Pressing Memories from Pentagram

This little gem came in the mail today, what a nice surprise! Pentagram, the best and most accessible design firm in the world, occasionally sends out gifts in the form of their “Pentagram Papers” series. These are projects they create because they find the stories interesting—plus they are dynamite marketing tools. Nobody does this better.

Anyway, this is the story of Marie Luise “Agnes” Leibbrand from Stuttgart, Germany, who between 1876-1890 collected flower samples on her many travels throughout Europe. When her clippings of wildflowers, leaves and ferns were still fresh and free from dew, Agnes would press them between volumes of books or with a special field press. Once dry, Agnes bound them into neat arrangements and fixed the blooms to a piece of card or unfolded envelope, meticulously labelling each one with a number, date, and description of origin.

Agnes produced 42 of these pressings, weaving Europe’s natural history with her own more personal one. This small publication beautifully shows us each one. This is what great design can do. Thanks to DJ Stout at Pentagram Austin for keeping me on their list. I treasure each and every one of these.