the role of the medium that information is delivered through.


建筑出身的Tony,曾在台湾的GQ等生活方式类杂志媒体工作。他经历了2000年初生活类型杂志的蓬勃,也经历了随后金融危机和互联网冲击带来的纸媒衰败。但是他对生活方式的议题、设计和出版物的热爱并毫无衰减。自2010年移居北京之后的他做过阅读社交APP,做过branding,也做过iPad的出版系列,但他最在乎的还是媒体,更是媒介的角色。

“As magazine editors, by introducing the subjects through writing and photos, aren’t we really just recommending things we like? Whether it be a person, an event, or a city. If we remove ourselves, then this person, event, or item will still possess a certain relationship with the reader. Items are unable to interact and communicate with potential users so by this logic we are just the middleman. There are a lot of products, magazines, and books out there, so the purpose of Book Design Shop is just to serve as a medium.”


“我们做杂志编辑,不就是在介绍每一个我们推荐的东西吗?或者是人,或者是事,或者是城市。如果将我们自己的角色拿掉,那这个人、事、物跟读者之间,它也存在这个关系。我们是中间人,所以在这个逻辑上,有很多物品没有办法自己和它的用户进行直接沟通。但是中间又有很多物件、杂志和书籍,书的设计店就是作为媒介的角色。”

Canadian philosopher McLuhan coined a very famous phrase, “The medium is the message”. Tony truly believes in and lives by this quote. In his eyes, books are a gateway, and the contents of every book is a world in itself. He believes that all people and things are also mediums and this is why his shop carries well-designed household products. He later expanded on that idea by creating an online shop that he named Goods & Media (or Wujie in Chinese). The first Chinese character “Wu” represents item, and “Jie” represents medium. Tony chooses the products to feature on the website based on his own criteria: the design quality, content quality, and if it has a “soul”.


加拿大媒介环境学代表人物McLuhan有一个非常著名的说法:“媒介即信息”。这是Tony所深信不疑的。当然除了书之外,任何的人事物都是媒介。这也是为什么这间书店除了书之外,也有生活用品设计,近来更是设立了相应的网络购买平台——物介:物,是物件的“物”;介,是媒介的“介”。设计也好,内容也好,Tony来说都有一个衡量的标准:看它是否有“灵魂”,有深度和内涵。这也是Tony甄选纸品和物品的原则。

Tony is elated about the fact that the connections between people and publishing companies, as well as between one another, are now more closely knit than ever. “I have known the author of Design Tokyo for quite a while. I feel like his work is finally starting to become different from before. There was one that I particularly liked and I asked him if he wanted to have it up for purchase in my store. Also because of this book, I developed a closer relationship with my importer. This store has a good working relationship with all the creators of the books that we carry. The connection that I have with the authors of these books is what separates us from any other bookstore out there.” Tony even photographs and writes the descriptions for all of the items that are sold online; every single magazine, book, and product has been personalised by Tony.


目前为止Tony最为开心的是,从人和各种出版社,到人和人,都有着更紧密的连接。“《设计东京》的作者,我本来就跟他认识。我觉得这个作者终于出现了变化,这一本做的很好。我问他要不要来我们店里卖。我也因为这本书跟我的进口商也有更多连接。这个店,和这些做书的人非常熟悉,有着非常私人化的联系。人与人的连接,是我们与大书店的不一样。”甚至,不同于现有的大型书籍销售平台,物介网站上的每一本杂志书籍,每一个物件,都将由Tony及其团队完成图片拍摄,以及推介文本撰写。

When asked about the future, he says that as a business owner there are always unexpected problems that may arise. If in five years, the store still remains, it will mostly have an online presence and the physical storefront will become more of a showroom. Not long ago the co-founder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia, also visited Book Design ShopTony is particularly proud of that visit from Joe. “He purchased a lot of independent publications, some published out of China, some from Japan. He said that he didn’t ever want to leave my shop. Joe Gebbia’s own Twitter bio reads ‘I design things’. so I felt he really was passionate about everything he purchased.” Through Tony’s interpretation, the design that Joe Gebbia mentions and Tony’s own ideas about things being a medium are interconnected. “The definition of ‘design’ is actually quite broad. It involves trying to find order in this vast world of ours.” This is also what Tony strives to do as an ardent observer of life.


问及未来,Tony说,做生意常常会出现规划外的事情,如果5年后,这间店还在的话,会在网络上为主,而线下则作为showroom的形态存在。前段时间Airbnb的创始人之一Joe Gebbia也曾造访过书的设计店,这让Tony颇感自豪。Tony说: “他买了一大堆独立出版。有中国的,有日本的。还包括一些小物件。他说这个店他都不想离开。Joe Gebbia的Twitter页面上写着‘I design things’(我设计东西),他真的是喜欢这些东西。”Tony的理解中,Joe Gebbia所说的“设计”和他所说的媒介的概念是相近的,“这个‘设计’的概念是非常广泛的,都是在一个很大的世界里中去找到一个逻辑系统。”而这也是Tony作为一位生活观察者会一直努力去做的事。

Address:
No. 23, Yangmeizhu Xiejie, Dashilar
Xicheng District, Beijing
People’s Republic of China

Phone:
+86 010 8319 7844

Website:
bookdesignshop.org
goodsmedia.com

Facebook~/bookdesignshop
Wechat: bookdesignshop

 

Contributors: Banny Wang, Eric Zhang
Photographer: Banny Wang


地址:
中国 北京市西城区
大栅栏杨梅竹斜街23号

电话:
+86 010 8319 7844

网站:
bookdesignshop.org
goodsmedia.com

脸书~/bookdesignshop
微信: bookdesignshop

 

供稿人: Banny Wang, Eric Zhang
摄影师: Banny Wang