SHV Think Book 1996-1896 – Irma Boom

This book is one of Irma Boom’s first projects that was commissioned. The book was made in 1996 and has the dimensions of 8 7/8 x 6 11/6 x 4 5/16 inches, two versions of black and white. Paul Fentener van Vlissingen was the commissioner. He is the CEO of SHV, a Dutch Conglomerate. He asked Boom to create this book for his company, more specifically the centenary of it. Overall, it was a book of commemoration. He really emphasized that he wanted the book to be experimental and out there. As seen in the public now, the book did just that with the help of Boom. Boom compiled this book to have roughly 2136 pages that goes into the details of the history of Paul Fentener van Vlissingen’s company. This book is unique as the timeline goes in reverse order. It took five years to collect all the data about the company and required Boom to attend important company meetings. As well as looking through archives to find things such as records or images to help build the story and the book. SHV Think Book 1996-1896 has an interesting approach to a variety of design elements: typography, layout, materials and printing. There are no page numbers or any sort of index to avoid boring the reader. The edges of the pages in the book are extended to reveal a tulip from left to right then a Dutch poem in the opposite direction. This book goes to show how committed Boom gets when commissioned projects. This goes to show Boom’s philosophy in having books become experiences.


Boom, Irma. “Irma Boom. SHV Think Book 1996-1896. 1996: MoMA.” The Museum of Modern Art, 2019,