The Hartmanns are German publishers who also operate a project space.
Episode 108: I first came into contact with the beautifully produced Hartmann Books and Hartmann Projects when I found Ute and Werner Mahler and their book Kleinstadt. I remember being blown away by the contents, but also the overall design particularly the cover typography, which to this day still stands out as a personal design favorite.
I enjoy speaking with publishers. I find that they are mostly the unsung heroes of many careers. They often put incredible amounts of effort and financial backing into their projects based on their belief in the artist’s work and the sheer passion for producing lasting cultural objects that inhabit the sphere between the public and private viewing of art. Books are a beautiful conduit between the two and Germany itself has a long and important history with bookmaking and printing.
In our conversation, we discuss the business of publishing. We speak a little bit about covid and the problems thereof in the madness of 2020, but also the will for books to continue to be produced and what the market may look like. We spoke about a number of the Hartmann’s endeavors such as Hartmann projects which is a logical extension from book to wall.
I found our conversation compelling for many reasons, but mostly it came down to the subjects of books, but also the honesty that the couple exemplified when speaking about the market and how their business functions in terms of financing, which is often opaque from the outside looking in. I often find artist have very little real knowledge of the cost of making a book and whose responsibility it is to meet financial demands. As there are several models of publishing, it was great to walk through this with Angelika and Markus. I hope you enjoy.