THE MOST BELIEVED FAIRY TALE
THE MOST BELIEVED FAIRY TALE IS A CHILDREN'S BOOK ABOUT THE CRISIS, OUR MONEY, FAITH, GREED AND BURSTING BUBBLES. A SELF-PUBLISHED CHILDREN'S BOOK DESIGN WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY LYANNE TONK.
The book tells of the tribulations of a being – a bank being – which one day starts drawing circles. Demand for circles grows bigger and bigger. Everyone wants them, and little by little the whole world is made up of circles. But then the paper runs out and he decides to draw circles in the sky. People want more, more, more and build a high mountain to reach the biggest circle of all. But then suddenly the whole mountain starts to tremble ... what now?!
One of the first definitions of money or economics you learn as a child is the candy index. Your money is worth as much as the number of sweets you can buy at the swimming pool for a few cents. Because every pool turned out to ask almost exactly the same price for the wine gums, the lollipops, the twizzlers and the gum drops, it was clear: money is a fixed value and it is linked to a fixed number of sweets. A clear index.
This clear picture of the biggest system in our world could be maintained for a long time. You soon find out that the value is not usually expressed in terms of sweets, but in terms of rising and falling lines and especially numbers, lots and lots of numbers. But the idea of value and counter-value still seemed to hold true.
Until the newspapers started writing about the crisis. Suddenly economics changed from something about numbers and data to something about faith. "Faith in the economy is declining", but if you have to have faith in it, what then is real ? And who gets to decide what is true or not?
A little creature becomes hungry for power; it begins to paint circles and swaps them for other things. The circles grow larger and larger; the demand fort hem culminates in a desire fort he golden, shining sun.
The folded pages of the hardback are closed at the top, creating pockets between the double pages which are open at the front and bottom. The insides are printed with a wide repertoire of geometric patterns – so mysterious. How does a design feature like that fit into the visual scenario of collages made from cut and torn shapes, two-colour printing, signal red and ink blue, embossed with golden foil? The circles in the writing itself also begin to take on a life of their own; the o in the semi bold grotesque type leaves the baseline, shifting up or down.
The printing inside the pockets turns out to be taken from a security envelope: inner patterns protect the contents form prying eyes, mostly lines over the whole area which prevent passwords, account numbers or other confidential financial information from showing thourgh….
At the end, the whole thing collapses: A children’s book? A parable of supply and demand, growth optimism and the absolute value of money: the most widely believed fairy tale.
Anne-Marie telling our story about The most believed fairytale at TEDxArnhem.
A true story book… in which the economy is represented as a fairytale. “Once upon a time there was a creature who decided to make circles. Circles that everybody wants. The circles turn out to be a hugh succes. Everybody want’s the circles. And they end up with a world completely build out of circles.”
De Vormforensen is a graphic design studio specialized in the design of books, founded in Arnhem by Annelou van Griensven and Anne-Marie Geurink.
In 2015 De Vormforensen published a new book; Het meest geloofde sprookje (the most-believed fairytale), a fairy tale book about defaulting banks, high-frequency trading and the economic bubble.
De Vormforensen drew inspiration from the economic crisis and related newspaper headlines such as those regarding defaulting banks, profit warnings, high-frequency trading and the economic bubble. Through their fairy tale, Van Griensven and Geurink expressed the realisation that the economy is a subjective system that is build on believe and trust.