The lovable oddball Buckminster Fuller has inspired everything from surf mobiles to ice cream sandwiches. And now this: a faceted magazine cover that looks and feels like a flattened geodesic dome.
Commissioned by the graphic design magazine Novum, the cover is the work of Paperlux, a Hamburg-based design studio, which wanted to play up the tactility of paper by cutting into it. Each cover has 140 die cuts, allowing it to bend any which way. Like Fuller, the designers encountered their fair share of doubters: "Bucky was a true visionary, someone who pushed boundaries and did not really take no for an answer—a bit like us when it comes to print production," Paperlux’s Soraya Kuehne tells Co.Design. "The first reaction of most people to this project was, ‘This is in no way possible.’ But then again, that’s a challenge which just pushes you harder." The designers patiently oversaw the production of each of the 15,000 covers, which had to be die-cut with the utmost precision.
Like Fuller, who famously said, "You can make money or you can make sense," Paperlux didn’t take budgets into account and shouldered the costs of their "passion project." The goal, Kuehne says, is to underscore the importance of print media as the publishing industry goes digital: "Don’t get me wrong: We feel totally at home in the digital world. But it will never substitute the feeling and smell of a new book, a magazine or a handwritten letter. We believe that projects such as these can bring this back into our minds."