Tom Elsner, the webmaster. He runs his own company, Bureau for Visual Affairs. He was there at the very beginning. After I registered the company, I knew I needed a website, as a sign to the world that Peirene existed. Tom invented the logo and created a publisher’s website without a single book in the catalogue.
Sacha Davison Lunt, the designer. I wanted a strong branding for Peirene. But had no idea what it was supposed to look like. Tom recommended Sacha. I haven’t looked back since. She understands how to combine quality and elegance with individuality and has created a beautiful image for Peirene.
Margaret Bluman, my contracts advisor. For 30 years, Margaret was director of contracts at Penguin. She retired two years ago and took a shine to Peirene. Thanks to her infallible advice my negotiation skills have improved and our contracts have become fool-proof.
Maddy Pickard, Peirene’s marketing director. Maddy came on board a year ago. Her enthusiasm, professionalism and dedication have ensured the Peirene Salon funding from The Wine Society and our 2012 grant from the Arts Council England. She manages to sell books in places where other publishers rarely tread – places such as twitter.
The party also included Sacha’s and my husbands and Maddy’s boyfriend. The Nymph wasn’t there. A few days ago she discovered the Book Barge, a floating independent bookshop that travels the English canals and rivers. At the moment the Barge is mooring in London and has taken our books on board. The Nymph is thrilled. She texted me an hour before the dinner: “Sorry will have to cancel tonight. Can’t tear myself away from the Barge.”
After all, water is her natural environment.
Soon the wine and conversation flowed. Maddy described our successful Peirene Experience event at the Bookshelf designer Vitsoe on Monday. I backed up the story by adding that they had called me a couple of days later, ordering our 3 book set of the Female Voice to give as a birthday present to Dieter Rams wife. That was the moment, Sacha suddenly stared at me from across the table.
“Oh! I am going to cry!” she gasped. I must have looked at her in total bewilderment, because she then asked, slightly incredulously: “Don’t you know who Dieter Rams is?”
“He designed the shelves for Vitsoe,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.
“He is THE industrial designer of the 20th century,” Tom informed me. “Coffee makers, calculators, record players, the Braun alarm clock, so much is influenced by him.”
Sacha had a proud glow on her face for the rest of the evening.
P.S I will take a week’s holiday and be back with the next update on Peirene Drama in two weeks time.
Image by Andy Field Field Office.