Klimsch's Jahrbuch


Klimsch’s Jahrbuch (Klimsch’s Yearbook) (Frankfurt am Main: Verlag von Klimsch & Co., 1900-1940). Complete in thirty-three volumes. Subtitle varies from Eine übersicht über die Fortschritte auf Graphischem Gebiete (An Overview of the Progress in the Field of Graphics) to Technische Abhandlungen und Berichte über Neuheiten aus dem Gesamtgebiet der Graphischen Künst (Technical Papers and Reports about Innovations in all Areas of the Graphic Arts).


Ferdinand Karl Klimsch (1812-1890) established the Frankfurt printing firm Klimsch & Co. in 1858. Originally a specialty firm offering commercial lithographic printing, the company expanded into all aspects of printing and continued to operate through 1995.


In 1900 the company issued a report on the state of printing arts in Germany and continued the practice each year until WWII got in the way. Articles ranged from general histories and biographies to in-depth studies in paper technology, electroplating, typography, photographic printing processes, and the evolution of press machinery, much of it written by Friedrich and Konrad Bauer.


But it is the samples of contemporary printing that really make the publication unique. Each issue includes specimens of coated papers, varnishes and inks, embossed labels, monochrome and multicolor typography, as well as printing on foil, on cellulose, and cloth. Paging through the volumes, we see the German graphic aesthetic transform from the decorative Jugendstil to the dynamism of the Futurists and then, the social realism of the rising Nazi party.


The 1932 issue features a retrospective on the first 25 volumes. All of the volumes include tables of contents and the 1935 issue includes an index to volumes 25-28.