Amulet was founded by Paw, Jakob and Emil in 2018, after they worked together on a literary magazine for another project. A fruitful collaboration, the trio decided to start their own publishing house. Leading with the desire to work autonomously in both their editorial and design work, Paw soon realized how good of an opportunity the project could be. “In the publishing world, designers are mostly only hired for one publication at a time, and their creative span is usually minimal,” Paw explains. “Being a part of Amulet has allowed me to have long-term thoughts, ideas and creative freedom.” After setting their goals and pillars early on within Amulet, the three devised an encompassing mantra for the venture: “We fight for literature that dares to be angry, challenged, vulnerable and deeply invested in beauty.”
Not being one to take things off to a slow start, the house’s first publication Amulet Magazine 1 rejected perhaps one of the most prominent features of a book: its front cover. The entirely blank cover represented what Paw describes as “complete creative freedom”, with the rest of the book being printed in two text sizes with two different versions of Garamond, printed in red Pantone. “The printer called me, saying I had forgotten to attach the cover,” Paw laughs. “It happens occasionally, and I know I’ve got something right when it does.”
In a more recent project, Amulet last year released a collection of articles and essays about Danish psychiatry called Hjertet er en fold med heste, which translates to The heart is a padlock with horses. To visually emulate the text’s contents, the cover was in uppercase script, shaped like a horseshoe, and the pages were printed on blue, pink and yellow paper, inspired by psychiatry journals. Randomizing the pages before printing, not only is each book unique, but when shelved together a pleasingly un-uniform rainbow effect is achieved.
Primarily, the Amulet is a space in which Paw can experiment as much as he pleases. “The free visual language is an excellent platform to challenge me and use techniques that I’m not so comfortable with,” he details. Recently, he worked with a collage approach, and for the third edition of Amulet Magazine he is developing a “goofy variable font”. In the hands of Paw, publication design has the potential to be something ambitious, rebellious and wholly unique.