Australian type and graphic designer Tiana Vasiljev founded Beautiful Pages in June 2011 as an online store dedicated to the promotion and sale of a constantly expanding collection of quality graphic design related books, posters, magazines and DVDs. It was, she says, “created out of a love and obsession of books, paper, language and all things related to art and design.” I asked Tiana to tell me more:
How and why did you start Beautiful Pages?
I was living in London for a year and was a regular visitor to the TATE bookshop. I used to spend hours there, looking through their extensive range of books and spending a substantial amount of my weekly salary on their products. It was amazing to find such an immense collection of quality design material in one place and wondered whether I could somehow make these (among many other publications that I came across) easily accessible to designers in Australia. After returning to Sydney, I invested some funds into establishing Beautiful Pages. The goal was to create an online store that Australian designers (and designers worldwide) could visit to be surprised. A creative online space where they could find inspiration and easily purchase products that would fuel their imagination. We hope the website serves as a reminder to designers about the beauty of real ink on paper, the importance of the printed page and the pleasures of owning these beautiful books.
What do you offer that other online design bookstores do not?
What Beautiful Pages offers is a very carefully curated collection of design books and products, selected by graphic designers – for graphic designers. We have a good knowledge of design and what other designers would want to purchase. We have read (and own a copy of) every item available for sale on our site. The 75 featured books have been read from beginning to end and we feel that they have all had a positive and inspiring impact on our work, attitudes and design knowledge. We have also recently starting stocking specialized design magazines, studio papers, posters and DVDs. Many of the products that we carry under these categories, include studio publications that aren’t available from standard online bookstores.
Is there an Australian agenda as well?
One of our long-term goals is to help promote Australian design. Over the coming months we will be investing further funds into purchasing a range of Australian designed books, magazines, posters and other related design material. We will begin featuring work by Australian designers and hopefully become a platform to promote graphic design in Australia. Unlike many online bookstores, our business is 100% Australian owned and operated. When designers purchase products from our website they are also helping to support the Australian economy.
Do you have a particular design point of view in your selection or curation?
Some of our range includes design classics, others are new publications. The featured books need to be inspirational, well designed and well written. Typography is a crucial topic in most of the featured publications and we do tend to place special emphasis on (but not limited to) modernist graphic design. A simplified approach, with minimal visual clutter. Swiss graphic design and typography plays an important part in the collection, as does the work of many influential graphic designers including Alan Fletcher, Otl Aicher, Wim Crouwel, Armin Hofmann, Jan Tschichold, Herbert Spencer, Wolfgang Weingart, Emil Ruder, Josef Muller-Brockmann and Milton Glaser to name just a few.
And the future? Do you have plans?
The store is hoping to expand the collection in the coming months. If you have any requests, suggestions or would like Beautiful Pages to stock your merchandise — whether it be books, posters or any other type of printed piece, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org