Yesterday’s newspaper

A very special book landed on my doorstep yesterday, entitled “De krant van gisteren” – Dutch for “Yesterday’s newspaper”.

I will not hesitate to actually call it unique – in both form and content. It’s a book that, across 128 pages, shows us what you can do with your old newspaper, once you’ve finished reading it.

And the examples are really amazing – from drying your wet shoes or carefully storing eggs in strips of paper (as shown on the cover, although those two round shapes do resemble something very female) – to creating clothes, furniture and even building a house out of the cheap reusable material.

The author and designer of the book, Dutch design consultant Koos Staal of Staal & Duiker Designers, has been curious about this “second life of the newspaper” for years, and has collected photos from all over the world for this book, which is – of course – printed on standard newsprint paper.

In the book’s preface Koos Staal acknowledges the fact that news today is not only read on paper, but also on digital screens of varying sizes, threatening to kill the print version. Nevertheless, there are still millions of copies out there printed every day – and a small portion of these find a new life in fascinating, very different contexts. And when (if ever) the printed paper finally perishes, will we miss only the “daily ritual of opening out a crackling fresh newspaper”, he asks? And answers promptly – NO, we would also miss the sheets as such, as they are “so well-suited for practical and creative reuse”.

A great contribution to the history of the printed newspaper, Koos Staal’s book is a joy to hold and read (although so far only available in Dutch). I’m proud to have contributed in a small way to the book with my design for the Best of Scandinavian News Design competition catalogue, the typography of which is construed from cut-outs and tear-offs from Scandinavian newspapers (see image above).

Read more about the book and order your copy at (text is in Dutch, English version on its way). Price is 15 euro + shipment.